Lean Tactics - Article
As we know it today, Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) is used to monitor and replenish a distributor’s inventory by a supplier. However, VMI implies some degree of collaboration, between the two, that link the different planning processes of each partner. There are several ways to specify these links between
each partner’s processes. Are there common objectives? Are there any requirements and/or constraints?
One of the keys to successful marketing is identifying what makes your business
unique and letting everybody know about it. This allows prospects to understand
why they should buy from you and reaffirms to customers why they should
continue to do business with you. This is often called a “Unique Selling
Proposition” – a “USP”.
This article explains how to develop a unique selling proposition for your business. It explains what a unique selling proposition is and how to use it. It takes you through a process to clearly gain an understanding of what differentiates your business from the competitors in the eyes of your current and potential customers. “Why should customers buy from me and not my competition? The impact of the answer is a powerful tool in focusing your company on delivering the promise of the “USP”, thereby helping to improve your company’s performance.
The Business Intelligence & Supply Chain Management Challenge: Create Profit, Service Level & Working Capital Improvement - A Thought Leadership White Paper
Fashions change, seasons change, and so does your supply chain. So, when was the last time you looked at your entire supply chain process to determine if it is keeping up with the times? Recent supply chain management developments have dramatically changed how your business can compete; supply chain versus supply chain. Yes, your supply chain can be a competitive advantage and a source of business value to your company. You know your supply chain management needs to be updated when…well; it actually can be a little bit different for every company. But, if you have not examined your inventory and supply chain “drivers”, in some time, and have not fully recognized the value of new “business intelligence” applications, then maybe it’s time to take a look at how some new innovations can impact profit, service level and working capital improvement. Fortunately, even small companies can look and act big, challenging their thinking about their supply chains and implementing practical and realistic solutions.
Start by Imagining This: An RFID portal at your warehouse/DC dock door reads data on RFID tags (“what or who are you?”), applied at the supplier source, and simultaneously, from cartons, pallets or other types of containers as they are unloaded from the truck. RFID provides immediate verification (“this is who I am”) of all the contents of the load and real-time visibility. Data is transferred to your warehouse management system (WMS). The WMS then reconciles the product received against open purchase orders. It identifies those items that can be cross-docked (“tagged” against open customer orders) and those that can be staged for stock put-away.
For at least 30 years now, manufacturing enterprises have sought ways to better anticipate and synchronize their supply and demand of products utilizing a Sales, Inventory & Operations Planning (SI&OP) process. Done well, it enables effective “total supply chain management”. As to success, to one degree of another some report that they are less than satisfied with the results of their initiatives as well as getting different stakeholders of an enterprise on the same page. Many still believe that planning systems don’t need to have - or prefer little sales input (and certainly no ownership) - and that it doesn’t need to get “tested” against the supply chain’s ability to provide product availability. SI&OP forces that dialogue among the stakeholders.
A Thought Leadership White Paper
Strategic & Executive Overview – Looking At The Supply Chain In Total. Some recent client engagements have brought to mind Einstein’s quote – “Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results, is insanity.”
Lean Thinking helps you strip away non-essential processes and wasteful activities so you can focus on the core value-added service your customers really want.
During this current economic turbulence, companies need to reduce operational costs but still be able to develop new competitive advantages. That’s why more companies are embracing the concept of Lean Thinking, which was first popularized by Toyota in that company’s efforts to streamline its internal operations so it could focus on those activities that added the most value to customers.
A THOUGHT LEADERSHIP WHITE PAPER
Where Are We Today? Wholesale Distributors have been in the business of managing their inventories for years…even generations. Yet most appear to be satisfied with the typical 3 to 4-inventory turns a year (some a little more, some a little - or a lot less). Frankly, I don’t understand why this is acceptable in an era where profits, cash flow and competitive advantage are critical success factors.
According to a recent study by MCA Associates, 60% of family-owned businesses do not have a full and active succession plan—and about 50% haven’t even thought about a choice of successor. These owners are in danger of having worked all their lives creating, building, and running a business only to have it fall into limbo when the time comes for their retirement or upon their untimely death or disablement.
Howard W. Coleman has worked with over 145 clients in distribution management and manufacturing consulting engagements.