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Managing inventory is not a one-time event. Because the business environment is continuously changing, adopting the right supply chain posture must be an ongoing pursuit.

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Is Inventory Optimization an Unending Pursuit? (Part 3)

Think of it as an ongoing process that reflects and responds to changes in the business environment. The answers to the five questions discussed previously are a moving target. For example, today’s micro-segmentation strategy may not make sense tomorrow. For this reason, inventory optimization leaders are those companies that have created an ongoing capability to monitor conditions across the supply chain — from rising transportation costs to dramatic shifts in demand — and adjust inventory levels accordingly.

This is the area of performance that separates the leaders from the followers. Best-in-class inventory strategists continuously monitor and re-align their supply chain posture so that it reflects current business conditions. How many business failures could have been averted in the last two years if companies had responded more proactively to changing conditions?

Leading organizations are implementing a number of end-to-end process changes — including the use of interactive process playbooks and weekly plan-do-check-act cycles — to keep the inventory strategy on track.  In the case of missed sales targets in one specific region or store, inventory strategies based solely on math algorithms might sense a forecast error and recommend short-term fixes such as shifting products within the supply Obviously this is an expensive proposition, especially in today’s environment of rising logistics costs.

Instead, best-in-class businesses have instituted a continuous process in which issues like regional sales declines due to poor stock management are not only addressed in the short term, but also eliminated in the longer term through an exhaustive root-cause analysis.

Drilling down through the supply chain, inventory strategists work to understand the reason for a local drop in sales by asking such questions as: What are the unique buying patterns in this region? How do prices and margins compare with other stores or geographic areas? Would a different SKU sell better? Can we shape demand through promotions?

With the advent of sophisticated modeling and analytics tools, inventory managers are also better equipped than ever to anticipate demand changes before they occur, and adjust inventory accordingly. By gathering data and insight from across the global, end-to-end supply chain, leading businesses can quickly sense and respond to changes in consumer behavior that are likely to have a significant impact on inventory levels.

For example, the swift and unprecedented drop in demand for high-tech consumer products in 2008 caught many suppliers unprepared. Saddled with high inventory levels and associated carrying costs that significantly eroded their gross margins, these businesses, as a result, will face long-term financial challenges. Not only did they lose money in the short term, but they will also have a hard time supporting the product innovations, consumer promotions and other initiatives that support future success.

For many businesses undertaking the challenge of inventory management, the journey ends at generating optimum inventory targets — and checking performance against these targets once or twice a year.

The economy and financial market s have been acting like a roller coaster lately and companies are feeling tremendous pressure to lower cost.  No department is feeling the pressure more that information technology departments as that is one of the first places companies look to trim some fat, particularly enterprise systems and related support costs.  Here are seven key areas to reduce costs in your ERP, enterprise resource planning, systems with an emphasis on “big” enterprise systems such as SAP.

Organizations across the board have made great strides in improving the wireless and mobile capabilities of their enterprise systems, especially when it comes to getting some of the same functionality on mobile devices via the web, as you can locally.  It’s on its way, but it’s not quite there yet.  Here are some tips to get closer to seamless functionality remotely from your ERP, enterprise resource planning, solutions as you get in your office.

With rising energy costs and the economic downturn, companies are working harder than ever to reduce costs. In fact, cutting cost is a higher priority than increasing sales in a lot of companies. Consequently, companies’ top priority as they look to enhance or upgrade their ERP, enterprise resource planning systems is to reduce costs in their organizations. However, keeping sales and maintaining the same high level of customer service is critical as well. The following is a summary report from 500 companies to help companies refine their underline Best In Class critiera and performance strategies.

Historically, there were two primary approaches to integrating on-premise ERP, enterprise resource planning, and CRM software. The first approach was to use very complicated software platforms on the market and the second was write your own custom code in house.  The complex software integration platforms worked for very large organizations, but they were too complex and out of the league technically and cost wise for small and mid-sized companies.  Smaller companies had to develop custom code specific to their company’s enterprise system and business.  Although the custom code software development solved the integration issue, companies soon found out that maintaining the code required a lot of IT resources and was a very cost intensive effort.

It’s a little more challenging for small to medium sized companies to find the best fitting Finance and Accounting ERP software, but these 5 Tips should help you with your effort.

If you are looking at ERP, enterprise resource planning, solutions for your organization, or even if you are not in the Technology field, you most likely have heard of the enterprise system giants Oracle and SAP. In the past, the “big” ERP vendors catered mostly to the Fortune 500, or even Fortune 100 companies who had pockets deep enough to afford the capital intensive software and implementation resources required for a large scale ERP deployment.

If you are looking at ERP, enterprise resource planning, solutions for your organization, or even if you are not in the Technology field, you most likely have heard of the enterprise system giants Oracle and SAP. In the past, the “big” ERP vendors catered mostly to the Fortune 500, or even Fortune 100 companies who had pockets deep enough to afford the capital intensive software and implementation resources required for a large scale ERP deployment.

 

It’s a little more challenging for small to medium sized companies to find the best fitting Finance and Accounting ERP software, but these 5 Tips should help you with your effort.

Organizations across the board have made great strides in improving the wireless and mobile capabilities of their enterprise systems, especially when it comes to getting some of the same functionality on mobile devices via the web, as you can locally.  It’s on its way, but it’s not quite there yet.  Here are some tips to get closer to seamless functionality remotely from your ERP, enterprise resource planning, solutions as you get in your office.

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