It may seem logical to conclude that apparel manufacturers would try to produce garments in very large batch sizes in an effort to spread their batch-related
costs over more units. However, the downsides of producing clothing in huge production runs is that it lengthens the manufacturers’ customer response
times and limits their customization capabilities.
Spencer Fung manages Li & Fung Ltd., a supply chain management company that operates in the global garment industry. He says “just look at the average
size of orders—it’s been going down for years. It went from hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands. And it will keep going down until it approaches a
unit of one.” This trend is arising because the internet enables customers to shop 24 hours a day while encouraging them to expect continuous access to
new styles of custom-tailored clothing. Numerous companies, such as Amazon.com, are exploring “click, buy, and make” order-to-delivery platforms that
would enable them to use technology-intensive manufacturing processes to produce garments in batch sizes of one.
Source: Khan, Natasha. “Tech Puts Fast Fashion on Steroids,” The Wall Street Journal, April 10, 2018, p. B7.
Economic order quantity (EOQ) is the ideal order quantity a company should purchase for its inventory given a set cost of production, a certain demand rate,
and other variables. This is done to minimize inventory holding costs and order-related costs.
The Following excerpt is taken from How to make EOQ Relevant Again (Links to an external site.) (2012).
EOQ will increase as the annual demand and the cost of ordering increase and it will decrease as the cost of carrying inventory and the
The concepts of Just-in-Time (JIT) and Lean have led many to question the continued relevance of Economic Order Quantity (EOQ), whose function is to
identify the optimum order with the lowest cost parameter.
In response, yes, it is still valid as a basic analytic tool, however, many supply chain industry executives perceive it as irrelevant. Many companies cannot
apply it—even if they wanted to—because they do not know their acquisition costs to place an order or their yearly inventory carrying cost rate.
EOQ is used despite its highly restrictive assumptions that: demand is relatively constant and is known or predictable; the item is purchased in lots or
batches and not continuously; the order and preparation costs (acquisition or purchase cost per order) and the inventory carrying costs are constant and
known; and replacement of inventory occurs all at once. And knowing how to apply EOQ practically is just as important as being able to use the formula
Determine your metrics
EOQ involves determining the optimal quantity to purchase when orders are placed. For example, small orders result in low inventory levels and inventory
carrying costs, frequent orders and higher ordering costs; while large orders result in higher inventory levels and inventory carrying costs and infrequent
orders and lower ordering costs.
Alarmingly, many companies have never determined their cost of placing and processing a single purchase order (e.g., the time and extra cost to send in an
order for an item, receive it, handle the supplier’s invoice and pay for it). This cost of placing and processing a single paper-based purchase order (PO) is
often substantial—in the range of $35 to $200 per PO. The cost impact of placing and processing a single PO in many instances is further aggravated by the
higher receipt handling processing and inbound freight charges that may incur for smaller and more frequently delivered orders. Worse yet is that some
companies only use the holding cost as the extra cost of money invested in stock rather than an inventory carrying cost (ICC) rate. Normally, the holding cost
portion is the actual out-of-pocket expense for money borrowed from a bank or interest which varies with the prime borrowing rate. For others, the holding
cost may constitute the imputed “opportunity cost” on the use of equity capital earned by investing it in a high yielding security.
In your initial post, defend your position on batch size and tell whether Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) is relevant to your selected company/industry.
Identify how metrics are used in the company/industry to support use of batch size or EOQ. Enter your company’s story along with narrative and relevant
metrics in the initial post of the Discussion Forum.