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Reorganization of Your Business Concerns

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When your business is trending new of late, re-assessment may not be enough of a solution. If the changes in your market share have been more drastic, then it is likely a re-organization is required.

Some indicators of a needed re-organization are:

1) That your most important decision processes are too vague or too complicated, and waste more resources than they produce.

2) Changes to important personnel either dilute the energy of the company or alter the rhythm of business standards.

3) Competition has become stronger from new sources or a new business model has been adopted by a chief competitor.

4) For three consecutive quarters there has been diminished financial returns. At such a point, some drastic moves are needed instead of the piece-by-piece adjustments you had made previously.

Re-organizations should be implemented methodically and with a positive tone. Despite any panic you may feel, the message and the way it is delivered to your staff must be from the mindset of building and improving.

SIMMS 2013 Inventory Management software can help you achieve the goals you have for your company. Visit www.simmssoftware.com or email sales@kcsi.ca for more information.

How Inventory Management Helps Your Business

When you make the decision to improve the methods you use in managing stock, the processes you choose must regulate every aspect of your inventory coordination at every moment from your initial order up until sales of the items.

If you have a small business, there are a limited number of steps you will need to take to implement these processes. However, large retail chains have many more important points to consider regarding the management of stock. The process of inventory management for one of these large retailers often follow the same steps regardless of the product ordered. First, a specific store you will find that you need a product, after that the store manager must request that the product is returned to it. The knowledge management is important to make that all orders can be met properly.

A more detailed form of stock management is more commonly encountered in an environment of a chain of stores nationwide as a department store. In stores like this, there are often several different places to fight for a specific amount of products. In addition, there are important points for a good relationship between the initial order and final sale. It is common for these processes to require the use of a management program to expedite all deliveries of products. Shipments are often sent to a central repository where all orders are collected. Large shipments can be broken into smaller ones and shipped to individual sites.

In some small shops such management processes can be done in a very easy and simplified manner, making the inventory management process less complex and decreasing the potential can be expected to prospective buyers. The main goal for a stock management program in a company is that all deliveries can be made early enough to satisfy your customer. To meet this goal, you need a precise and coordinated stock solution to emphasize your control of this goal. SIMMS 2012 Inventory Management software will provide all the features you need whether your business is large or small.

Visit www.simmssoftware.com or email sales@kcsi.ca for more information.

Processing Stock by Proximity

When your company expects improvement over a period of time it bases its assessment of its progress on the plan it established early on. As each quarter of the fiscal year passes the review should focus on turnovers when inventory practices are examined. The throughput of your warehousing system should be streamlined by placement of items nearest the shipping bay in order of frequency — the high turnover items should have the shortest movement scale, but when coming in and when going out.

Other design concepts you should address are:

  • Cost to serve modeling that supports an optimized solution for you
  • Dynamic inventory targets reflecting varying demand patterns
  • Improved demand forecasting to allow for ideal stock quantities
  • Management techniques to minimize workflow and costs
  • Optimized target inventories (holding cost vs. ordering cost vs. service)
  • Safety stock requirements that meet specified service targets
  • Streamlined warehouse design/stores layout, handling practices and workflows
  • Tactical stock location(s) and picking strategies
  • Warehouse automation and materials handling practices

For more ideas of how to recalibrate your inventory storage area for optimum results, visit www.simmssoftware.com or email sales@kcsi.ca.

Self-Protection with SIMMS 2012

For every business, the transactional and customer/vendor information is as valuable as gold. Therefore, ever company with a data system should devise or take advantage of a systematic, scheduled backup of its data. SIMMS 2012 Inventory Management software provides features for data backups to be performed at any time, thus feeling confident of their information and system integrity and security.

Backups of your SIMMS Installer files should be performed each time that a upgrade, service pack or full version is released. Next, your company files (database backups) can be backed up as often as one’s in-house IT Department schedules them. For instance, if each week your business conducts a sizable number of transactions or item movements/adjustments, a weekly backup (at least that often) are advised and can be performed manually by any administrative user.

If you have on your IT network a full-featured version 0f Microsoft SQL Server (as opposed to the ‘runtime’ version of SQL Server that comes with your first SIMMS installation) then your IT Department can set up a schedule wherein automatic backups of your SIMMS data are conducted by the system itself.

To learn more about how SIMMS can help you retain or improve the integrity and safety of your data, visit www.simmssoftware.com or email sales@kcsi.ca today.

Your Use of Manufacturer’s Lots

SIMMS 2012 Inventory Management software empowers you to manage manufacturer’s lot information, from the entry of the items into the management system to its usage within the system to the issue of the items to your customers. Manufacturers assign lot numbers to stock, and when you build things in-house, you assign them lot numbers.

Within SIMMS, three methods for automatic lot selection exist: By Entry Order, By Expiration Date, or By Manual Selection.

If your system holds stock that has been in storage for a long period of time, then the By Entry Order method is for you. Thus if you get an order for 50 widgets from a customer, received fifty of them a month ago, and another fifty last week, SIMMS will select the widgets on the sales order/invoice that entered the system first — establishing a FIFO (first-in, first-out) system of selection.

If your system contains stock items with expiration dates, then the By Expiration Date method is for you. SIMMS will automatically choose the number of items you need from amongst those with the earliest expiration dates first, and then selects from the group with the next most-current expiration, then the next, and so on. If you have no items that have expiration data, then choose By Entry Order as your default because it will encourage the use of your eldest items, and thus help you keep the turnover of your stock in progress.

The By Manual Selection method is available for those who want to manually select the items you want to select at the time, based upon whatever criteria is the most important to you at the moment.

For more information, visit www.simmssoftware.com or email sales@kcsi.ca to learn more about how SIMMS 2012 can help you select and apply a method for the selection of manufacturer’s lot data within your inventory system.

Barcodes and UPCs 101

Most companies have some experience with barcoding and scanning, either with their creditors or from their current system of inventory checking.

Most packaged products employ barcodes and universal product codes (UPCs). These standardized barcodes are in the UPC-A code format, often known as 1D (one dimensional). They are 12 digits long and look something like this:

The UPC number itself is referred to as the GTIN (Global Trade Item Number), and it is composed of two sections: The UPC Company Prefix and the number that you have assigned to that unique product. This first component, the UPC Company Prefix, is between 6 and 10 digits long. The number of digits is based on how many products to which you will need to assign numbers. If you have thousands of products, your company prefix will need to be fewer digits. If you have just a few products, your company prefix will likely be closer to 10 digits long. This company prefix number will represent you as the manufacturer on all of your products (such as production numbers used to label kitting or BOM projects produced in-house), as well as in any EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) applications. The next section is your unique number that is used to refer to a particular product. It is called an “Item Reference Number.” This number is usually decided by the manufacturer to assign the unique Item Reference Number for a given product. The last number is a check digit calculated from the previous 11 digits. It is usually not assigned randomly.

SIMMS 2012 Inventory Management software has full 1D barcode capabilities as well as the more modern and elaborate 2D type (literally a two dimensional barcode that can be scanned) that can best be described as looking like a tiny version of a crossword puzzle. Within its layout all the 1D information is included, but additionally contains, costing and pricing information, in-house and/or assigned serial numbers, and many other details you can setup within SIMMS.

To learn more about barcoding and the numerous mobile applications on which SIMMS 2012operates and the models of barcode scanners that work perfectly with SIMMS, visit www.simmssoftware.com or email sales@kcsi.ca for more information.

SIMMS 2012’s Kitting and Processing

With SIMMS 2012 Inventory Management system, you can take full control of any and all in-house manufacturing projects. Works-In-Process (WIPs) and Bills Of Materials (BOMs) are easily estimated, planned, monitored and administered using SIMMS’ many tools will  handle all aspects of your business’ stock coordination.

In your project processing, the preparation of your supplies is an important detail toward their completion. Therefore, all impediments to each step of the process need to be both smooth and reliable. SIMMS allows users to view and improve each of the set steps in any project.

Sometimes, you may assemble products before you  ship them. Sometimes you may be called to include dependent items along with a master item into a transaction at one time by just having to select and insert the master item (as in Phantom Kitting). If so, then SIMMS 2012’s Advanced Kitting process is the ideal solution to help you manage production and BOM assembly without materials-related problems.

With the feature-rich BOM features, you can thoroughly manage the kitting requirements to allow distributors, assemble-to-order industries, and other small manufacturers to focus on other crucial issues without becoming bogged down in complex manufacturing processes. Complex BOMs can pose numerous problems because they can require coordination amongst many different teams (including design, manufacturing, quality, and procurement). Often there are multiple sites, systems and teams that access different versions of the data at different times.

For more information on processing and kitting, visit www.simmssoftware.com or email sales@kcsi.ca.

Managing Stock for Others

The management of stock for your own business should employ a system of precision and reliability so that your financial investment and profit margin are easy to know and improve. Perhaps your company acts as a holding location for inventory that belongs to other companies either by coordinating the delivery of stock items, their storage, or both. Some firms specialize in this practice, and the dispersal and receipt of tracked items are their stock and trade (pardon the pun). In fact, some firms who control their own storage space use this ability to store the goods of others to partially defer or, hopefully completely, offset their own stocking expenses: bring in monthly fees from others that pay for their storage of their own goods.

If you coordinate the accurate storage of others’ materials and thus are responsible for their safe and competent storage, you will need to establish a hub system that establishes a main area/zone that is central to each client. If your storage areas are organized as bays or sections, rooms or shelves, your attention to detail is of utmost importance. Another priceless asset in your tracking policies is a formalized recording and reporting system that is hopefully computerized and which functions by the processes of ins and outs. Clients who have similar items housed with you must rely on your accuracy in keeping things separate. Names and labels that clearly designate your clients are very important so that if in the course of receiving and physical handling of items that they can be easily returned to the client’s designated section(s) if they accidentally were moved during the handling of materials belonging to others.

If you do a monthly formal inventory of your own items, you should perform a similar physical count of clients’ items in the same manner, but on a different date and time. This concentration on precision is something upon which your clients must rely and for which you are completely responsible. For more tips on how to manage stock with accuracy and precision, visit www.simmssoftware.com or email sales@kcsi.ca.

 

Inventory by Exception: The Road to Ruin

A number of companies employ a method of inventory counting known as Inventory by Exception. In this practice, companies make confirmations of items when they are handled (known as “touching”). These touches are made note of roughly and make this method an antiquated and inaccurate practice in today’s world of precision and technology.

Items that often fall under this practice of fleeting inventory are:

items that are the most recently acquired (and thus fresh in memory),

items that are attached to the in-house computing network (such as backup drives, new network routers or harddrives, etc.),

items shipped away to be repaired or upgraded,

items that receive routinely-scheduled maintenance or have settings adjusted and monitored),

items that are shared or pooled or transferred from zone to zone (warehouse to warehouse, room to room, department to department)

Too often these stock pieces are tracked by someone’s “mental note” and are never counted as part of the stock, but all assets (and its usually assets like these that are counted in such a cavalier fashion) need to be tracked. In order to prevent items disappearing and being replaced with older and imperfect substitutes, EVERY item must be tracked precisely and recorded formally in a networked software inventory system.

Whether it’s a fire extinguisher, a desk, a tub of assorted nuts and bolts — EVERYTHING must be counted, and all practices of Inventory by Exception must be replaced.

For more information on automated and modern stock management, visit www.simmssoftware.com or email sales@kcsi.ca.

Improvements of Your Cash Flow

Several adjustments can be made to any business that will positively effect their inventory concerns and their cash flow.

First, you find the optimal level of working capital by comparing your current working capital with your current profitability. Adjustments to these amounts can swing the ratio more in your favor.

Next, track your creditors and debtors to quantify the term of your cash conversion. You can establish or revise terms of the frequency of the payments made to your suppliers against the payments you receive from your customers. Squiggle and adjust these terms to benefit the cash flow in your favor.

Third, examine the liquidity levels of your industry, taking special notice of the seasonal and campaign plus/minus you are currently using. Your system should be jockeyed to emphasize your benefits and lessen your detriments.

In addition, assess your company’s overall financial process in comparison with your capital requirements. This ratio is integral to your overall success. Such analysis will lay before you the particulars of your financial system and will indicate what aspects can be re-structured in your favor.

Lastly, you should establish a schedule that can help you eliminate that eliminates your company’s need for debt financing. This ideal state of self-sufficiency will increase the marquee value of your business’ reputation. Structured consolidation of debt and taking advantage of every interest rate loophole will see your future benefit from every superior level you can achieve.

These five listed avenues of improvement are only a handful of ways you can improve the cash flow status of your company. but are all practical and basic  ways to take first steps toward cash fluidity and future solvency.