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Webinar – Inventory Planning: 10 steps you can take to reduce inventory and free up cash now

Cutwater Solutions will be a guest of the Prophet 21 World Wide User Group on an upcoming webinar for P21WWUG members on March 1, 2016.  The webinar is called, “Inventory Planning: 10 steps you can take to reduce inventory and free up cash now”. 

Join Sujit Singh of Cutwater Solutions and Special Guest – Pauline Cote, Operations Manager from Butler Bros. in Lewiston, ME as they discuss the concepts and processes of inventory planning and the tangible benefits that implementation can bring to your company.

Pauline Cote will share her experience with Cutwater Solutions and inventory planning at Butler Bros., highlighting how she uses Cutwater to augment Epicor Prophet 21 Distribution Software.… READ MORE

PROPER INVENTORY MANAGEMENT DRIVES ECONOMIC GROWTH

This article from Wasp Barcode Technologies highlights three major topics:  optimization, predicting growth, and preparation as keys to proper inventory management. As the title suggests, managing your inventory efficiently and effectively will help “drive” your economic growth. Enjoy the article.

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Preview the article:

“Poor inventory management is one of the primary reasons small businesses fail. According to the State of Small Business Report, 46% of SMB’s with 11-500 employees don’t currently track inventory or use a manual inventory process such as tracking in Excel. This may be hard to believe, but ensuring inventory levels are accurate and adjusted based on demand is a crucial process in running an effective business.READ MORE

Ten Ways to Reduce Inventory, While Maintaining or Improving Service

by Chuck LaMacchia, The Progress Group, LLC

Inventory is a significant and visible asset in most companies – often the largest. Executives and shareholders have focused on inventory levels for years, but it has frequently been reduced arbitrarily, without a full understanding of supply chain implications. This paper discusses approaches to sustainable, and appropriate, inventory reduction.

Pareto your inventory

Ten Ways to Reduce Inventory, While Maintaining or Improving Service

“Our competitor turns its inventory six times per year, but we’re only at four. We should be able to turn our inventory six times as well!” says the boss. “And get it done quickly!” From that, the inventory reduction crusade is set into motion.… READ MORE

Inventory Challenges: Expecting the Unexpected!

This past weekend here in the Northeastern US, we were confronted with a blizzard bringing record snowfall totals.  How do unexpected weather events like this impact inventories?  Grocery stores saw milk, bread and eggs flying off their shelves just days before the storm; apparently many people planned to weather the storm by eating French toast.  Hardware stores saw rock salt selling out and an increase in demand for snow blowers, shovels, and generators.   Good inventory management includes the idea of planning for those unexpected surprises.  Here are some ideas from an article about inventory challenges, “Overcome the 5 Biggest Inventory Turnover Challenges”.

here-comes-another-snow-stormInventory turnover is a measure of the number of times inventory is sold or used in a time period such as a year.… READ MORE

3 More Ways to Regain Lost Customers

In one of my previous blog posts “5 ways to Regain Lost Customers” I shared some strategies you can take to get back what you lost. These strategies highlighted specific paths to take in order to regain customers that may have vanished over time. Because this is so important, I thought I would share some more strategies that can be used to gain back that customer base.

3 more ways to regain lost customers

These strategies can be found in an article from SalesHQ entitled, “The Secret to Winning Back Customers.” Some of the methods discussed are:

  • Create a strategy for revisiting the lost customer
  • You don’t want to go in blind.… READ MORE

    5 Ways to Regain Lost Customers

    In my recent blog series exploring the importance of customers and how crucial it is to regain customers you have lost, I’ve shown just how beneficial customers can be to your company’s bottom line. You might agree, you might not. But, truth be told if you could regain that capital from customers it definitely wouldn’t hurt.

    5 ways to regain lost customers

    So, how do you go about identifying those lost customers (it can be as easy as one click with the right tool) and then getting these customers to come back to your services? After all, they must have left for a reason, so why would they even want to come back. In this latest installment of my blog series focusing on lost customers I want to discuss 5 strategies you can use to regain your lost customers. (more…)

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    May the Force be with you, 7 Tips from Star Wars to make you an Inventory Master!

    I have been a Star Wars fan since my first time in that movie theater in 1977, and now can hardly contain my excitement to see “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” this weekend!  I am also passionate about helping businesses WIN by operating efficiently and achieving their vision for success and growth.  I especially enjoy helping business owners and leaders accomplish their goals through effective inventory management.

    So I’ve decide to write a blog post combining these two passions.  Some of these ideas are from a great article on leadership lessons from Star Wars I enjoyed, which can be found here.yoda2

    1. Do or Do not.… READ MORE

    Don’t Lose the Keys to your Business

    If you were to lose your keys, wouldn’t you do everything you could to try and find them? How else are you going to get to work or to your kids soccer game or to the beach in the summer? The truth is, losing a customer should be treated with the same level of importance because they are valuable. Customers are what drive your business’ progress and are key to its growth.

    Keys to Business

    Every time you lose a customer, you slow down just a little bit. I’ve already explored the importance of customers and why there is a real need to be able to identify lost customers quickly and efficiently in the first part of my blog series, which can be found here.… READ MORE

    Shrink Packaging Systems Corporation Implements Cutwater Software Solutions

    Cutwater successfully integrates with Shrink Packaging Systems Epicor P21 ERP to help enhance the capabilities of their inventory and provide insight.

    WILMINGTON, DE. – December 16, 2015 – Cutwater Solutions, the designer and provider of Cutwater AIM (Advanced Inventory Management) software, announced today that Shrink Packaging Systems (SPS), a leader in sustainable and intelligent packaging solutions, has implemented Cutwater AIM to enhance the capabilities of their inventory and readily provide more insight.

    SPS has been serving customers, and fulfilling their packaging needs for over 45 years. With locations throughout the Northeast, this problem solving company has continued to grow. Along with the growth of a company, comes the expansion of inventory, and keeping track of SPS’ massive inventory can be tiresome.… READ MORE

    Customers are the Backbone of your Business

    Every business is different. This is not news. Every company has different needs, different goals, different structures and rules. The one thing every business has in common, no matter how big, how new or how well known, is the need for customers.

    Customer-retention-strategies-in-restaurants-acquisition-vs-retention

    Without customers, your business will crash and burn. Without customers your company will never grow and develop into an industry leader. This common denominator stands true for all businesses, but especially for wholesale distributors who are likely to have larger customers, where the loss of even a small number of customers can have a tremendous impact on your bottom line. It is because customers are so crucial to a business, that when a customer stops buying from you, it is a huge deal.… READ MORE

    Pride, Prejudice, and the Danger of Experience to your Inventory

    In most cases one of the most powerful tools a company can utilize when making important decisions is experience. Years and years of practice and observation can often become the backbone to a company’s structure. It can help when hiring people, when making business deals, when creating networks and partnerships and in many other areas of a business. But there is one place in a business where experience can actually do more harm than good.  Where?  Your inventory. Basing your inventory solely off of experience can actually cause your company to lose money and create wasted, or dead, inventory.

    When a business starts, typically the owner or one individual personally oversees every purchasing and inventory related decision.… READ MORE

    Pros and Cons of Inventory Management Systems

    While searching for a topic for my blog post this week I started looking at different articles to jolt an idea. The other day I came across a post asking a simple question that struck a thought, “Do inventory management systems really work?” As a professional working with, and promoting, an inventory management system, this question made me pause. I couldn’t help but wonder if this was how many people felt about such tools. With so many wholesale distributors across the globe, it would be easy to assume many have their doubts about such software. In this blog I decided to list some of the perceived pros and cons so those who have the above question can make a well informed decision that best suits their company.… READ MORE

    Not so Happy Holidays

    The holiday season is meant to be a time when we remember our loved ones and those whom we cherish most in our lives. No matter what holidays you observe and celebrate, this is supposed to be a time of happiness and excitement. But, if you work closely with inventory, you might tell a completely different story! The holiday season brings about all sorts of “what-if’s” and “maybe’s” related to inventory in warehouses across the globe. It’s never easy forecasting and predicting how much inventory your company may need, but throwing the holidays into the mix, makes the task even more challenging.  In fact, the holiday season, defined by the National Retail Federation as sales in the months of November and December, “is the biggest time of year for retailers of all shapes and sizes, and can account for as much as 30 percent of a retailer’s annual sales” – See more here!READ MORE

    The Do’s of Trade Shows

    Trade shows are an important part of most industries and inventory management is vital to many of those industries. Trade shows and conferences such as the P21 World Wide User Group Conference and Microsoft Convergence are a great place to build relationships and network within the industry. Not only is this a great place for vendors to meet future clients it is also a great place for attendees to discover the latest and greatest tools to run their business more efficiently.

    In my last blog I discussed the various “Don’ts” of trade show etiquette for both vendors and attendees. In this blog I would like to discuss the “Do’s.” There are several ways for an attendee and a vendor to get the most out of these shows.… READ MORE

    The Don’ts of Attending a Trade Show

    Recently Cutwater exhibited its inventory solution at the P21 World Wide User Group Conference in New Orleans. Earlier this year Cutwater exhibited its inventory solution at Microsoft Convergence in Atlanta and made an impact on many of the more than 12,000 attendees using MS Dynamics ERP products such as GP, SL, NAV and AX. Last week Cutwater registered to be a vendor at Convergence 2016 in New Orleans and also anticipates exhibiting again at the Epicor P21 conference next year. In doing these trade shows I have made several observations from both the vendor side, as well as the attendee side. In my travels to these trade shows I have compiled a personal list of do’s and don’ts.… READ MORE

    Three Simple Analyses To Identify Risky Inventory

    It’s no news that inventory in wholesale distribution is a daily roller coaster. Sometimes you’re up and doing great, other times you’re down and your inventory is completely chaotic. There are several inventory management tools out there created solely to help with such struggles but there are also small steps that can be taken by distributors in order to reduce and better understand their inventory.

    Recently, I came across a blog entitled, “Three Simple Analyses to Identify Risky Inventory in your Supply Chain.” (the article can be found here). The blog, written by Arkieva, highlights three different analyses you can use when trying to identify inventory.… READ MORE

    Is Dead Inventory an Epidemic?…What We Found Part 2

    This blog series shares findings which my colleague and I discovered while attending Connect, the Epicor P21 World Wide User Group Conference, in New Orleans, LA. (Part 1 can be found here) The majority of P21 users “needed” the ability to identify trends and patterns to stock the right items at the right time.

    While this is useful information, it begs the question, “How do they know this is what they need?” What kind of challenges, or “pains” are P21 users facing that they know they need more visibility into their inventory? In this second part of this blog series, illustrating what Cutwater discovered through its’ survey, I want to highlight the major pain points participants expressed in regards to their inventory.… READ MORE

    What We Found – Part 1

    When my colleague and I attended Connect, the Epicor P21 World Wide User Group Conference, in New Orleans, LA we met several amazing P21 users. There were a variety of speakers discussing many different topics effecting wholesale distributors using the P21 software platform to resolve their inventory needs. Before leaving for New Orleans we thought it would be interesting to do a little of our own research within the industry. We wanted to know what the major “Pain Points” of wholesale distributors were, as well as what they believed they “Needed” in the way of reporting from their inventory management system. This first blog will discuss the latter topic.… READ MORE

    About ¾ of P21 users say that DEAD INVENTORY is a problem.

    Recently Cutwater surveyed attendees at the Connect P21 User Group conference in New Orleans, asking about inventory challenges or “pain points”.  About 3 out of 4 identify DEAD INVENTORY as their greatest problem!  The good news is that Cutwater quickly helps wholesale distributors identify and solve this costly problem with its’ affordable reporting tool that creates instant visibility and understanding of your inventory.

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

    Fill Rate Level – A More User Friendly Measurement

    In my last blog post I discussed the harsh nature of using cycle service level as a measurement for customer service. This second blog, similar to the first, will discuss safety stock formulas and customer service, the backbone to any good business. This blog is a bit more business friendly. It gives an insight to your service level that is a bit more forgiving. It is useful to have an idea of your service level; it can be what makes or breaks a company. Cycle service level is just one measurement.

    This second blog in this service level series, which this is based off of, discussed a different measurement called the ‘Fill Rate Service Level.’ This formula takes into account everything the cycle service does, and then some.… READ MORE

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