The year 2018 brings a continuing outlook of solid global economies and growth opportunities. Balancing near term resilience with longer-term objectives is still an on-going process. Improving your competitive advantage responsibly and efficiently without incurring major costs should be at the top of your list. Reducing costs, buying less, increasing productivity, improving cash flow are critical components of a sound inventory strategy. Keeping these inventory objectives balanced and in perspective, requires an effective way to rationalize and prioritize important business demands.
If your company tends to reduce items with the highest investment value because it creates a larger reduction faster it actually creates more potential stock outs, backorders and increased expedited shipping – and, even more importantly, customer dissatisfaction. We all know that when customers are unhappy they become former customers. Randomly cutting inventory has been proven repeatedly to be the wrong strategy as does overstocking your inventory.
As supply chains grow more complex, manual planning can hinder your growth and customer satisfaction.
A case in point: Global Link Distribution, a B2B merchant of locks and door hardware, shelving, kitchen and bathroom equipment and other products to manufacturers in the recreational vehicle (RV) industry, competes in a highly cyclical and seasonal market that puts a premium on parts availability when and where needed.
Global Link found the ideal solution with VALOGIX Inventory Planner, tightly integrating with its core NetSuite ERP system to deliver advanced inventory planning, forecasting, and optimization. Since going live on the Valogix cloud solution, Global Link has eliminated the time-consuming, manual, and error-prone processes of attempting to plan inventory in spreadsheets while dramatically improving its forecasting precision.
“With Valogix, you don’t have to guess—the demand populates and the algorithms get to work. We can make the unknown, known, so we can plan to bring on new customers without jeopardizing flow to existing customers,” Pairitz said. “We have much more control and sophisticated forecasting capabilities with the Valogix/NetSuite solution, and that strengthens our ability to meet customer needs and grow market share.”
Now, more than ever, you have many affordable choices for improving your inventory investment and performance. The Cloud is a viable alternative to investing in On-Premise inventory software. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provides an affordable and flexible way to utilize some of the most powerful inventory planning solutions on the market.
SaaS inventory planning applications provide many benefits you just cannot achieve on-premise. By going to a SaaS model, you avoid the up-front capital requirements and funding requests, and pay for the software as an on-going expense. There is generally less overall set-up time, and in some cases, companies can often leverage the hosted solution’s existing integrations with existing key ERP solutions.
Given a more rapid implementation, the time-to-value and positive cash flow returns are more rapid than a traditionally deployed on-premise implementation. No installed application software or hardware to manage over time.
Some companies are finding that they are able to overcome the objections or rules against implementing software that does not come from the company’s ERP provider if they use a SaaS model. Users can truly access these solutions when they need them anytime and anywhere 24x7.
The software will periodically be automatically upgraded with enhancements to functionality. This should serve to keep users on the current platform, and keep them from falling behind the state of the art over time, sometimes badly so.
So, before you wait another moment, do yourself, your employees, and your customers a favor. Take a serious look at Cloud-based inventory planning and optimization solutions and begin 2018 with a clear advantage to a better performing inmventory.
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