Did you know that good inventory management techniques can easily increase your bottom-line by 50% or more? Every company has its own unique culture, business methodologies and milestones, yet across the Distribution Market today there are some common business issues driving common needs. Beyond that, some subsectors have even more specific common needs relative to forecasting and replenishment.
The whole process of having the right item at the right time in the right place has changed dramatically over the past five years. Forecasting is a start to getting a grip on the issues, but it is only half the battle. Sound replenishment can be just as critical.
Some of today’s most established and well-run distributors are getting caught in a squeeze play between long lead-time vendors, a tough economy, conservative customers, and even more conservative banks. Your company does not have to be one of them. You can reduce excess and surplus inventory, improve your forecasting and procurement processes, increase customer satisfaction, and free up cash for your company without having to approach your bank. If you are ready to out maneuver the squeeze play, here are the top 10 areas to focus on:
- Plan appropriately for long lead times on imported items
- Round efficiently when purchasing container loads
- Collaborate with key customers to get more accurate forecasts
- Get rid of excess (dead) stock and minimize surplus stock
- Reduce inventory investment, opening up cash flow, rather than increasing lines of credit
- Increase customer service levels
- Move inventory to the correct location rather than over-buy
- Have better visibility into why decisions were made
- Get a better picture of your overall inventory management and operations
- Review forecasts from the top down and the bottom up