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The Evolution of the Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) Process

Posted by Chris Leach on November 30, 2017 10:03:00 AM EST

With technology linking retailers and suppliers better everyday, there is a re-emerging process that is allowing a more solid partnership between these two trading partners. Better data sharing solutions have fostered an evolution of Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI), where data points such as retailer POS and supplier deliveries, credits and inventories are more accessible and improve the accuracy of demand planning accuracy, orders and replenishment.

The Evolution of the Vendor Managed Inventory Process (VMI)

Retailers are sharing more and better data with their suppliers than ever before, and that has 

  

Retailers are putting them in charge of inventory replenishment and this is changing the traditional way of doing business. Now, it's based more upon real-time supply chain collaboration allowing suppliers to have actual access to customers' item-level POS data so there is less communication breakdown, better planning and increased customer service levels.

Here's how new inventory reporting is making this happen.

Reduced Forecast Error

The supplier and retailer are now able to synchronize on more reliable joint sales and joint order forecasts because they both have visibility of this on-shelf data in real-time. This gives them a more effective way to plan distribution strategies based on actual consumer demand. Suppliers now have a more accurate look at what products people are actually buying which helps them with better production scheduling, more accurate distribution and improves store activity planning.

SEE ALSO: Top 5 Ways to Embrace the New Scan-Based Trading

Reduced Replenishment Cycle Times

New inventory reporting helps improve operational effectiveness because with suppliers having access to this data, retailers are now more confident they will receive their orders in a speedy way. They are now free from having to keep high levels of inventory for their safety stock and across the distribution network, this results in significant savings.

Improved In-Stock Rates for Retailers

With retailers no longer having to place their own orders, suppliers now have product activity data right at their fingertips. POS visibility lets them observe actual product consumption rates which lets them better determine when retailers need to replenish their stock. And because these stock levels are highly visible, there are fewer errors in suppliers streamlining beer payments in order to meet the customers' demands.

Increased Service Levels for All

New inventory reporting reporting is making the speed of processing orders more efficient and effective because there are fewer data entry errors because of this better collaborative communication between the two. Both the suppliers and the retailers are able to more smoothly and accurately control the availability and flow of these goods because real-time data ensures in-stock items are aligning with what consumers are actually wanting to buy.

Greater Transparency

Achieving success as value chain partners depends on clear, accurate day-to-day communication. This new retail analytics software offering real-time reporting provides timely information in more transparent ways so everyone has a clearer picture of what to expect. With older, more standard processes, suppliers were simply informed of the desired delivery dates and the need to make a delivery schedule. Now they can see actual inventory situations which improves on customer relations. This provides an increase in productivity, better supply chain performance and a stronger value chain partnership.

SEE ALSO: The Critical Role That Scan-Based Trading Plays In Shrink Reduction

In the past, retailers have been in charge of ordering their inventory but now, with Jointly Managed Inventory, there's an evolution where they are putting the suppliers in charge. New inventory reporting makes this process easier because it simply takes the foundation of these relationships and just fine-tunes them. Suppliers and retailers are now forming lasting partnerships that focus on mutual planning and provides them both with greater benefits. And with suppliers having access to real-time retail data solutions, they now have the tools necessary to make sure inventory is shipped at the right time, and to where it is needed. This speeds up customer delivery, decreases overhead and increases sales. To learn ways to bring retailers and suppliers together to promote better collaboration, please contact us today.

Topics: Scan-Based Trading Payments, B2B Payments

Written by Chris Leach

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