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New Trend In Global Inventory Visibility
New Trend In Global Inventory Visibility
cloud logistics inventory management inventory tracking tms solutions
10/8/15 1:06 PM
New Trend In Global Inventory Visibility
Keeping the Supply Chain Moving - What is your Inventory Management Capability?

How, When, What and Where Is Your Inventory Moving? The essence of Supply Chain Management - how long is my inventory not moving? It is a simple question. Yet the management of stationary inventory is a complex issue and requires timely sophisticated TMS solutions.

Alas, in the 'old days' we had much more time to be informed and react to the status of our inventory. The scope of our supply chain was much narrower and did not include manufacturer or point-of-sale activity. Of course, the amount of inventory in our supply chain was much higher - especially in your DC and Warehouse safety stocks to support lead time that had more uncertainties. The time it took to find out that the current status is 'out of spec' (did we even define it?) was painful. That assumed you knew the current status! The time it took you to react and initiate a 'Plan B' with your SCM stakeholders, was impeded by their ability to be timely aware and react accordingly. All of these moving parts! Logistics departments generally lose ownership of TMS management and visibility once products arrive at the ultimate customer or retail.

TMS solutions nowadays can allow in-depth visibility into all aspects of inventory to/from all global location. 3PL's are being asked to be proactive and given access to all TMS activities before the end user. Is that something we are ready for? Monitoring actual sales is a risky business. What about liability? The days of 3PL's only being forwarders and/or transporters are fast disappearing. The 'fewer players involved in the supply chain the better', seems to be the mantra. Are we ready for this trend?

As an importer you may already have the capability to monitor movements within the global supply chain, from manufacture through pickup to shipping, arrival, delivery and sale. This capability is usually not all within one TMS solution. It is fed from various carrier systems through EDI, either in 'real time' or timely batch status updates. Tolerances for out of spec movements, can trigger immediate notification and/or action depending upon the capabilities of your TMS systems. How much 'authority' should you embed in your solutions to initiate action? It is limited by the access and ability of your stakeholders to your supply chain. Is it safer to set the tolerances to trigger only 'notifications' when out of spec? Given the international supply chain and time zones, that may not be good enough.

Let me suggest that we all examine our global supply chains and determine the business rules that we and our 3PL's need to allow tolerances, inventory & safety stock adjustments, notifications and finally automatic 'triggered actions'.

This all sounds wonderful and impressive, but do you have logistics systems in place that can support some of these configurations? Cloud Logistics TMS systems incorporate many supported functions:-

· Inventory Tracking
· PO management
· Global visibility/track and trace
· Document management
· Rate management
· Routing guide and schedules
· Scheduling
· Landed cost

Can your in-house TMS solutions support your strategic initiatives mentioned above? If not, just remember 'the longer you put it off the more panful and costly it becomes'. Freightgate TMS solutions integrate both internal and external processes and systems to break down silos using collaboration and connected cloud logistics to drive informed decision-making.

If I have gained your attention take a demo of Freightgate's Cloud Logistics Solutions that provide the newest generation of logistics software for the global supply chains. Take a Demo and Compare: http://www.freightgate.net/demo/

Gary Chisamore the author, is the VP of Business Sevelopment at Freightgate and a 40 year veteran of the Logistics, Supply Chain and International Trade sectors. Phone: (714) 799-2833 Email: sales@freightgate.com sales@freightgate.com

# inventory management # cloud logistics # TMS solutions # inventory tracking
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