I Can See for Miles
For international distribution, where shipping times and returns processes take that much longer, Ideals Publications says the time savings are especially valuable.
LINKING THE SUPPLY CHAIN
For different types of users, the system can have different benefits. For example, Shay says, “If you’re an educational publisher, you’ll put together a kit to send out to the market [containing different inventory items]. It’s critical those kits are done properly. This module allows us to assign a kit number to something, which has really made the whole kitting operation much smoother.”
Each piece of inventory has an SKU or ISBN number, as does the final kit. “The system will … look to see what you have in inventory … and tell you how many kits you can make,” Shay explains. “Without that module … you’d be running around the warehouse just to see if you could do it.”
Brewer says, “It’s about real-time visibility of taking critical data from all different points across the supply chain and bringing it back up to a single view … so the publisher has a greater increased service level to their customers, they have a lot of discrete controls because of that visibility.”
While Jones says it’s hard to quantify the exact amount of time he has saved over the past year, he says, “We don’t have to constantly oversee inventory.”
He estimates that he spends at least half as much time overseeing inventory as he used to. “It’s definitely a lot faster,” says Jones. BB