Inventory Planning Blog

Inventory Planning Productivity a Critical Goal to Survive

Posted on Tue, Sep 07,2021@09:41 AM

Unique and unforeseen events are forcing every business manager to better analyze and utilize their resources. This includes capital, staff, facilities, vendors and more. Especially difficult as we emerge from the COVID lockdown is personnel. If you can’t add staff or find qualified people to fill open positions, you need to increase your existing productivity to compensate. And you need to do it fast. Want to do more inventory planning with the resources you have? Or maybe you need to move a person to another critical department but that would mean not being able to plan your entire inventory.

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Tags: cloud, inventory optimization, SaaS

Three Customer Experience Myths, According to Gartner Cloud Analysts

Posted on Tue, Dec 04,2018@08:43 AM

Gartner for the CloudThe performance gap between customer experience leaders and runners-up is widening, with those on top being disproportionately rewarded. Gartner Inc. said organizations must ignore three myths in order to achieve a superior customer experience.

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Tags: cloud

Reports and Spreadsheets Have a Place in Inventory Planning

Posted on Tue, Nov 05,2013@10:00 AM

But not for primary forecasting and replenishment planning

Reports and spreadsheets should be used to provide a basic level of information. However, many companies and planners use reports & spreadsheets to completely manage their inventory. To understand the use of these tools on effectiveness and efficiency in inventory planning let’s explore each one independently.

Reports
Many ERP and accounting systems have many standard reports that provide useful information. Usually, however, a company will create or build custom reports either in-house or through their 3rd party IT provider (Value Added Reseller – VAR). OK, so this may help because it provides a level of detail that a company or planner feels is necessary to better manage the inventory.

Assume your outside IT firm builds the report. It costs $5,000 to develop. Let’s also assume it is refreshed, updated, each day. Now what? This is static data and yes it is current but it just sits there and provides no efficiency for the planner. The planner must review and decide what the data suggests and what to do with the data.

But the real cost is much higher than the cost to develop the report. Every report, like spreadsheets must be maintained. Much like a car, the purchase price is just the beginning. Hours of a planner’s time are spent pouring over the results to make decisions. You need to count those hours as an associated cost. So, if a planner is paid say $45,000 per year, plus taxes and benefits the total annual cost is over $50,000. If 35% of a planner’s time is spent reviewing just the reports to manage the inventory, then the first year cost is $5,000 + $17,500 = $22,500. That is some expensive report. Are you getting your money’s worth? You still may not be done.

Most people who have reports will export the data from the report into a spreadsheet so they can better manipulate the data. Here is where the fun comes in.

Spreadsheets
The data from the report is now in the spreadsheet that you spent countless hours creating. The formulas in the cells calculate the numbers you need to evaluate your inventory and plan out the replenishments required.

The dangers inherent in spreadsheets are:
1.    Lack of Control
2.    Errors from:

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Tags: cloud, replenishment planning, forecasting, reports, Valogix, Spreadsheets

Advanced Inventory Solutions Complement ERP Systems

Posted on Tue, Aug 27,2013@12:01 PM

Advanced inventory planning solutions are known as decision support software. This means they are smart systems that forecast and plan optimal inventory requirements. They are superior to commonly used types of software; standard inventory transaction software and spreadsheets. Many of these solutions are both strategic and tactical tools. They cover long range inventory budget planning down to daily replenishment and problem solving.
 
Comparison to Spreadsheets
 
Spreadsheets are manual, time consuming. They do not provide intelligent part mix management and part specific forecasts. In addition, spreadsheets are extremely difficult to update and maintain current data effectively, plus they normally cannot be interfaced directly with enterprise and customer relationship software. Conducting quality assurance on the calculations and models is also difficult and based on a study by a leading international consulting firms over 90% of spreadsheets they audited contained significant errors. These errors led to the loss of millions of dollars.
 
Comparison with Standard Inventory Management other or Control Systems
 
Almost every inventory solution is a transaction (accounting) type system. This means they keep track of the physical movement of items on and off the shelf. These are “dumb” systems, meaning they are static and cannot intelligently determine what to stock, project demand, or create a complete replenishment plan. These systems are based on 40 year old plus, methods using ABC as the only part classification technique. They do not have leading-edge Exception Management capabilities which provide "alerts" to the User for unusually occurrences.
 
What Inventory Management Software can do:
 
• keep basic part information like: part number, description, cost, dimensions, etc.
• track parts movement: received, on order, on shelf, removed from the shelf, etc.
• provide a basic reorder point and min/max settings
• record the different bin locations where parts are stored
• provide an order for new parts needed, using standard reorder point, min/max, and safety stock
 
What Inventory Management Software cannot do:
 
• provide a system generated forecast or offer multiple advanced forecasting methods
• manage repair parts and their repair cycle (reverse logistics)
• provide an optimal inventory mix to improve service level while reducing cost
• offer multiple stocking and reordering policies
• manage parts specifically required for PM (preventative maintenance) schedules
• help to reduce overstock and excess part inventory
• manage by exception and provide key user alerts.
 
What Advanced Inventory Planning Solutions CAN DO:
 
• forecast parts demand with multiple models appropriate for different demand patterns
• plan for unlimited part and location combinations (scalable)
• provide advanced calculations for calculating shelf stock and reorder points
• calculate the optimal mix based on dynamic demand changes
• provide time phased plans and order for both new and repair items
• manage by exception and provide alerts to the planner
• identify overstock and excess inventory and provide redeployment strategies
• plan parts for preventative maintenance schedules
• multi-echelon or theatre planning - can plan at every stocking level both real and virtual
      (from master warehouse to stock kept with a field or service engineer)
• plan part life cycle, substitutes and supercedes, and end-of-life parts
 
Combining Transaction Systems + Advanced Planning Solutions
 
Advanced planning solutions do not replace the existing transaction systems. Instead, they are designed to complement and improve existing software. The best of all worlds is to add an advanced planning solution to an existing transaction system. This provides a more complete, robust system that dynamically plans based on what is happening now and projected for the future. Download our free whitepaper to find out more!

DMRP Smooth Flow Whitepaper
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Tags: Inventory Planning, cloud, inventory optimization, web based inventory software, cloud computing, Demand Planning, replenishment planning, Spreadsheets

Inventory Planning Feast or Famine

Posted on Mon, May 13,2013@10:00 AM

The vast majority of companies that own an inventory invariably use spreadsheets to control, manage and report. The types of companies vary from manufacturing, to wholesale distribution, to retail, to aftermarket services, to maintenance and repair operations. And this is true geographically and for companies from the very small to the largest. So why the fascination with spreadsheets?

I most cases, companies already own the software as part of a suite or as already installed on the computer they purchased. They are relatively low cost and have an abundance of features that make them attractive. It is also a case of “you don’t know what you don’t know”. Meaning, people are unaware of the availability of easy to use affordable, automated inventory planning software.

The dangers inherent in spreadsheets are:
Lack of Control
Errors from:

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Tags: Inventory Planning, cloud, inventory optimization, SaaS, Valogix, Spreadsheets

Greener Inventory Planning & Optimization

Posted on Mon, Apr 29,2013@10:00 AM

Greener Inventory Planning & Optimization

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Tags: Inventory Planning, cloud, inventory optimization, SaaS, optimization, Valogix

Inventory Planning: Reports and Spreadsheets

Posted on Mon, Feb 04,2013@10:00 AM

Reports and Spreadsheets– An Unproductive Combination for Inventory Planning

Reports and spreadsheets should be used to provide a basic level of information. However, many companies and planners use reports & spreadsheets to completely manage their inventory. To understand the use of these tools on effectiveness and efficiency in inventory planning let’s explore each one independently.

Read More

Tags: Inventory Planning, cloud, web based inventory software, NetSuite, Supply Chain Managment, IBM, mistakes, Spreadsheets

Inventory Planning and Optimization in the Cloud

Posted on Mon, Jan 28,2013@09:00 AM

Cloud Applications Going Forward

Advances in technology have allowed previous concepts like Time-Sharing and Shared servers and services to become a reality. Cloud computing today has real meaning and positive impact for companies in a true global economy. The future is that more business applications for mobile computing will be available and virtual software appliances will be developed.

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Tags: Inventory Planning, SAP Business One, cloud, inventory optimization, SaaS, NetSuite, IBM, Sage, Valogix

With Inventory Planning is "Status Quo" the Way to Go?

Posted on Mon, Jan 07,2013@11:24 AM

Why it pays to invest in inventory solutions

There are many reasons or excuses for not upgrading to a modern, easy to use advanced inventory tool.  Which Category do you fall in?

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Tags: Inventory Planning, SAP, cloud, SaaS, Demand Planning, Valogix, inventory management

The Benefits of Cloud Inventory Planning

Posted on Tue, Nov 27,2012@10:00 PM

Advanced inventory planning and optimization software in the cloud not only automates the entire planning process, it dramatically increases the positive cash flow of a company. By smartly reducing inventory investment, reducing stockouts, decreasing expedited shipping costs, and reducing planning time all contribute to more available cash. Add to that increased sales and productivity and the gains will also lead to an improved competitive advantage.

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Tags: Inventory Planning, cloud, inventory optimization, SaaS

Inventory Planning Tax Inventive for 2012 - US ONLY

Posted on Tue, Oct 02,2012@10:00 AM

Section 179 Investment Tax Incentive – 2012 – US Only.

In these challenging economic times, it is important to make use of every tool available to cut costs and improve after-tax profits. You may have the ability to deduct a large percent of your investment in IT, meaning hardware and software purchases made by December 31, 2012.

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Tags: Inventory Planning, cloud, inventory optimization, SaaS, Valogix

Valogix Web Based Inventory Software Now Available

Posted on Tue, Apr 17,2012@03:59 PM

Web based inventory software for business is becoming more plentiful. Solutions specifically built for the web are in great demand around the world. Take for example, Australia and New Zealand, which are experiencing not only increased demand but an increase in the number of available web based inventory software applications.

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Tags: cloud, SaaS, web based inventory software, Valogix, Inventory Planning Solutions

Inventory Planning and Optimization for 2012 – The Clear Advantage

Posted on Tue, Jan 10,2012@11:44 AM

Happy New Year!  2012 brings the promise of improving global economies. Balancing short term resilience with longer term needs is what is needed now.  Reducing costs, buying less, increasing productivity, improving cash flow is important, and to keep these inventory objectives balanced and in perspective you need an efficient way to optimize these important business demands.   Improve your competitive advantages responsibly and efficiently with inventory planning optimization solutions.  Waiting until its too late in your ordering cycles will invite your customers to investigate other opportunities, and that can happen by making the reduction of the wrong item at the wrong time.
 
If your company tends to reduce items with the highest investment because it creates a larger reduction faster, what it actually does is creates potential stock outs, higher backorders and increased expedited shipping – and, even more importantly, customer dis-satisfaction.  We all know that when customers are unhappy they become former customers.  Randomly cutting inventory has been proven time and time again to be the wrong strategy as does overstocking your inventory.

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Tags: Inventory Planning, SAP Business One, cloud, inventory optimization, SaaS, Forecasting Inventory, advanced inventory planning solutions, replenishment planning, IBM, Wholesale Distribution, Supply Chain, manufacturing

Valogix Inventory Solutions Include Genuine Inventory Optimization

Posted on Wed, Dec 21,2011@03:38 PM

There are a lot of inventory planning solutions available from all types of companies around the world.  Many are designed for large enterprise companies as they cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and are highly complex. Some so complex a math or science degree is required just to operate the system. Others at the low end may be just point solutions for just forecasting, as an example, or offer individual modules you need to buy separately.

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Tags: cloud, inventory optimization, Forecasting Inventory, Supply Chain, inventory management

User-Friendly and Secure Inventory Planning

Posted on Wed, Apr 13,2011@09:57 AM

If you're still using spreadsheets of yesteryear to plan your inventory, you are doing too much work. Constantly updating spreadsheets and trying to remember where you made changes leads to errors, resulting in stock outs and over-stocks – and costs you time and money.

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Tags: Inventory Planning, cloud, inventory optimization, Forecasting Inventory, cloud computing, replenishment planning