Posts Tagged ‘inventory control’

enterprise mobility head start

Can a strong enterprise mobility strategy help you beat your competition? Can it help you get a jump on your biggest competitor by allowing you to react faster to essential customer information? In order to answer these questions, think of what happens when your salespeople visit customers. Think about the information they gain from those visits and how important it is that you get that information as soon as possible. Imagine the impact when you, and everyone at the head office, get all the vital information needed to win the business. Now imagine the difference between getting that information instantaneously, and having to wait until the next morning when you finally receive your salesperson’s trip report. Do those 12 to 24 hours really make a difference? Absolutely! Can you better use that time to get a jump on your competition? Yes, you can.

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How does your company give its salespeople their marching orders? Do these discussions take place before your salespeople leave on a business trip, while they’re visiting customers, or once they return from a long, hard trip? Well, most companies give salespeople their objectives at the beginning of the year. They may then tweak them during a given month or quarter, but for the most part, their objectives are well understood at the outset of a new year. The hope is that the sales team will be incentivized enough to identify and close on all opportunities. However, how do you track their performance while they’re in the field?

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Can your sales team use its enterprise mobility hardware to reduce the damaging effects of inventory obsolescence? In order to answer this question, it’s important to reflect upon how companies typically view a drastic decline in sales. Most companies would concern themselves with lost gross profit, others with lost revenue, and still others might be more concerned about the company’s declining market share. Still, others would reflect upon the ups and downs of business cycles and rationalize that declining sales are always followed by a sudden increase in customer demand. Unfortunately, few would stop and think about the costs of holding inventory without sales, and even fewer would understand the high costs of holding inventory customers can no longer purchase. However, there are other companies who use the lull in customer demand to liquidate their outdated inventory. More to the point, they use their enterprise mobility solutions as the catalyst to get that initiative going. Therefore, can a salesperson’s rugged handheld computer help liquidate that inventory before it’s too late? Absolutely!
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How does your purchasing department currently manage its vendor base? For instance, does your enterprise rely upon enterprise mobility solutions that empower your purchasing department to better manage incoming shipments of raw materials and finished goods? Or, do you handcuff your purchasing department by asking them to rely upon manual vendor management practices, ones that aren’t live and can’t possibly give your company the kind of up-to-the-minute data it needs to manage its inventory, its vendor’s deliveries, and most importantly, its supply chain? Granted, these three questions are set up to lead you, the reader, into the eventual conclusion that manual processes are problematic and costly, while enterprise mobility solutions are accurate and timely. Well, the simple fact is, manual processes are costly. They are problematic and time-consuming and most importantly, they do make it extremely difficult to manage a vendor base in today’s fast paced business environment. Put differently, if your company is using manual processes, but your competitors are using handheld rugged computers, then whom do you think is better able to manage its supply chain? Bottom line, your company needs to do away with manual processes.

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There are two cost drivers that often mean the difference between making a profit on a sale and incurring a loss. One pertains to the high costs to finance inventory, while the other pertains to the high costs to finance receivables. Every business would love to be able to lower both. One includes having high inventory turnover rates, and the other relies upon finding customers who pay on time, every time. Most companies understand that doing both is extremely difficult, if not next to impossible. Unfortunately, both of these costs are exacerbated when companies run manual processes, processes that are based on running inventory and accounting on excel spreadsheets. Imagine the damage that is incurred when companies run both of these business functions on separate spreadsheets. Imagine how difficult it is to reconcile inventory and accounting when neither of these methods is live and neither of are capable of “speaking” with one another. It is the perfect storm and easy to see how manual processes do nothing more than make these costs more severe. What is the solution for those enterprises that want to do away with these high costs?

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Can upgrading your inventory management practices with enterprise mobility solutions help improve your overall cost structure? Can this then make your business more competitive in your market? Absolutely! As a value-added reseller, your business is based on providing turnkey solutions to your customer base. This includes providing multiple solutions from a vast and robust product line. However, you do not merely provide a product solution, but also need to provide a value-added service offering. VARS distinguish themselves by their ability to provide a readymade plan within a competitive cost structure, and that involves controlling inventory costs for the company. Unfortunately, most VARS rely upon manual approaches to inventory management, ones predicated on managing inventory via excel spreadsheets. Upgrading your inventory management practices with enterprise mobility hardware and software solutions, will not only improve how you manage that inventory, but will ultimately reduce your costs and improve your bottom line.

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Have you tried in vain to convince yourself that your manual inventory management practices are working and are actually helping you to increase your inventory turnover rates? Have you relied too heavily on excel spreadsheets and tables to manage the complexities of your supply chain? Most importantly, how often have these processes let you down and left you with inaccurate inventory counts? Few companies ever take the time to answer these questions, let alone even ask them. Instead of relying upon enterprise mobility hardware to better manage their warehouse, they instead rely upon antiquated and outdated processes, ones that can not possibly keep pace with the speed of their business. Stronger warehouse management starts by doing away with these outdated processes and instead relying upon real-time tracking through mobility management solutions. If your enterprise wants to increase its inventory turnover rates, then it must finally put an end to using manual processes. Those processes may have worked when you first started, but they can not be a part of any long-term supply chain solution. So, how can the right enterprise software help your company better manage its warehouse and increase your turnover rates?

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Interested in knowing how upgrading your manual processes to enterprise mobility hardware can help reduce inventory carrying costs for your company? Perhaps you are unaware of what these expenditures entail and how detrimental they are to your bottom line. Do you know that your inventory costs are likely driven by two main factors? One is your costs to purchase and hold inventory, while the other is your cost of losing revenue when inventory is not in your warehouse. Most enterprises assume that their carrying costs only pertain to the time it takes to purchase, hold and sell their inventory. The time it takes to complete these steps means companies must invest large amounts of capital in inventory without immediate returns. Equally impactful are the high costs associated with losing market share and sales, simply because your company does not have the right amount of inventory to fulfill customer orders. That comes from inaccurate inventory counts and tracking, which is often the result of companies that are slow to adopt best business practices with respect to how they manage their inventory. However, upgrading your warehouse management practices with enterprise mobility solutions can reduce the impact of these costs across the board. What can you expect from upgrading your inventory processes?

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How can upgrading to an inventory management software platform reduce the costs associated with inventory audits? In order to answer this question, think of how time-consuming, redundant and repetitive the dreaded inventory audit can be. Think of how much it costs to perform these audits and the frustration you encounter when uncovering inaccurate inventory levels and counts. At the end of every quarter, and every fiscal year, employees manually count inventory in order to reconcile actual inventory against what is reported on the “books”. Some companies force their employees to give up their weekends, while the vast majority must cover overtime to perform what most agree is a mundane task. It is both time consuming and costly. However, it need not be this way!

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