Optimize the supply side of distribution operations
The key value proposition for any distributor is having the right item available for sale in the right quantity, at the right time, in the right place, at the right price (and cost). Any shortcoming in meeting this objective leads to lost business, potentially lost customers, and added costs. Too much of the wrong inventory at the wrong place or time inevitably adds to costs with no redeeming added value. Visibility is the key to achieving high availability and efficient distribution management.
Accurate, company-wide inventory data drives the ability to effectively create proactive, responsive replenishment operations and minimize inventory costs. To stay competitive, distributors need to know:
- The true availability and cost of the inventory from requisition through shipping.
- On-hand balance in each warehouse and location – in real time.
- Data and analytics on product movement, sales trends, current inventories and markets.
- Mathematically-based replenishment and distribution management planning.
- Detailed information, if needed, on lot / serial numbers, shelf life, expiration.
Without full visibility of inventory status and movement, distributors are unable to measure and improve supply-side performance.Show Next
A truly automated and integrated distribution system delivers visibility and control of the entire supply-side cycle of requisition management and approval, purchase order management and approval, inventory tracking and control, warehouse management, and picking and shipping management, removing the need to reenter and reorganize data between systems, and reducing the risk of errors.
Poorly integrated systems, collections of applications from different suppliers tied together through outside links, manual databases and spreadsheets uploaded through manual processes – these approaches cannot deliver the comprehensive coordinated visibility and control that you need to effectively manage distribution.Show Next
A 2015 Aberdeen report, “What Has Changed in Wholesale Distribution: 2015 & Beyond,” revealed that distribution market leaders invested twice as many resources in technology than their less-successful competitors. The report emphasized the need to change processes and invest in technology:*
- “Leaders are saying goodbye to manual processes by investing in automation at twice the rate of followers.”
- “These leaders are using automation to provide integrated workflows and collaboration to all parties in the demand-to-fulfill network, across each inventory and fulfill/deliver stream.”
For decades, distributors have been using software to manage their inventory and improve the purchasing process. But, the study found that simple transactional execution systems cannot deliver what distributors need to move ahead of the competition. Today’s distribution environment demands modern, connected technology to support collaboration and efficiency.
Distributors that are easy to do business with can build strong supplier relationships. When collaboration is built into the process, suppliers become trusted trading partners. Distributors who embrace collaboration and integration gain significant cost and service advantages.* From the Aberdeen Group’s February 2015 report “What has Changed in Wholesale Distribution : 2015 and Beyond” by Bob Heaney, Research Director, Supply Chain, Wholesale and Retail Practices.