While the overall driver in vendor-managed inventory is to improve efficiency and reduce costs, most experts agree that collaboration and trust are key to making VMI relationships work:
Your customers need to be confident that you can accurately forecast their requirements and schedule deliveries so that critical stocks never run out. At the same time, you need to be sure that your customer will actively monitor your forecasts and update you whenever there is a mismatch with their actual production requirements.
Problem is, ERP and warehouse systems were never designed for this level of forecasting and collaboration. To achieve the kind of efficiencies and cost savings that VMI promises, you need a new generation of inventory planning and management system.
Automation, collaboration and accurate forecasting
I-Plan Inventory is a next-generation inventory management system, designed for the highly
competitive world of process manufacturing. It uses sophisticated forecasting techniques to manage stock levels as efficiently as possible and to identify where demand is too erratic for a computer to take sole charge.
At the start of the contract and then periodically I-Plan helps you and your customer to work out the right safety stock strategy for each product type. It makes recommendations based on historic demand and allows your staff to apply their knowledge and insights to refine the stock management settings.
Every day, I-Plan monitors stock levels and uses a sophisticated algorithm to determine when to create replenishment orders. Rather than relying on simple reorder levels – which are at best inefficient and at worst unreliable – I-Plan forecasts future stock levels based on the customer’s predicted demand and your own production schedules. This allows I-Plan to maintain stocks at optimal levels while generating replenishment orders that fit perfectly with the rest of your output.
So that I-Plan is always working with the most accurate and up-to-date data it integrates with ERP and warehouse systems, as well as your production planning.
I-Plan provides a simple but very flexible browser-based interface that allows your customers to log in securely and view as much or as little of your inventory and production information as you want. This enables them to check the inventory plan that I-Plan is proposing and make adjustments so you are ready for any peaks or drops in their own production.