Signs of a slowly improving global economy are starting to become apparent but far from robust. Consumers have a pent-up need to spend the cash they have amassed. But, production in the Far East is trying to catch up to this demand. Then, there is the massive shipping backlog and serious shortage of truck drivers. Experts suggest these adverse conditions could last well into late next year and possible the following year as well.
Companies know they need to focus on how they can reduce their cost of investing in and managing their inventories while improving their customer service. However, it is move daunting due to COVID, mandates and restrictions and concern about where all this is going.
Demand placed on suppliers to provide affordable products at the exact moment needed has increased exponentially. How can you effectively insure you have what your customers need when they need it? With the dramatic growth of e-Commerce, companies have an even bigger dilemma managing multiple sources of demand. Forecasting and demand planning applications can do more than help provide visibility into what lies ahead. These solutions can increase value propositions critical to thriving in a competitive industry in the short and longer term.
In any industry, compelling value propositions add up to hallmarks of success. In wholesale distribution, leading value propositions include reliability, customer service, and pricing. And, as markets fluctuate, retailers and manufacturers count on distributors to supply goods rapidly and cost-effectively. But when they aren’t able to provide immediate value, distributors can find that customer patience wears thin quickly.
So, what gets in the way of providing value? Most frequently it’s the inability to balance stock levels with service levels. Hold onto too much inventory, and you end up paying for items that collect dust in the warehouse. Stock too little inventory and you won’t be able to keep up with customer requests. Sometimes wholesale distributors end up with both problems: holding excess stock of items customers don’t need.
That’s where today’s cloud-based inventory planning & optimization solutions come in. With these solutions, companies can more easily amplify value propositions—while cutting unnecessary operational costs. Proper inventory management will literally turn current and future inventory into cash by:
1. Planning and optimizing all items at all locations, ultimately eliminating backorders and over-stocks from the picture.
2. Reallocating employee labor from difficult spreadsheets and multi-channel inventory software to increase productivity and further grow business.
People are creatures of habit, which is one reason why spreadsheets are reused from year to year. Unfortunately, after cutting and pasting information, the spreadsheet might not work the way it did before — formulas can be damaged, links can be broken, or cells can be overwritten.
Many disruptions to the daily workday are common reasons personnel make data entry errors such as skipped entries or transposed numbers. A PricewaterhouseCoopers study shows that up to 91 percent of sophisticated spreadsheets contain errors. Unfortunately, if auditors know there are spreadsheet errors, so do fraudsters. For example, inadequate spreadsheet controls may lead to errors, misstatements, and possibly fraud.
Keeping track of reorder points and safety stock for hundreds or thousands of items is becoming an overwhelming task. The time involved to update and maintain these spreadsheets can take hundreds of hours every week. Moreover, demand is constantly changing which can make the data stale and behind the curve for the most recent trends. This can lead to under-stocking causing lost sales and overstock creating excess inventory. In cases, a loss and a waste of valuable cash.
Don’t waste time, improve your planning with an advanced technology optimization solution now.