Wholesale Distribution

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 12most.com highlights obstacles you want to try and avoid in running your small business. Enjoy!

costs

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

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

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

Cycle Service Level: A harsh way to measure

In the world of wholesale distribution, retail and pretty much any other business model, the number one goal is almost always customer satisfaction. Without satisfied customers a company cannot retain business and will eventually have to close shop. I recently came across an ongoing blog series from Arkieva that discussed this very topic. The blog article I discovered entitled, “Cycle Service Level Versus Fill Rate Service Level – Part One” brings up the topic of measuring satisfaction with the cycle service method. The first part of the blog explains exactly how a stock out occurs. It’s pretty simple. Whenever a product is not available on a shelf for a customer, this is when a product suffers from a stock out.… READ MORE

Friends Don’t Let Friends Get Stuck With Excess Inventory

Following my 3 part blog series covering 10 steps to right-size your inventory, part 1 of which can be found here, the next question you should be asking yourself is, “what do you do with all of this inventory?” In this blog series, we have discussed 7 of the 10 ways to get rid of the dead or excess inventory which has been identified by your analysis.

In this final segment of my three part series, (part 1 and part 2 can be found here) I will discuss the last 3 options you have to reduce your inventory.

Consider kitting: Consider packaging the product that is not moving with some other popular item and moving it that way.… READ MORE

4 Ideas On Getting Rid Of Dead Or Excess Inventory

Following my 3 part blog series covering the 10 steps to right-sizing your inventory, part 1 of which can be found here, let’s tackle the next question which is, “what do I do with all of this inventory?”

In the first piece of this 3 part blog series (here) I covered 3 ways to get rid of your dead or excess inventory. In this second part I would like to discuss 4 more suggestions to help reduce that inventory.

Consider moving to a different locationthKFECNJC7

The same item might be popular in one location and unpopular in another. If you are dealing with this situation, you might consider moving the product to the location where it is still selling.… READ MORE

Teddy Roosevelt’s advice to right-size inventory

In my previous two blog posts, I shared seven steps that a business can do to right-size inventory. You can read the first post here and the second post here. These ideas are mostly from my colleague Jane Lee’s write-up. In this final post, I will conclude this series with the last three steps. As Teddy Roosevelt said, “In any situation, the best thing you can do is the right thing; the next best thing you can do is the wrong thing; the worst thing you can do is nothing.” Following a full analysis of your inventory, it’s time to take action and use these 10 steps to right-size inventory.… READ MORE

Butler Bros. Industrial Suppliers Implements Cutwater Software Solutions

Cutwater successfully integrates with Butler Bros. Epicor P21 ERP to help “right-size” and provide insight into their inventory.

WILMINGTON, DE. – August 6, 2015 – Cutwater Solutions, the designer and provider of Cutwater AIM (Advanced Inventory Management) software, announced today that Butler Brothers, a leader in the machine tool and industrial supply business, has implemented Cutwater AIM to help “right-size” and give insight into their inventory.

Butler Bros. has been serving customers, and filling their machinery and industrial supply needs for over 50 years. With their main location in Lewiston, Maine, this humble family business has grown steadily into a much larger business. With a growing business and new locations it can be difficult to keep track of inventory at their four locations.… READ MORE

Four More Steps to Right-Sizing Inventory today

Last blog post, I shared three steps for a business who is right-sizing inventory. You can read that post here. As I mentioned in that blog, these ideas are mostly from my colleague Jane Lee’s write-up. In this post, we will continue the conversation and talk about the next four steps for right-sizing your inventory. 

right-sizing inventory planning

Step 4: Identify and make plans for nearly worthless inventory.

In addition to the obviously worthless inventory in Step 2 in the previous post, there is usually a large amount of material for which there may be some demand, but not nearly enough to draw the inventory down in a timely manner.… READ MORE

Need help knowing where to begin to make inventory improvements?

shelves“After only 5 months, we have seen a 24% reduction in our inventory levels; at the same time, our sales are up dramatically; Cutwater is making a substantial difference in our inventory cost.”

WILL SNOOK

FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF

TRAFFIC SAFETY STORE

 

Most companies have two challenges: too much of the wrong stuff and not enough of the right goods.

  Excess inventory takes up valuable space, is expensive to maintain, and may become obsolete.     Insufficient inventory leads to lost sales and unhappy customers.

Knowing where to begin making inventory improvements is not easy; sustaining them may seem impossible!  

Try Cutwater’s Advanced Inventory Manager

Cutwater’s cutting edge inventory management solution for Prophet 21 users enables planners to identify inventory issues and to make informed decisions concerning this delicate inventory balancing act.… READ MORE

7 Distribution Center Metrics to Understand

Measure twice, cut once. It’s a simple concept. It emphasizes the importance of being accurate and measuring correctly and effectively. This little saying is most often used when discussing construction but it can easily be applied to the world of distribution. Distribution centers know metrics are important in their industry, they just don’t know where they should put their focus. In this blog based on an article I recently read, I will discuss the most crucial metrics for a distribution center to pay attention to. The metrics can be split into 7 separate categories as determined by Adam Robinson in his article in Cerasis. You can read the full article here .… READ MORE

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