Multi-echelon inventory optimization
Optimize inventories across the network to improve service levels while lowering costs.


Multi-echelon inventory optimization (MEIO) balances inventories across the entire distribution network, taking into account the interdependencies between echelons. Organizations that go beyond single-echelon inventory optimization (IO) offer highly competitive service levels and see a reduction in – or elimination of – stockouts.

An Aberdeen Group report states that companies using MEIO are twice as likely to meet the challenge of balancing cost and service levels across their networks than companies not using MEIO. The report further states that MEIO users are twice as likely to tie target-setting to their S&OP process. Companies that deploy MEIO obtain a 28% increase in inventory turns without any decrease in customer service levels. Supply chain practitioners have identified MEIO as a top priority.

MEIO helps organizations:


  • Optimize inventory strategies across the entire network.
  • Model with different inventory strategies.
  • See inventory reductions of 10-30% or more.
  • Increase service levels while cutting inventory.
  • Minimize investment balance while achieving service levels.
  • Automate the inventory planning process.

Featured resources

Solution brochure

MEIO application

Case study

Aurobindo saw a 99% increase in inventory utilization

White paper

Are you solving the symptom or the problem?

Support for omnichannel optimization

Optimize inventories across the entire distribution network, taking into account the interdependencies between echelons. Model and run what-if scenarios with different inventory strategies, including service levels. Support reduction of investment balance while achieving service levels. Automate more of the inventory planning process (manage by exception).

True lead time

Lead time has a huge impact on inventory levels, customer service, and finance. While most organizations have a supplier’s commitment for lead time, and plan based on lead time that is constant, it is far more effective to plan based on actual lead time, which varies. In general, the longer the lead time, the larger the safety stock and total inventory. Longer lead time also increases the dependence on forecast accuracy, which is why Vanguard’s unified planning system stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Support for bill of distribution and bill of material

Oftentimes organizations manufacture goods or ship products that include multiple items. This is called a bill of material (BOM) or bill of distribution. Other organizations may require kitting, a process of combining multiple SKUs together to create a new SKU. This can become very complicated; sometimes there are multiple nested BOMs. Vanguard Predictive Planning supports the most complex requirements in this space. No matter how lengthy the list of parts or how difficult the logic, from airplane engines to tanks, Vanguard likely has worked with a client with similar needs.

Automation of inventory strategies

There are infinite possibilities for inventory strategies. Vanguard enables organizations to create as many strategies as their business requires. What happens when an organization constantly launches new products, or products are evolving that require a reassessment of the correct inventory strategy? This is a time-consuming process for certain organizations. Vanguard Predictive Planning auto-assigns inventory strategies based on rules and attributes of items. This is a game changer.

What our clients have to say

Joachim Schwarzkopf MBA, PhD

Senior Portfolio Manager, Novartis – Vaccines & Diagnostics

"We are making strategic decisions that have long-term impacts on our business. Without Vanguard, we would not have the visibility and analysis we need to make the right decisions."

Ana Rodriguez

Director, Enterprise Applications and Integrations

"Vanguard has enabled Skullcandy to be more automated and calculated with our Demand Planning. The usability and thorough on-boarding and configuration process offered by Vanguard enabled us to completely migrate from our historical software very quickly"

Brent Phillips

Director of Demand Planning at Traeger Grills

“Our team selected Vanguard Software because we believe they are the best solution for our current demand planning needs and future supply planning needs.”

Renee Thomas Jacobs

CEO, Buy Auto Parts

"From the first time we loaded our data into Vanguard, we've been happy with the results. Between heightening our understanding of sales cycle curves, the immense flexibility, and responsiveness of the platform, and providing a single view of all items and categories, we've had a very positive experience."

Jim Cafferty

Lead Evaluator for Winzer

“One vendor stood head and shoulders above the others through the process — Vanguard Software. Vanguard consistently worked harder and provided more tangible, high-quality data and answers to questions than any other competitor.”

Vijay Ramadoss

IT Technical & Management Expert

"Vanguard is really easy to use and allows you to quickly pull demand data to use to support the business. Vanguard’s staff is always willing to help out with any question/concern I have about the system/information. Vanguard’s onsite training was extremely beneficial to help learn the tricks of the tool."

Geoffrey Taylor

Logistics and Inventory Manager, AFT Pharmaceuticals

"We looked for a software which could deliver the necessary requirement for our business and allows for customization. Vanguard has that capability and proven to be a reliable software, with a good supporting team behind it."

Cameron Yee

Business Analytics Manager, Buy Auto Parts

"After reviewing five different forecast systems, Vanguard excelled in all our requirements. Vanguard has great visualization and interface tools to assist with Ad-hoc and strategic analysis. The ability to measure statistical forecast accuracy greatly adds merit to the competency of the system. What really sold us was the exceptional customer service support to maximize the full potential of the software."

David White

Business Intelligence Manager, Endeavour

"After the initial Pre Sales demonstrations to our prospects, the most common statement is not whether they wanted to go ahead, it is when should we start the trial."

Ewelina Piasecka

Demand Planning Manager, Sensata Technologies

"Vanguard brought massive, positive improvements to purchasing, confidence, and stock reduction. Their system helped us stabilize production. That saved us money, but it also enabled us to grow the business more sustainably. Instead of managing spikes in demand, we achieved much greater stability in production scheduling and fulfillment."

Curt Mason

Financial Analyst, Francesca's

"We use Vanguard to effectively create and distribute sales plans to our field leadership to help them manage their business units."

Dave Palew

Director of Supply Chain, Aurobindo Pharma USA

"At its core, Vanguard Forecast Server is a user-friendly forecast generator with powerful analytical tools and easy-to-read reports. As users become more adept with the system, their ability to manage and manipulate forecasts increases tremendously. The results are consistently more accurate forecasts, time and again, and better forecast accuracy leads directly to a better bottom line for our business."

Marcia Ferrill

Assistant Director, Planning and Development – Kansas Department of Transportation

"Vanguard's forecasting process makes us so much more effective as an agency, especially when every dollar really counts."

Patty Thompson

Sr. Accountant, SDOT

"South Dakota DOT had heard from another State DOT about how they forecast their cash, and because we had been looking for that type of system, we spoke with that agency and decided to inquire about getting a similar system tweaked to fit our needs."

Tim Oligmueller

Director of Business Intelligence, Keen Footwear

"The reason I chose Vanguard was the quality of the pre-sales support and assistance in setting up a proof of concept with our actual data. While functionality was similar between all the choices your team and immediate sales support are what closed the deal."

Chris Patterson

Demand Planning Manager, Natrol

"Vanguard is a premier forecasting tool for businesses of all sizes. The data flexibility, reporting tools, continuous support is why we chose Vanguard over other software solutions."

Carl Turner

Vice President of Supply Chain, Mayne Pharma

"Our company grew rapidly with the acquisition of a large number of products that more than doubled our SKU (stock-keeping units) base. We were implementing a robust Sales and Operations (S&OP) process and needed a tool to assist our team in forecasting demand. We evaluated multiple solutions and continued to return to Vanguard based on their solution and the quality of their design and support team. Since implementing Vanguard we have seen a substantial improvement in our forward-looking forecast as measured by our Mean Absolute Percentage Error. We are confident we made the right selection in choosing Vanguard."

Meet a few of our clients

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