An inventory management solution can bring about quick fixes for a distributor, such as cutting back on shrinkage or eliminating user error when typing SKUs on a manual tracking spreadsheet. But there are longer-term strategic solutions distributors can employ to improve demand planning and customer service.
In the December 10 issue of Modern Distribution Management, eTurns CEO Rock Rockwell weighed in on how traditional demand planning and forecasting is inherently a backward-looking process. But eTurns can establish replenishment practices based on actual usage and use that data to stock based on how much product customers are going to order – and when they are going to order it. “We call it precise demand planning,” he told MDM. “Because it’s no longer a forecast. It’s based on actual usage and the current state of affairs.” Long-time eTurns customer, electrical distributor Rexel USA, uses eTurns’ inventory replenishment tools to streamline processes and limit human error; they use the data to do year-to-year forecasting, especially for larger customers. “As long as the economy’s going well, we can project and be pretty spot-on,” says IT lead R.L. Newell.
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