As businesses look to free up working capital to respond to the current market conditions, inventory planning is often a target. With inventory being the largest capital outlay for any business, making a nominal change in strategy has implications on a large sum of dollars. These freed funds can be used to expand operations, take on strategic initiatives, and position the company for a stronger tomorrow.
Ever since its inception, supply chain management has largely been focused on cost and expense management, seeking methods to reduce the costs of logistics, transportation, warehousing, distribution, procurement, manufacturing, and all the other business processes that make up supply chains. Further, in recent years the costs associated with inventories (including working capital), fixed capital (facilities), and supply chain technologies have been measured and targeted for reductions. Since these processes and supporting investments were established as necessary functions of the enterprise, their operations were viewed as important for cost management.
New technology being introduced into the market to automate historically manual tasks, brings back our sense of fear. Do we want people to complete menial/labor intensive tasks or do we want to create competent/reliable machines to complete these tasks?
These feelings of uncertainty are not new. In the 19th and 20th centuries there were also these concerns. The introduction of the car, electricity, and the telephone caused a lot of uproar.
The MonarchFx management team recently reviewed a paper by McKinsey & Company titled Should CPG manufacturers go direct to consumer – and, if so, how?. As usual, the paper is thought-provoking, as well as providing meaningful executive advice.
We recently held a very successful two-day open house at the Tompkins International Emerging Technology Center (ETC) in Orlando. Over 120 interested representatives from retailers, brands, and others were provided a two-hour discussion (the “context”) by our CEO, Jim Tompkins.
Amazon is one of the most written about companies of the modern era. There are daily reports of astounding accomplishments and news of their plans moving forward. Why write more about the number one online retailer in the U.S.? Because they are leading the pack by a wide margin, with respect to the U.S. online retail world.
The winds of change are blowing on multiple fronts. Jimmy Dean, the late singer, actor and creator of Jimmy Dean’s sausage once said, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” He recognized the need to be flexible responding to change and to use it to his advantage.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution has started, warehouse robotics is raging in the logistics arena. Amazon’s acquisition of Kiva, the company regarded by many as being the first to introduce warehouse robotics, left a void that is continually being filled by new, exciting, and emerging technologies.
Drones are going to become an option for certain selected final mile deliveries in the future. Will drones become the next best option for final delivery and meeting customer expectations? We believe there is still a lot to be understood about the rules, regulations, and costs of using drones for final mile delivery.
As the department store channel shrinks, and more brands fight for less space, our opinion is that brands will need to be more creative, flexible, and diversified in their approaches.
How an increasingly evolving uni-channel retailing model is impacting replenishment operations and what retailers need to do to adapt
Integrated Business Planning (IBP) sits at the heart of many organizations as the management process that runs the entire business. The real power
of IBP is in enabling effective decision making to control the future direction of the company.
After years of writing about supply chains, Tompkins is building out an ambitious e-fulfillment network for retailers and e-tailers.
I commence this article with an invitation for you to join me on a journey to the fictional Island of Siloville. It will be an interesting visit
because Siloville is populated by the most rugged and individualistic people on the planet. They grow their own food, sew their own clothes,
and build their own homes. The Silovillian’s passion for self-reliance produces some unusual arrangements in almost every area of their lives
but, for our visit, we are going to focus on the evolution of their transportation industry.
Believe it or not, one of the questions often asked by clients is, “What is a Brand?” There is an enormous amount of confusion as to what a brand is.
In all of the confusion around the concept of what constitutes a brand, it seems like a simple question, but the answer is anything but simple.
If the consumer is confused about what the brand stands for, the result is a lack of brand integrity and brand persona.
In our many discussions with retailer and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) executives about developing eCommerce, we often hear the issue of capital availability
being a key barrier. This is not surprising, since investments in facilities and equipment required to compete in the new world of online ordering are being
estimated in terms of billions of dollars.
“In economics and business, a network effect (also called network externality or demand-side economies of scale) is the effect
that one user of goods or service has on the value of that product to other people” (Wikipedia).
In the next five years, the accumulated impact of three decades of exponential improvements in technology will force organizations
to radically transform and totally reinvent how they do business. What is driving this revolution and how to prepare?
The secret to success is not much of a secret at all. It’s right there in front of all of us and Amazon is showing us the way.
What is not a secret is Amazon’s incredible eCommerce and package volume. This volume makes feasible, and justifies their
investment in, a network of fulfillment centers moving closer and closer to population centers, as well as, their insourced
MonarchFx is offering an unparalleled opportunity for inventory agility and transparency. Estimating future demand forecasts is
one of the most fundamentally valuable, but frustrating challenges in supply chain optimization. Often forecasts are incorrect,
but getting demand forecasting right provides the critical forward-looking picture that shapes how a company will deploy its supply
chain effectively. Demand planning is the effort to increase forecast accuracy and customer service levels, having the greatest
impact on business profitability. Providing the best plan and capturing information as close to the selling season, using pre and
in-season data is a critical element in giving the customer what they want, when they want it, and where they want it.