SIMMS 2014’s Improvements

When making your investigations into which stock management system you want for your business, one of the deciding factors should be “how often will it change?”. In the same vein, the question “will it continue to be without ‘this’ feature or ‘that’ one forever, no matter how often I message the manufacturer?”

SIMMS 2014 Inventory Management software provides the advantage over other packages in that it is designed, amended, augmented, improved, expanded and altered on a regular basis (at least three times per year) — and always has been.

Flexibility and willingness to change is not common with other software. Most of it you buy “as is” (or ‘out of the box’ as is commonly referred). Such limitations that you find in the software may possibly be changed or improved someday, but your own protestations and requests are most often ignored. The software manufacturers have got your money now and they most often don’t care about you getting any bells or whistles beyond what they offer in their stock package.

With SIMMS 2014 (and every other version produced) enhancement requests are free and will be added to upcoming releases of the software. For free. If you, however, need a modification immediately, KCSI can tailor the software to your specific requirements with very little extra cost, thus providing you with immediate results. Visit www.simmssoftware.com or email sales@kcsi.ca for more information about how SIMMS is interested in becoming even more of an inventory solution that will grow with you and your company’s needs.

Inventory Rotation

Whether you get slow-moving stock out of your store through sales or by sending it back to suppliers, you must have a schedule for how long you will keep any given item in the backroom.

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Components may get old or stale, packaging may become outdated or, depending on the type of stock, new versions may come out while you still have the old one sitting in inventory. Keep a record of when a shipment comes into your store, and make sure that your supplier knows that you wish to be notified about any impending changes in stock offerings so that you can plan your backroom rotation.

Moving old stock to the front of the shelf and placing new stock behind it helps to prevent the stock from out-dating. Even non-perishable items can eventually start to look old and worn if they sit on the shelf too long or can accumulate dust. Packaging that is exposed to natural sunlight will fade over time in especially slow-selling products. Your best practice is to completely remove the older items from the shelf when new stock comes in and wipe down the shelf space and the older packages to make sure that they are clean. Place your newest stock toward the back of the shelf, and replace the older stock at the front of the shelf, guaranteeing that these items are to be grabbed first when someone wants to buy the item.

1. Put newly received goods to the back of the storage area, or underneath older stock items so that the older stock is used first;

2. Record production date and use by or best before dates on food items that are not scheduled to be used or further processed immediately;

3. Record the receipt date and use by or best before date on foods as they are received to ensure clear identification of stock age;

4. Record the use by or best before date and traceability details on food items after opening or when they are decanted into other containers;

5. Use oldest items first.

Documented FIFO policies can include written procedure that ensures correct product rotation and usage according to shelf life and product date codes.

The Dog and the Jeep

A fellow from Michigan buys himself a brand-new $30,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee for Christmas. He goes down to his favorite bar and celebrates his purchase by tossing down a few too many brews with his buddies. In one of those male bonding rituals five of them decide to take his new vehicle for a test drive on a duck hunting expedition. They load up the Jeep with the dog, the guns, the decoys, and the beer, and head out to a nearby lake.

It’s the dead of winter, and of course the lake is frozen, so they need to make a hole in the ice to create a natural landing area for the ducks and decoys. It is common practice in Michigan to drive your vehicle out onto the frozen lake, and it is also common (if slightly illegal) to make a hole in the ice using dynamite. Our fellows have nothing to worry about on that score, because one member of the party works for a construction team, and happened to bring some dynamite along. The stick has a short twenty-second fuse.

The group is all set up and ready for action. Their shotguns are loaded with duck pellets, and they have beer, warm clothes, and a hunting dog. Still chugging down a seemingly bottomless supply of six-packs, the group considers how to safely dynamite a hole through the ice. One of these rocket scientists points out that the dynamite should explode at a location far from where they are standing. Another notes the risk of slipping on the ice when running away from a burning fuse. So they eventually settle on a plan to light the fuse and throw the dynamite out onto the ice as far as possible.

There is a bit of contention over who has the best throw­ing arm , and eventually the owner of the Jeep wins that honor. Once that question is settled, he walks about twenty feet out and holds the stick of dynamite at the ready while one of his companions lights the fuse with a Zippo. As soon as he hears the fuse sizzle, he hurls it across the ice at a great velocity and runs in the other direction.

Unfortunately, a member of another species has spotted his master’s arm motions and comes to an instinctive deci­sion. Remember a couple of paragraphs back when I mentioned the vehicle, the beer, the guns, and the dog? Yes, the dog: a trained black Labrador, born and bred for retrieving, especially things thrown by his owner. As soon as dynamite leaves hand, the dog sprints across the ice, hell-bent on wrapping his jaws around that enticing stick-shaped object.

Five frantic fellows immediately begin hollering at the dog, trying to get him to stop chasing the dynamite. Their cries fall on deaf ears. Before  you know it, the retriever is headed back to his owner, proudly carrying the stick of dy­namite with the burning twenty-second fuse. The group continues to yell and wave their arms
while the happy dog trots toward them. In a desperate act its master grabs his shotgun and fires at his own dog.

The gun is loaded with duck shot, and confuses the dog more than it hurts him. Bewildered, he continues toward his master, who shoots at man’s best friend again. Finally com­prehending that this ow ner has become insane, the dog runs for cover with his tail between his legs. And the nearest cover is right under the brand-new Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Boom! The dog and the Jeep are blown to bits and sink to the  bottom of the  lake, leaving  a large ice hole in their wake. The stranded men stand staring at the water with stu­pid looks on  their  faces, and the owner of the Jeep is left to explain the misadventure to his insurance company.

Needless to say, they determined that sinking a vehicle in a lake by the illegal use of explosives is not covered under their policy, and  the  owner is still making $400 monthly payments on his brand-new Jeep at the bottom of the lake.

10 Improvements to Warehouse Efficiency

simms_efficiencyHere are some ready techniques to improve your stock management efficiency:

Analyze your current picking methodology
Consider automation
Create “wheelhouse” zones in your picking area
Create a warehouse within a warehouse
Designate only two or three standard shipping cartons
Evaluate your storage equipment to ensure proper application
Implement an incentive program for pickers
Profile your orders
Understand your technology options
Use software to sequence your orders

KCSI Data Conversion

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When it comes to data conversion services, we at KCSI work tirelessly not just to make sure that they are of the highest quality, but also that they are easily accessible, always available, and that the entire working process is simple and hassle free so you can always come to us and take advantage of our data conversion services without having to worry about other things.

At the start of the actual implementation process, data conversion requirements are examined in much more detail in order to develop a data conversion plan and better estimate the hours of effort required. Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and a detailed data conversion plan is developed. Data conversions are generally completed in two steps: a test conversion of a sample of existing data and a final conversion of live data at the time the new system is going to be used live in production. Data conversion results are verified by customer and KCSI consultants for accuracy and completeness.

We can import data from an existing database or text file. We can assist you in generating an import file from most systems or do the entire conversion process for you. Consult with your KCSI sales representative or our SIMMS Authorized Resellers to find out how long it will take and the cost involved in converting your data.

Lest We Forget

God of our fathers, known of old—
Lord of our far-flung battle line—
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies—
The Captains and the Kings depart—
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

Far-called our navies melt away—
On dune and headland sinks the fire—
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe—
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard—
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding calls not Thee to guard.
For frantic boast and foolish word,
Thy Mercy on Thy People, Lord!
Amen.