distribution

Marie Fournier

Distribution Management, Platform, Posts, Supply Chain

E-commerce Distribution: How to Embark on a Digital Transformation

According to the Gartner Digital Commerce Vendor Guide, 2018, “Digital commerce is a major component of a superior customer experience, with a growing ecosystem of technologies, vendors, and services.” Opportunities abound when trading partners work together to create a seamless, automated, and error-free supply chain with a focus on providing a simple, effective, and enjoyable…

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Platform, Posts, Supply Chain

Electronic Data Interchange: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Although electronic data interchange (EDI) has been around since the early 1970s, many businesses are taking a fresh look at how this powerful commerce platform can affect their cash conversion cycle. A strong EDI strategy can increase efficiency and reduce errors, streamlining trading partner onboarding and transactions. In this post we’ll review expectations for the future of this technology as well as how it’s changing.

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Posts, Supply Chain

Playing It {Too} Safe with Inventory?

Although no business likes carrying safety stock, experiencing a stockout simply isn’t worth the risk to customer satisfaction. Take an industry-informed look at how to achieve demand planning ‘greatness’ when it comes to optimizing your inventory levels and still meeting customer requirements.

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Analytics, Business Intelligence, Demand Planning and Forecasting, Healthcare, Posts, Supply Chain

Supply Chain and Finance: Shared Metrics Drive Business Success

In the January-March 2018 issue of APICS magazine, APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi contends that if supply chain leaders bring business success then that makes them business leaders. Mr. Eshkenazi goes on to state “organizations that consider their supply chains as strategic and competitive assets outperform the market”.

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Analytics, Business Intelligence, Demand Planning and Forecasting, Posts, Supply Chain

How Do You Feel About Predictive Analytics?

I just read a blog post entitled How do you feel when someone mentions predictive analytics? Well, I feel like it’s a good thing. How about you?

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Posts, Supply Chain

Seasons Come And Seasons Go

Seasonal variations in consumption occur for many reasons; summer, back to school, various holidays. In fact, most industries experience annually recurring spikes in demand — even healthcare as they prepare for the dreaded flu season. Furthermore, the duration of a season differs depending on geography and demographics.

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Demand Planning and Forecasting, Healthcare, Posts, Supply Chain

Moving Stuff Back Up The Supply Chain

There has been a lot of focus on optimizing the supply chain for order fulfillment.  The on-going efforts to perfect the ‘order to cash’ process have yielded great rewards.  But what about returns?  Automation has reduced the number of returns due to errors however the world must move from a linear to a more circular economy and this will impact the entire supply chain.

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Analytics, Business Intelligence, Posts, Supply Chain

Evil A/R Threatens Cash Flow – Time to Fight Back

Given that accounts receivable (A/R) are essentially zero interest loans extended to customers, one might be forgiven for considering credit sales a necessary evil. Maybe one day crypto-currencies like Bitcoin will replace all other forms of payment, but in the meantime many companies have a ton of cash tied up in receivables. So how evil is your A/R?

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Posts, Supply Chain

Coffee Stockout & Other Supply Tragedies

Holding inventory is a way of life. Everybody carries inventory of some kind. In my home, the central supply location is the kitchen. In supply chain speak, my kitchen is a multi-bin facility designed to optimize labour and storage. I also have a separate supply location for specialty items which require refrigeration. This would be the products that fall into the dairy and meat category. Some items are critical. Running out of sugar is one thing but a coffee shortage will definitely disrupt operations.

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Demand Planning and Forecasting, Posts, Supply Chain

Role of the Distributor in a Demand-driven Sup­ply Chain

There is a famous anecdote about Volvo car dealers heavily discounting green models because consumers preferred other colors. Volvo’s manufacturing plant, seeing the resulting spike in demand for green models, perceived it as consumer interest and upped the production. That’s right…even more green cars! Ouch!!

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Posts, Supply Chain

Suppliers and Other Business Buddies

Good relationships are good for business. Building a relationship with a vendor takes time. It’s not uncommon for a buyer to work with the same rep for many years. They become friends, share stories and have a routine. That’s all good, right? Turns out the answer may be “not so much”.

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Demand Planning and Forecasting, Posts, Supply Chain, Warehouse Management

Warehouse Inventory Management: Getting The Right Product To The Right Person

When supply chain professionals plan for future demand, their thoughts gravitate to meeting customer service levels while minimizing the amount of capital tied up in inventory.  Demand planning and warehouse inventory management is about having the right product in the right place at the right time … right? Four occurrences of the same word would cause my old English teacher to shudder at this excessive use of a word in a single sentence. However, let us return to the important business of meeting consumer demand without incurring the cost of excess inventory.

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Demand Planning and Forecasting, Posts, Supply Chain

Measuring Forecast Accuracy – Getting Started

Improved forecast accuracy leads to many downstream improvements in operations and ultimately, on the balance sheet. That is why Gartner, Inc., a highly respected information technology research and advisory firm, puts forecast accuracy at the top of its pyramid of supply chain metrics. In a study published in February 2012, Gartner stated that a 6% forecast improvement could improve the perfect order by 10% and deliver a 10-15% reduction in unnecessary inventory.

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Posts, Supply Chain

Increasing Profitability with Automation & Validation

I was reminded recently that there are really only two ways to improve your organization’s profitability; increase revenues or decrease costs. Arguably, increasing revenues does not necessarily translate into higher profits.Take a moment to think about how much revenue it would take to bring the same amount of dollars to the bottom line as would a 2% decrease in operational costs.

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Posts, Supply Chain

The Evolution of Business Forecasting

Back in the mid-nineties, I attended a conference on business forecasting. The focus was on the science of statistical forecasting, and, well...I may have drifted off during the second half hour of discussions on Winters’ triple exponential smoothing.

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Analytics, Healthcare, Posts, Supply Chain

About Forecastability

Forecastability is an important word in demand planning.  Oddly, the word forecastability is not listed in the Merriam-Webster dictionary nor is it found in Wikipedia.  However Wiktionary describes forecastability as “A measure of the degree to which something may be forecast with accuracy”.  That something could be an item used in the production of a finished good or the finished good itself.

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Healthcare, Posts, Supply Chain, Warehouse Management

What defines BIG thinking?

In the movie Big, Tom Hanks plays a child trapped in the body of a 30-year-old who challenges the status quo at a toy manufacturer. To the audience it all makes sense as the movie progresses – think like a kid when selling stuff to kids. How revolutionary! Yet the audience also relates to the adults who pretend to know what kids like.

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Posts, Supply Chain

Pushing the Boundaries of Your Value Discipline

In my last blog post, I mentioned the three forms of value in a commercial transaction: Technical, Organizational and Personal. This trilogy of values reminds me of one of my favorite books, The Discipline of Market Leaders by Michael Treacy and Fred Wieserma. The big message in this book is that no company can succeed by trying to be all things to all people.

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Posts, Supply Chain

Is Your Supply Chain Evolving Into a Value Chain?

Information technologies have evolved and so have the expectations of the business community. Do you remember when the main objective was automation? Now organizations who continue to view their supply chain applications as transactional engines are missing huge opportunities. Supply chain applications must provide a competitive edge by offering differentiation, depth of functionality, adaptability and robust analytics. The supply chain is also continuously evolving; its evolution leads us to the value chain.

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