Savvy Inventory Management
The most basic objective of taking a customer’s order and finding the most time- and cost-efficient way to deliver the goods—still is the end game in commerce. However, doing this faster and better than your competitors has become exponentially more difficult to manage as sourcing, delivery options and costs have multiplied. The new realities of perpetual inventory control are forcing many businesses to reevaluate their current software systems and business processes for Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) and Transportation Management Systems (TMS). In order to put every piece of inventory to work efficiently, companies are realizing they need more advanced capabilities and network-wide integration.
Some systems, like ADS Solutions’ Advantage Software for distributors offers options for tracking inventory with multiple costs bases: loaded cost, replacement cost, historical average cost, special-use (user-defined) costs. This allows business owners to make accounting choices that benefit their businesses.
More and more distributors are using EOQ, or Economic Order Quantity, to optimize their inventories on items that have a somewhat predictable demand cycle. With EOQ, distributors can avoid over-purchasing to get 'deals' from vendors. ADS’ Advantage software can quickly determine which items are worth buying at break-quantities. Do you know which break-quantity prices justify the costs of carrying additional inventory in your company? If not, it may be time to put Advantage to work for you.
Contact Greg Tognoli at ADS Solutions at 800-423-8268, ext. 835 to learn more about these strategies.
“I’m Sorry – That's Out of Stock”
In a recent post, Gartner analyst Mike Griswold recommends that companies should use out-of-stock data to calculate lost sales and incorporate that information into future forecasting processes. Having a firm understanding of the differences between sales and demand can boost profits. In order to solve the out-of-stock epidemic that continues to plague the retail and consumer product sectors, Griswold feels that both sides of the value chain need a better understanding of actual demand levels. “Sales represent what the consumer purchased. Demand is what would have sold had consumers found everything they desired." Most forecasting products don't account for lost sales and forecast instead based on historical sales. Be sure your software system has some way to help you do this, or you will unnecessarily lose sales to your competitors.
| Avoid These Small-Business HR Mistakes
Managers of small and medium sized companies spend a lot of time driving core business decisions and processes, but they may overlook one of the most potentially serious and costly issues — regulatory compliance. Be careful to avoid these common HR mistakes:
- Racial and sexual discrimination – yes, even small companies need to play by the rules here.
- Benefits Regulations – welcome to the benefits soup of HIPPAA, COBRA, FMLA, and the challenge of keeping up with ever-changing retirement, health and welfare benefits. Our advice: Outsource!
- The HR Generalist – in smaller companies, the HR ‘department’ is usually one person who wears several other hats. The biggest risk owners make is relying on an HR generalist to be an expert in IRS, DOL, or EEOC issues. There’s no way that an already-stretched employee can keep up with legal issues, staffing, HRIS management, and employee training, along with the other demands of their job.
- Under use of Technology for ‘Paperwork’ – if your small company is not making use of online services and still wrestling with hard copies, errors are difficult to catch. Take advantage of modern, online systems.
- Right Hand Not Knowing What Left is Doing – if disparate record keeping procedures, like deductions and benefits, do not tie into one another, it’s easy for accounting mistakes occur. Third party payroll services like ADP, or Paychecks – even local banks often provide automated systems that can help.
|Which Shifts in Retail Practices Predict Changes for Wholesalers?
According to the 2011 Retail Systems Research benchmark report, Enabling Buy Anywhere/Get Anywhere: The Future of Cross-Channel, the most successful companies are using their supply chain capabilities to make purchasing more convenient for their customers. Which of these retail realities do you think will prompt a shift in wholesale practices in 2012? The report found:
- 79% of retail winners enable buy online/return to store vs. 55% of laggards;
- 68% of winners allow customers to buy via mobile device vs. only 18% of laggards;
- 42% of winners have tackled buy online/fulfill from store vs. only 27% of laggards.