Optimizing Business Output by Using VMI

In any business that deals in physical products, its inventory is its number one concern. Having a surplus means potential wastage and reduced efficiency, while having a deficiency means the inability to fulfill orders. Both situations are potentially disastrous to the business, and need to be prevented at all costs. As such, having an efficient inventory management solution is invaluable to any business. VENDOR MANAGED INVENTORY A vendor managed inventory (VMI) system is where the supplier or vendor holds the products [...]

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Inventory Visibility in Contract Manufacturing

Although it’s not a recent innovation, contract manufacturing is being widely adopted by many large corporations. One notable example of this is Apple, which contracts the manufacturing of its phones to external companies such as Foxconn. While research and development is still done by Apple, the actual creation of its products is mostly done elsewhere. This has a multitude of benefits to both the main company and the contractors. There are two main types of contract manufacturing: consignment and turnkey. [...]

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How Blockchain Technology Can Preserve Food Safety

Recently, there has been a large scale case of E.Coli outbreaks in the US, affecting mostly lettuce and lettuce based products. Due to the disastrous effects of the bacteria, keeping it away from customers is of the utmost priority. The difficulty in doing this arises from the near impossibility of fully tracing back a food product to its source. Between the restaurant that serves it and the farm that grows it, there may be a multitude of middlemen, each [...]

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Productivity vs. Efficiency – What to Measure

In ordinary day-to-day conversation for most people, the words ‘productivity’ and ‘efficiency’ are thrown around indiscriminately. They are, however, different and it’s important to know the difference and when to use them. PRODUCTIVITY V EFFICIENCY Productivity is the raw measure of how much product is made in a certain time, disregarding other metrics, like demand or wastage. For example, an employee of a company that makes 45 units an hour while the company only needs 30 is seen as very productive. [...]

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How Kanban is Re-Inventing VMI

A few decades ago, the idea of Vendor Managed Inventory was very popular. It was a new, innovative way of managing inventory where the supplier held the product until it was used. The customer benefited because they could maintain a constant inventory and were in a better position to negotiate. The supplier benefited too, since they were guaranteed business with the customer. It soon became apparent that VMI came with massive risks to both parties. From the customer’s perspective, [...]


Shipment Trackers vs. Data Loggers

In most trucking and logistics companies, a device called a data logger is used (pictured below). This records the latitude and longitude of the shipment along with other statistics like temperature, humidity, etc. While this is useful to get an idea of the conditions the shipment has been through, it’s not ideal for a variety of reasonsINEFFICIENT REPORTING Like most wireless devices, data loggers are subject to battery levels and consumption problems. Using too much battery means a unit can [...]

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Why You Should Have a Vendor Portal to Manage Suppliers

In today’s rapid business world, immediate and efficient access to information is a must. Along with your customers, suppliers and purchasing agents need the same level of info just as fast. The fastest and most cost-effective way to implement this is with a supplier vendor portal. Here are some of its benefits: SUPPLIER SELF-SERVICE Portals allow the supplier to have a high degree of autonomy. Inquiries that would have taken days or even weeks through a lengthy process of calls and [...]


AI in the Supply Chain

Over the last few years, Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has exploded, essentially going into every sector imaginable, from finance to film making. Supply chains are no different, with AI having expanded quickly already, and almost certainly going to expand more. These are the ways in which AI technologies are helping supply chains:SUPPLIER RISK MANAGEMENT: In any supply chain, your suppliers are not always reliable. Some shipments could be incorrect, delayed, or not even get sent. These kinds of problems are [...]


Inbound Shipment Visibility – Why It’s Important and How to Improve It

Of all the aspects of a supply chain, inbound visibility is one of the most important. Having an accurate view of when shipments will arrive can allow you to plan your inventory ahead of time and fulfill orders with the knowl edge of what level your inventory will be at. In addition, having visibility can allow you to confirm your supply with confidence. While these benefits are great, the problem is that perfect visibility is almost nowhere to be found. [...]

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Benefits of an Integrated Shipment Tracker

improvements along all aspects of business, its almost unbelievable to think shipment tracking has barely changed over the last decade. In a large amount of companies, the shipment tracking system is mostly, if not completely, detached from the order management system. This leads to tiresome and tedious data entry tasks, which along with not adding anything to the company, have a high risk of causing errors. A carrier gives a single number which is used periodically to check the [...]