Challenges in Implementing VMI

Vendor Managed Inventory can be made to work, but the problem is not just one of logistics. VMI often encounters resistance from the sales force and distributors. At issue are roles and skills, trust, and power shifts. Some of the sales force concerns are:

1) Many sales personnel worry about whether the system will work well, and their concern is high specifically about whether the system will be able to avoid technical breakdowns.

2) They dread the loss of control that they possessed before.

3) Worries about the elimination of a large sector of the existing sales force

4) Worries that the company’s market share will drop due to less assets (inventory) on shelves before new stock from new vendors can fill them again

5) The loss of influence in sales that the sales personnel have due to possible discontinuation or lowering of incentive-based sales.

All concerns over VMI can be resolved and adapted providing that your company does not have too rigid a template applied, and thus allows for the benefits and performance upon which sales personnel thrive.

Why SIMMS 2012 is Best for Your Business

SIMMS 2012 Inventory Control software is designed by a company, KCSI, probably much like yours. KCSI has introduced customized applications for its own use and has a strong foundation from which to understand your specific business.

To be flexible in today’s marketplace requires that you keep nimble and quick on y0ur feet when trying to match and then outdistance your competition. For this to take place, an unique relationship must be established between you and the company designing your particular needs and answering your particular challenges. Being competitive is something that KCSI understands, and is a commitment that we’re happy to make to help you meet — and beat — your challenges now and in the future.

SIMMS 2012 has answers to all your current challenges for both your inventory and financial needs, and is readily customizable to help you expand both your company’s size and its diversification. And never before now has SIMMS 2012 been more affordable or more versatile in the way you can use it — either in-house, online or portable, SIMMS 2012 answers your many questions with the newest in technological solutions and most reliable practices of sound financial standing. Payments can be outright or by installments, all the while giving you direct input into the directions that SIMMS takes next, with features that you need.

Organization and ideal features in your software will help prepare you for what happens next, and your ROI (return on investment) has never been more readily apparent than with SIMMS 2012, the top choice in accounting and inventory management software.

Contact KCSI today at sales@kcsi.ca or visit the SIMMS website at www.simmssoftware.com to learn more about the best software choice you can make for your business: SIMMS 2012.

VMI Features

Some of the features of Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) are as follows:

1) Forecasting of the supply chain becomes centralized, allowing for adjustments to take place as they need to;

2) Manufacturer’s promotions are eliminated, saving your company money while providing the same financial advantages for vendors;

3) Downstream distribution channels gain a stronger relationship because of your increased ability to supply your customers;

4) Your supply chain shortens by trimming extraneous demands and distractions;

5) Using EDI, communication increases in frequency and accuracy in regard to planned promotions, stock-outs and inventory amounts.

6) Transportation vehicles get filled in a set, prioritized order. Stock approaching stock-out levels get top priority, second next is stock the most below targeted inventory levels, then promotional items, and lastly, stock the least below targeted inventory levels.

The benefit of the above VMI processes is two-fold: you reduce your stock while concurrently reducing your stock-out chances.

VMI is a widely employed method of inventory management, and SIMMS Inventory Management software can help you to apply VMI and reap the benefits of it.

Contact KCSI today at sales@kcsi.ca or visit www.simmssoftware.com to learn more.

Best Software Releases – September 2012

A great number of great software packages are released every month, and this month the following programs have been very impressive:

Replay Media Catcher

Replay Media Catcher is a program rigged up to let you grab sounds from either your computer or elsewhere.  This application lets those who produce music at home and process or download your favorites. Capture data smoothly and with accuracy.

Aidfile Recovery

The Aidfile Recovery software enables you to recover both lost and damaged on your computer with ease. Computer file loss is sadly common in today’s world, either through lack of care or failing hardware. This can be counteracted for the most part by Aidfile. It’s simple-to-use and comprehensive that helps you avoid outsourcing your data recovery challenges – it lets you manage your files your way.

Astroburn Pro

Astroburn Pro is a program that lets you quickly and easily perform backups of your system and data onto a wide variety of media, including CD, DVD and Blu-ray formats. Large files are handled smoothly and accurately, and in today’s busy world, this is what we all need.

…and one just around the corner…

Windows 8

Windows 8 is set to be released in October, and has been widely expected. This newest version of the Windows Operating System for PCs is set to fully support and embrace the mobile market that is quickly becoming the computing standard of the future. If we can believe the advent of widespread touchscreen technology, Windows * may be the version where we first see it bloom.

The Best Warehouse Structure

Following last week’s studies of the most common three warehouse structures, this article will address the choices that businesses can make to select and implement the right one for them.

Managers must decide about the advantages and disadvantages of each warehouse structure. Recent developments may lead them to want leap into action and change the existing structure overnight. The functional structure, although the oldest, is still the best for certain businesses and will continue to do so. The bottom line for managers in regard to structure is to emphasize service. In other words, you must consider the size of your company, the number of products you provide, the type of technology you use (or will use in future) and perhaps most important, which strategy suits the business the best.

Managers need to lessen weak points and enhance strengths of the structure they choose. If it is a divisional structure, the engineers must have tools to exchange information, such as conferences or online portals to post their progress and ideas. However, functional structures require that teams be formed to develop the products and solve the problems. A flatter structure (one with less layers of administration) must have a concurrent strategy to support it. Increased centralization decreases flexibility, while a functional structure increases scale and cuts into profits that would exist in a simpler, single-task structure.

Ultimately, the structure you have, service of your customers can never be allowed to suffer, and the true test of the structure is shown by results. Comparisons with similar companies is the best gauge to use to examine your own structure. If they make decisions quicker, look into why that is possible. If you develop products more quickly than your competition, look into why. If their strategy makes them more fluid and successful than yours, look into the features that cause this to happen.

The future will demand the flexibility to implement changes and that your processes be more accurate, efficient and quick. With these criteria in mind, the right structure will make itself apparent if managers carefully analyze the details and can adapt themselves using necessary knowledge.

Matrix Warehouse Structure

In any warehouse structure, there are weaknesses and strengths, and each company must choose which structure best suits their layout and inventory process. Structure usually falls into one of three possible forms: divisional, functional or a combination of the two, often referred to as a matrix. This article will cover the final type: the Matrix Structure.

With a Matrix Structure, you have a combination of all the strengths and weaknesses of the divisional and functional structures. You might have a manager for each product in one case, and certain employees will have two managers — a functional manager and a production manager. This type of structure is not simple owing to such dual authorities. Matrix structures are practical in the instance of multinational businesses. Many companies have combination between divisional, functional and matrix structure, which occurs when a decentralized business may have one or two departments centralized such as human resources or marketing.

If your business best suits the Matrix Structure in any of its forms, use of SIMMS 2012 Inventory Management software minimizes the weaknesses by universal usage of networked transactions and stock coordination. Thus, companies can retain their divisional processes while drawing from a more centralized command of both physical stock and information available to all divisions.

For more information on how SIMMS 2012 can help you with your matrix structure goals, visit www.simmssoftware.com or email sales@kcsi.ca.

Functional Warehouse Structure

In any warehouse structure, there are weaknesses and strengths, and each company must choose which structure best suits their layout and inventory process. Structure usually falls into one of three possible forms: divisional, functional or a combination of the two, often referred to as a matrix. This article will cover the second type: the Functional Structure.

With a Functional Structure in a warehouse, employees working in departments based on what their tasks are: finance, research, engineering, purchasing, maintenance, warehousing, and so forth.

The functional structure increases efficiency in each department since all finance personnel are work together, all maintenance people together, and so on, which places all available expertise in one place and allows for information exchange between all members of the department. The sizes of each department can be kept to a minimum and the company benefits overall due to a more significant reduction in overhead.

The shortcoming of the functional structure is that communication between departments is more difficult and the coordination of departments working concurrently on the same task often suffers. Another weakness is that flexibility is much more difficult to achieve owing to the centralization that occurs within each department.

If your business best suits the Functional Structure in any of its forms, use of SIMMS 2012 Inventory Management software minimizes the weaknesses by universal usage of networked transactions and stock coordination. Thus, companies can retain their divisional processes while drawing from a more centralized command of both physical stock and information available to all divisions.

For more information on how SIMMS 2012 can help you with your functional structure goals, visit www.simmssoftware.com or email sales@kcsi.ca.

Divisional Warehouse Structure

In any warehouse structure, there are weaknesses and strengths, and each company must choose which structure best suits their layout and inventory process. Structure usually falls into one of three possible forms: divisional, functional or a combination of the two, often referred to as a matrix. This article will cover the first type: the Divisional Structure.

Divisional structure separates the inventory workers on the basis of the areas in which they function: examples would be geographical (Store 1, North-West Region, etc.) or customer relationship (sales, returns, repairs, etc.) or product (electronics, fixtures, projects, etc.). Each division has its own responsibility and management including concerns such as maintenance, finance, warehouse, marketing, and so on. Changes that occur at the divisional level are flexible and allow for issues to be resolved quickly due to the decentralized nature of the structure.

While one warehouse for each division allows for each to self-manage, implement divisional improvements and separate analyses within each division, the same processes being conducted in each separate division can mean, and often means, that labor and resource consumption is being duplicated in each division. Another shortcoming of the divisional structure is that information exchange often suffers when someone working in sales in Division One, for example, may not be communicating or enacting any forms of standardized practice like the ones being used by someone working in sales in Division Two. One division may generate greater profits due to their in-house special promotions while another division may not be.

If your business best suits the Divisional Structure in any of its forms, use of SIMMS 2012 Inventory Management software minimizes the weaknesses by universal usage of networked transactions and stock coordination. Thus, companies can retain their divisional processes while drawing from a more centralized command of both physical stock and information available to all divisions.

For more information on how SIMMS 2012 can help you with your divisional structure goals, visit www.simmssoftware.com or email sales@kcsi.ca.

Lessening Distributors’ Concerns About VMI

Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) can cause distributors serious concerns, which stem from the following anticipated predicaments from their particular point of view:

  • When there is a lower level of stock, there is more expected risk of disruptions due to bad weather, union or service strikes, and so forth.
  • Business can be adversely effected by the elimination of discounts, promotions, and/or forward buying
  • Stock is forced on them, causing disruptions and threatening the existing standard of confidence
  • Severe concern that the vendors may choose to forward integrate, and the distributors themselves get replaced or dropped entirely
  • Vendors reap the loins share as the distributors sacrifice their power of knowing the data that the retailers want.

If you are in a VMI relationship with distributors, the above worries must be rectified and addressed before implementation or amendments to established practices are finalized. You must realize that distributors in a VMI model can be your saving grace, and every beneficial relationship yuou have with them must be both reliable and fair.

.

Weekly Stock Checks

Every business should be setup for a regular review of its stock. Owing to the number of transactions that take place on a daily basis, the practical period for checking that stock counts are accurate is the single work week.

Most stock can be checked either on the Friday or Saturday afternoon, Since most companies also perform a review to make sure they have stock onhand for orders to be processed early the following week, this weekly inventory check can be taken at the same time and orders completed and sent to the appropriate vendors.

Details to be noted in a weekly inventory are as follows:

1) Items On Hand (in each stock location)

2) Total Stock Count (per item)

3) Stock To Be Received (for orders already in system)

4) Transfers Needed (to complete orders)

5) Items On Hold (for Works-in-Progress queued to be sold)

6) Damaged Items

7) Overages Per Item (already received)

8) Variation Per Item (stock unsold since last stock check that do not show where they should be).

With a weekly check of each of these counts, you can quickly see whether your stock is sufficient for the following week, and before the end-of-week orders are finalized, you can update them to make sure the stock you’ll require for your customers will be available in your various locations. Two hours per week should be enough to keep your stock counts both accurate and will allow you to keep on top of any stock that has gone missing (thus enabling you to begin tracing the items for the weakness in your holding system).

SIMMS 2012 Inventory Management software is the best choice for you to perform stock counts for any required period. With a wide selection of stock reports, you can be certain that your current inventory counts — and their value — are always at your fingertips.