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Christine LeventisWenqiang XiaoOperations ManagementMarch 31, 2016Hewlett-Packard: DeskJet Printer Supply ChainHewlett-Packard (HP) was founded in 1939 as an electronic test and measurement equipment company. Over the years, the company diversified into computers and peripherals products, which now dominate its sales. HP introduced the DeskJet printer in 1988, and soon after it became one of the company’s most successful products. However, inventory growth trailed close behind sales growth, thus causing unsatisfactory product availability. Conflicting goals among HP’s operations across three continents (Europe, Asia-Pacific, and North America) prevented managers in the production, materials, and distribution divisions from reaching a consensus on the issue of inventory management. Two main issues existed: finding the optimal way to meet consumer needs while minimizing inventory and how to attain consensus of the right level of inventory among the managers from various divisions. HP needed a consistent method for setting and executing inventory goals, as the European distribution center (DC) in particular was struggling to find space to store products. Brent Cartier, a manager at HP’s Materials Department in Vancouver, was tasked with solving this inventory issue.