Regardless of whether it’s mitigating the high costs of customer deliveries, reducing freight costs on incoming shipments, or merely reducing the costs on customer returns, all companies see reducing freight management costs as an essential part of improving profit. Some rely upon a strategy of using bulk shipments to drive down the per-unit freight costs on incoming shipments, while others try and use competitive bids to nail down the best possible deal. It’s a difficult pursuit and one made all the more difficult by a company’s manual processes. It’s like trying to catch lightning in a bottle; success is measured by the ability to have everything align and have absolutely nothing go wrong. Unfortunately, rarely does this happen. If something can go wrong, it will. However, there are some solutions to skyrocketing gas prices and the going concern of fuel surcharges, and they include managing freight via enterprise mobility solutions. So, what are some of the ways that your enterprise can reduce freight costs via a mobile, handheld computer?
Posts Tagged ‘mobility hardware’
The “Great Recession,” as it’s now called, has certainly hit every company pretty hard. Demand is down, fuel costs are up and uncertainty abounds. Supply chain professionals understand that today’s fuel surcharges are just part of the day-to-day hassles of managing incoming shipments. Higher freight impacts gross profit margins, and companies are often forced to absorb the losses. However, procurement professionals aren’t just burdened by higher freight; inventory financing is also steadily increasing, this despite today’s historically low interest rates. Unfortunately, if customers take too long to pay their invoices, then a company’s financing costs will increase, no matter how low interest rates are. So, with freight on the rise, and financing steadily increasing, what must your company do to reduce its inventory and supply chain costs?
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.
enterprise mobility hardware help to distinguish the product and service offering of a company? Granted, this may seem like an odd question. However, there are reasons to believe that a company with solid, up-to-date mobile business applications give it the upper hand versus competitors who rely upon manual processes. Think of how mobile devices can help a company provide more accurate information to customers. Think of how easily that information flows from the sales force, and customer service departments, all the way to the end-user customer base. Finally, think of how customers feel when they are serviced by a supplier that is always ready to serve. Companies distinguish themselves by their ability to provide timely information. More importantly, they distinguish their value propositions by their ability to immediately deliver on what they promise. Mobile business applications do exactly that because they are predicated on providing consistent, accurate and timely data to customers. This, more than anything else, helps a company to distinguish its value proposition, and it is this value proposition that speaks to the strength of the product and service offering for a company.
How much does inventory damage cost your enterprise? Have you taken the time to define these costs and their impact on your bottom line? More importantly, do you know why damage occurs so frequently within your warehouse? When answering these questions, think of the high costs of managing a supply chain with manual processes. Think of the number of data entry errors that occur as a result of managing inventory via excel spreadsheets and tables. Think not of how fragile your inventory is, but how purchasing more than needed forces your warehouse personnel to overstock shelves with huge volumes of finished goods your company has no orders for. Ultimately, think of how much more damage is likely to occur the longer you hold that excess inventory.
Regardless of whether you are the project manager in charge of multiple installations, the head of procurement, or the field service technician servicing the end-user customer for your company, you need to have access to vendor data. As such, a number of companies have decided to upgrade their service capabilities with rugged mobile computers, devices that are part of a larger upgrade in their enterprise mobility network. The idea is to not only speed up data transfer from vendors, but more importantly, to improve how companies manage both their internal and external customers. After all, the faster your company is able to respond to internal requests, the faster it should be able to service its external customer base. In the marketplace today, speed is everything!
Stop tracking production with manual time sheets! Stop making excuses for a lack of real-time information, information your production team needs in order to reduce the cost of manufacturing for your company. Stop rationalizing your decision to continue on with manual processes simply because you are unaware how to justify the investment needed in an upgrade. Instead of making excuses, start finding viable reasons to invest in an enterprise mobility network that will not only improve your manufacturing, but dramatically upgrade your company’s entire operations. If looking to simply justify this investment, think of the high costs of downtime. Think of how much that costs your enterprise. Ultimately, think of how much faster your enterprise will respond once it is able to see production happen in real-time. Granted, the global economy today is difficult to navigate, but it is that much more difficult with manual production tracking methods. Manual processes make work stoppages more costly, and your enterprise must be able to respond immediately in order to limit the damage.
Does your enterprise currently rely upon vendor managed inventory? Do you view your vendor relationships, and agreements, as pivotal to your supply chain and the long-term success of your enterprise? More importantly, have you come to rely upon vendor managed inventory agreements in order to reduce monthly carrying charges for your company? If you have answered yes to each of these aforementioned questions, then you understand full well how important it is to have access to immediate information about raw material, part and finished good availability. It is this access to vendor data that is of vital importance to ensuring that your agreements are properly managed. Upgrading to enterprise mobility hardware will make managing these agreements a much easier process. In essence, it will simplify how vendor data is transferred to your company and allow your procurement department to make better, more informed decisions.
Manufacturers have certainly had a hard time of late. There is the continued threat posed by rising material and labor costs, as well as the going concern of overseas competitors, competitors who have the uncanny ability to continually lower pricing. It is not easy. Regardless of how your enterprise handles these obstacles, it is guaranteed that your margins will become smaller and smaller. However, as a manufacturer, you also know that your main weapon for improving these margins lies in your ability to continually lower manufacturing cycle times. Lower cycle times means increasing production throughput. Producing more with the same number of employees will not only improve your pricing, but it will ultimately lead to a better bottom line. However, in order to truly track how well your company is able to lower your cycle times, you need access to an enterprise mobility solution that tracks your production capacity in real-time. Gone are the days when manual timesheets and excel spreadsheets could be used to track production. If your enterprise truly wants to reduce its cycle times and increase its throughput, then you must incorporate an enterprise mobility software solution. So, what are some of the immediate benefits of making this move?
Continue reading “Enterprise Mobility: Benefits for Manufacturers” »
Distributors know that to earn business and close on opportunities means having a comparative or competitive advantage that handily beats the competition. To accomplish this requires the ability to maximize volumes and purchasing power across the their entire product offering. Large-scale distributors also understand the importance of having timely information. As such, they often use software solutions that allow them to manage inventory more accurately. However, does this necessarily mean that the cost to run enterprise mobility software is out of reach for smaller distributors? Absolutely not! Today, enterprise mobility solutions are incredibly affordable. Most importantly, they offer smaller distributors an opportunity to better manage their inventory, reduce their overall cost structure and empower warehouse personnel with rugged handheld computers. A lower cost structure means a more competitive product offering and that increases the ability of a distributor to close sales. So, what does upgrading to enterprise mobility software mean for your position as a distributor?