scm basics

Our objective is to increase customer knowledge and provide training on how to use the software.  At the basic level that is what buttons to push and screens and tabs to use.  At a slightly higher level, we want to help you improve your supply chain through industry best practices and how to set those up in the software.

We explain concepts and then the execution (why do it and then how do I make it happen) through best practice, and why it is a best practice.  And then follow up with how to set it all up so you can watch it work.

Any changes in the supply chain roll right to the bottom line.  You improve it, profit goes up – goof it up and it can be disaster.  To that end we have several areas that are known to have a big impact.

Many of our customers have improved their supply chain management beyond their wildest expectations. We have captured the information to ensure that the training includes ALL the components – software, organization, process, so these amazing results are replicatable and scalable.


In procurement we support catalogues/supplier agreements.  A best practice in supply chain is to analyze buying patterns and then negotiate deals with suppliers.  This only save money if in fact the agreements are leveraged.  When a supplier agreement exists, our software automatically places the purchase order thus reducing “spend leakage”.  Depending on the buying patterns at a company the savings can be huge. Also by freeing up the procurement agent’s time, it is now possible to do the research and negotiate the agreements.

Also in procurement, approvals are important.  Approval of the requirement, approval of the spend and approval of the legal aspects of the purchase contract.  It can add days, and days and days to completing a purchase order.  The cost of the acquisition goes up and the impact on business can be significant.  Electronic approvals are fully support in the solution for requisitions and purchase orders.  These are easily configured and can even be configured to escalate if an approval/disapproval does not happen in a timely fashion.  This is a fairly common feature in the big expensive systems (Oracle, SAP) but you just don’t see it in an affordable solution for mid size businesses.


In inventory management, inventory accuracy is critical.  If the inventory is not accurate, the impact to the bottom line can be huge.  Orders cannot be fulfilled and orders are lost or fines incurred.  For many, to insure that doesn’t happen, larger inventories are carried than are really necessary – resulting in carrying costs and capital tied up.  Both problems impact the bottom line.  We enable and enforce a cycle counting approach that has batches of inventory reviewed everyday.  The end result is a much higher level of accuracy and reduced costs to the company.

[tutorial : the concept of cycle counting and why it is a good thing, specific direction on how to configure and set it up]

Tied in with cycle counting is the concept of automatic re-order processing.  While this is a best practice, it is fairly well understood in the industry – it just isn’t employed well.  If the re-order processing is configured correctly, stock outages can be greatly reduced or eliminated while keeping the size of the inventory down.

[tutorial : cycle counting – why do it, what are the benefits and what are the costs of not doing it, how to set it up and monitor]


On the order fulfillment side, accuracy and speed to delivery is key.  Our example of the per cent of orders shipped within 24 hours is a good metric.  The automation from order, to picking in the warehouse to shipping and completion of the accounting has a huge impact on the bottom line.  The sooner something can be shipped, the quicker the dollars come in the door.  The action queues for the warehouse and the shipping department just naturally encourage an improvement in throughput.  Activity in the warehouse and shipping department is driven what needs to be done and how long the system has been waiting to be done.  It is about “Order to Cash”.  The quicker something can be shipped after the order is received, the quicker cash comes into the business.

[tutorial : action queues and the impact on the velocity of the business]
Another component of the order fulfillment is the concept of automatic quoting.  This can be initialized by a sales person or for companies that have a web presence, a request delivered to the system electronically can immediately return a response.  We use a price list to accommodate this.  Quotes are always accurate and sales people are selling and quoting at the prices established by management.  The cost and time to prepare a quote is greatly reduced.  So here, the best practice is to have a price list and somehow enforce it.

[tutorial : why you need a price list and how to set it all up]

Learn more…

Certificate in Supply Chain Management


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