Blog - Cutwater Inventory Management

Inventory and Supply Chain Jokes for National Tell A Joke Day!

Laughing and eating are perhaps my favorite ways to relax!  We all need to laugh and while tension is high in the world, in our lives, and in our jobs, what better time to celebrate National Tell A Joke Day!   Grab something to eat (I suggest chocolate), relax and enjoy these 10 jokes suited for professionals who spend time working on the serious matters of inventory, supply chain, demand, forecasting, procurement, accounting and finance!  Go ahead……laugh!  

Inventory Turns cartoon

  • What do you get if you play a supply chain country song backwards? You get your revenue back, you get your margin back, you get your on-time delivery back…
  • How many supply chain planners does it take to change a light bulb?

    Is inventory optimization as valuable as relationships for distributors?

    A recent survey reveals distributors view customer relationships as a key factor in ensuring customer retention. Employing the right inventory optimization techniques coupled with innovative inventory optimization solutions play an important role in maintaining customer relationships and increasing bottom line results.

    inventory optimization solutions

    Because I work closely with wholesale distributors regarding inventory optimization and inventory right-sizing through the use of excellent inventory reporting software, I was fascinated to see a recent article and survey in Industrial Distribution.  Their “Survey of Distributor Operations: Value of the Distributor” revealed that when distributors were asked for the primary reasons why their customers do business with them, relationships and product availability ranked at the top and were considered equally important at 80.6%. … READ MORE

    Epicor Prophet 21 Connect 2016 – World Wide User Group Meeting

    Cutwater will present it’s Advanced Inventory Management Software (AIM) to Epicor P21 attendees at the annual P21WWUG Connect, September 25-27, 2016 in Phoenix, AZ where members come to learn, socialize and make connections.  


    Cutwater’s AIM (Advanced Inventory Manager) provides a way to identify inventory that is out of line with demand – either too high or too low. It is designed so that management can quickly size up the opportunity in dollars, while the planners can get detailed, actionable reports.

    Stop by our Booth #114 to see Cutwater AIM in action and attend our vendor session! 

    Request a Demo of Cutwater's AIM (Advanced Inventory Manager) Click Here READ MORE

    Ten Deadly Sins of Inventory

    As I’ve been blogging to share insights into the area of Inventory management, I have had the privilege of receiving comments from many inventory and supply chain professionals.  One such contributor is , who is a Sr. Supply Chain Professional and Professor of Supply Chain.  Below is Stuart’s article, “Ten Deadly Sins of Inventory” which I trust you will find to be helpful……ENJOY!

    warehouse image

    In religious circles there are the Ten Commandments.  Well, in Inventory Management there are the ten deadly sins of inventory mis-management.  If you are struggling to meet customer demand, and you are losing customers and new sales, then inventory mismanagement is the primary cause.… READ MORE

    7 Habits of Highly Effective Inventory Managers

    All employees of business today are under enormous pressure to work efficiently and bring superhuman powers to their role, but perhaps none are in such demand as highly effective inventory managers!  Mistakes made in inventory have devastating results for the bottom line, while success is the true lifeblood for wholesale, retail, and manufacturing companies!  New and changing technology can both help manage inventory, but also eliminate obsolescence!  Every business has limited available resources so allocating them to create the highest value is critical for the supply chain or inventory manager.

    7 Habits of Highly Effective Inventory Managers

    Stephen Covey’s best seller, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” suggests an approach to being effective in attaining goals. … READ MORE

    Losing Money By Not Using These 8 Inventory Management Techniques?

    Read “Warning: You’re Losing Money By Not Using These 8 Inventory Management Techniques!” by Cassandra Campbell to learn more!  

    I used to dread the word “inventory”. As a part-time cashier in high school, the word inventory only meant one thing: lots and lots of counting. It’s common for businesses to reconcile their inventory at the end of the year by counting up all their physical product and making sure it matches what’s on the books. For big companies like the one I used to work for, this requires all hands on deck!
    silent killer of cash flow

    These days, I understand just how important solid inventory management is. Inventory is a placeholder for money.… READ MORE

    Prevent Dead Inventory From Happening!

    Perhaps you can name the movie which contains the phrase, “I’m not dead yet!  I think I’ll go for a walk!”  While I think “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” is a really funny movie, my wife does not.  But when it comes to inventory, the stuff that calls out as if to say, “I’m not dead yet, I think I’ll get sold” but is truly becoming dead and obsolete is no laughing matter for reasons which I detailed in my article, “The REAL Shocking Cost of Dead Inventory! ”  So how can you prevent dead inventory?

    Prevent Dead Inventory

    If you buy-in to the fact that the true cost of dead inventory far exceeds the unit cost to purchase it, then you will realize that to prevent dead inventory you must ask, “How can I keep dead inventory from happening in the first place”? … READ MORE

    The REAL Shocking costs of dead inventory!

    What is the cost of your dead inventory?  Quite often, even among well-run businesses, the actual costs of inventory are inaccurate, underestimated and incomplete.   While most resellers know they have dead inventory, many are unaware of just how much.  Our experience, supported by other studies, shows that in even well-run companies, anywhere from 20-30% of inventory is dead or obsolete.

    The REAL Shocking Costs of Dead Inventory!

    While that is huge and alone could have devastating ramifications for a business, how does one calculate the real costs to determine the hit that your business is facing?  The easy answer is to take the unit cost for those dead items, add them up and you have your answer. … READ MORE

    The Ripple Effect On Inventory


    One small change can have an enormous impact!  Recently, a network switch failure led to the breakdown of the baggage-screening system at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport when the software system that scans for explosives went into a continual reboot cycle and resulted in more than 3,000 checked bags missing their flights! One small glitch = many angry and disgruntled clients.

    Ripple Effect

    The same can be said for inventory management.   If one small problem occurs, your business can quickly be in a world of trouble!   Have you ever considered what could happen if your largest client who relied on you having an item in stock came to you and not only were you out of stock, but the vendor was back-ordered? … READ MORE

    Analyzing inventory to maximize profitability

    Every company strives to improve profitability. Countless hours are spent in meetings devising ways to lower operating costs while increasing sales and gross margins.

    Analyzing inventory

    Unfortunately, management in many companies assumes that:

  • All material currently in stock is necessary to properly serve customers.
  • Costs can best be reduced by lowering wages, reducing benefits, and squeezing any possible amount from the operations budget.
  • Salespeople should focus on increasing sales dollars and gross margin profit dollars. Buyers should order whatever salespeople request to help them achieve these goals.
  • New warehouse technology is an expense that cannot be easily afforded.
  • In the quest to maximize return on investment many organizations fail to scrutinize their investment in inventory.… READ MORE

    Are Inventory Levels the Thermometer for Managing Your Company?


    Inventory Levels

    As a Phd in inventory optimization, I’ve started my supply chain career in adjusting inventory parameters with surgical precision. I was, and I still am passionate about applying statistics and advanced analytics to the supply chain domain. I’m still training supply chain experts on how to do this. I’m still involved in research where we redefine the boundaries of what science can do for you. Though I still believe that science can help, my biggest mistake was the assumption that it would be enough to change the game.

    With a master mathematics, 5 years of experience in IT and an ongoing MBA, I arrived in the supply chain domain 13 years ago.… READ MORE

    Cutwater announces winner from Microsoft Envision 2016

    Cutwater Solutions congratulates Greg Sandquist of James M. Pleasants Company (JMC) in Greensboro, NC.  Greg was the winner of the Ares Ethos QX130 Ultra Micro Quadcopter drawing at Microsoft Envision 2016 #Env16 in New Orleans.

    Hobbytown Quadcopter

    This prize is sold by one of Cutwater’s clients, HobbyTown USA.  Cutwater’s Advanced Inventory Management Software (AIM), pre-configured for the entire Microsoft Dynamics suite of GP, NAV, SL & AX as well as Epicor Prophet 21 (P21) helps clients to “right-size” their inventory.

    Request a Demo of Cutwater's AIM (Advanced Inventory Manager) Click Here READ MORE

    Centralized vs. Decentralized Procurement: Trust is key

    As I speak with wholesale distributors, many of which have multiple stocking locations within their business, I am always interested to learn how each decides to manage their procurement.  Is their purchasing centralized or decentralized?  I decided to explore this idea to hear the arguments for and against centralized purchasing in a multi-location distributor environment.   The challenge is to balance the pressure from the financial side of the company to reduce inventory and increase turns and the sales and service side with the need to stock enough of the right product to satisfy customers.

    How do these seemingly opposing sides work together to provide the best value and meet the common objectives of satisfying the needs of the ultimate customer, and providing the best return on investment?  … READ MORE

    Effective Inventory Management: 5 Best Practices

    One of the biggest challenges many wholesale companies face as they grow is figuring out how to manage inventory as their needs change and their product portfolio grows. Fortunately, there are some proven best practices that will help to cure some of those inventory headaches.

    5 best practices

    One of the biggest challenges to effective inventory management has to do with the nature of the inventory management function as part of the overall business. Manufacturing, procurement and sales activities directly impact inventory, and yet these departments may not all be actively involved in inventory management decisions.

    Inventory is also affected by forces outside the company – the larger economic environment, changing seasons and trends, and resulting shifts in demand.… READ MORE

    Managing Inventory Turns: More money for what you need!

    Managing Your Inventory: The less money you have tied up in inventory in order to fill your distribution channels, the more money you will have to do all the other things a company needs done. Here’s how you can manage your inventory to your best advantage. 

    Inventory Turns cartoon

    With any distribution business, the less money you have tied up in inventory in order to fill your distribution channels, the more money you will have to do all the other things a company needs done — marketing, advertising, research and development, acquisitions, expansions, and so on. You need to turn your inventories as often as possible during the year in order to free up that working capital to do other things.… READ MORE

    Clocks “spring forward” but gain hours with time-saving tips!

    Ah, Spring!  Trees budding, breaking out the grill for burgers and hot dogs, taking a leisurely stroll or a jog in the park and…… losing an hour?  This weekend, we’ll be turning our clocks forward!  NOT what a business person needs when we count on every hour just to keep up!   Clocks “spring forward” as the saying goes, but you can gain hours with these time-saving tips!


    Clock with money

  • Focus on the important tasks – Time is the great equalizer!  We are all granted the same 24 hours per day; no more and no less.  So make the most of the time you have and prioritize. Identify your priorities and your most important tasks, do them first and leave the rest for later. 

    The 5 silent killers of cash flow

    In an economy where the stakes are increasingly high and cash progressively scarce, business owners must pro-actively manage the balance sheet and income statement or risk falling victim to the five silent killers of cash flow.

    Did you know that a majority of businesses that file bankruptcy reported a net profit, yet had negative cash flow? Often the warning signs that a company is in trouble go unnoticed until it is too late. A business can improve their liquidity and create long-term viability by looking closely at the following potential trouble spots.

    silent killers of cash flow

    The 5 silent killers of cash flow

    Inventory Management. Driven by revenue growth, business owners can easily lose sight of the gradual increases made in their inventory levels.… READ MORE

    A refrigerator taught me about inventory management? Yes!

    I learned some lessons recently about good inventory management.  And not in the conventional way!    You see, my wife and I have six sons and for a period of time four of them were teenagers.  If you have teens, perhaps you can imagine what our pantry and our refrigerator looked like in our attempt to feed four teens as well as the other four people in our home!  We tried to be fully stocked as best as we could.  A recent peek into my Mom’s refrigerator, who lives by herself and was about to leave on a vacation, gave me some instant lessons on inventory!



    Here’s what I learned from a peak into Mom’s refrigerator:

  • Visibility into your inventory is critical!

    Microsoft Envision 2016 – New Orleans from April 4-6, 2016

    ms-envisionCutwater looks forward to meeting business leaders and Microsoft Dynamics users at Microsoft Envision which brings together the most forward thinking minds in business and technology. Whether you’re a business leader or decision maker, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to hear the latest business trends and discover solutions that can help you, your team and your business achieve more.



    Need help knowing where to begin to make inventory improvements?  Most companies have two challenges: too much of the wrong stuff and not enough of the right stuff.  Excess inventory takes up valuable space, is expensive to maintain, and may become obsolete. Insufficient inventory leads to lost sales and unhappy customers.… READ MORE

    12 Most Costly Profit Killers in Your Small Business

    Running a business is no easy task. It takes time, money and good decision making. This article from Donna Marie Thompson on highlights obstacles you want to try and avoid in running your small business. Enjoy!


    If your business strategy focuses solely on growing your business by expanding top-line revenues, take a closer look at your profit margins to ensure that your fair share of profits are actually reaching the bottom line. In many cases, you’re so busy selling, delivering, and putting out fires, your costs can silently creep out of control, with damaging effects on your business profits.

    Here are 12 costly profit killers that can drain your profits faster than you ever thought possible.… READ MORE

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