Strategic National Stockpiles and Sourcing for the National Interest!

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The decision by President Trump to tell 3M to stop shipping masks to Canada and Latin America is astonishing given that all of humanity is facing the same crisis.

Supply issues started with chronic shortages of toilet paper, hand sanitizer and food goods of all kinds. Store shelves have been emptied of the most basic items that we all take for granted.

And then it quickly evolved to shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) for our Healthcare professionals. The very people whose tireless efforts and personal sacrifices on the front lines of this pandemic don’t even have the basic equipment they need to do their jobs while protecting themselves and their patients.

I never knew what an N95 mask was, nor did I know that there were actually national stockpiles (now proven to be insufficient) of these masks and ventilators and other PPE.

Trump’s action with 3M raises questions for any country about what their Strategic Stockpiles should be and whether future sourcing decisions and actions should be based on parochial nationalistic needs or magnanimous global needs.

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11 Inventory Management Best Practices! (Infographic)

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Supply chain leaders are continuously looking for inventory management best practices, and the role of technology in the supply chain offers significant advantages.

Instead of relying on traditional, outdated inventory management best practices, supply chain leaders should follow these 11 steps to leverage technology and improve inventory management at last.

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What is Inventory Management?

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Inventory makes the world go round. Stockpiles of raw materials, components, sub assemblies, finished goods, returned goods, and reclaimed and refurbished materials enable all aspects of industry to function and all aspects of the economic engine to run.

Trillions and trillions of dollars of inventories exist all over the world in every conceivable form and in every conceivable channel. Inventory levels will determine whether any company will survive or die. Too much inventory can result in cash flow problems that lead to bankruptcy. Too little inventory can result in an irretrievable loss of business that can lead to business failure.

Given its incredible importance we’d like to explore what may seem to be a simple, yet complicated and truly strategic, question.

What is Inventory Management?

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Inventory Management Beyond the Mystery (Ebook)

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Inventory is everywhere you look.   

Everyone and every company has inventory of some kind or another.  In your cupboards and closets, attics and basements at home you have an inventory of goods.  At your place of work, whether that be in an office, on a manufacturing floor, or a warehouse, you are surrounded by inventory.  And certainly, any store you go to, whether in person or online, has shelves stocked with inventory.  

Inventory makes the world go around.

That is why we’ve created “Inventory Management Beyond the Mystery“, our Inventory Management Ebook, to help you learn how to make game changing results using real life techniques.

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5 Inventory Management Mistakes to Avoid!

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A very important part of many businesses is managing inventory. Companies in all different industries need to have inventory in stock in order to remain afloat and deliver their products to customers in a timely manner and avoid inventory management mistakes.

Managing this inventory is very important and should not be underrated or ignored by businesses. Having good inventory management can save your businesses money and make sure your fulfillment is acceptable.

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Are Ghost Assets Haunting Your Inventory Control?

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Imagine an asset that, instead of contributing to a business’s success, costs it money without producing return, makes it harder to get an accurate picture of performance and otherwise hinders its success.

It’s a scary picture for any business owner or employee—and for many, it’s all too real.

These assets are called ghost assets, and they’re surprisingly common. How do these assets come to haunt a business, and what can be done about them?

They’re certainly a challenge to deal with, but it’s possible through the power of technology and smart asset management.

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The Go-To List of Ways to Improve Inventory Management!

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Today’s warehouse managers need to improve inventory management strategies. Shareholders want to increase profitability. Customers wish for better customer service. Amazon wants to take over the world.

This is nothing new, but as the world has evolved, the ability to improve inventory management has evolved in stride.

Supply chain leaders should follow these key strategies for ways to improve inventory planning services and inventory management. 

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Featuring Our 10 Best Inventory Management Articles!

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Inventory is often the single largest asset in most companies across any industry. It consumes a lot of cash, impacts return on investment and profitability, enables or impedes growth and customer satisfaction, and requires a tremendous amount of resource to manage it. Inventory Management is critical.

Yet a lot of companies big and small, well known and startups, struggle to manage Inventory effectively.

In this “Featuring” series article we are putting the spotlight on Inventory Management. We are presenting our Top 10 Inventory Management articles with techniques and approaches which will have something for everyone to learn from and apply in their own situation.

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Effective Inventory Management Keeps Your Business Thriving!

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Effective inventory management is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business. It can be the difference between having the right products in stock when your customers need them and being caught short.

Good inventory management means having visibility into your inventory levels at all times, so you can make sure you have enough products on hand to meet customer demand. It also means having efficient systems and processes in place to track inventory levels, so you can quickly and easily reorder products when necessary.

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A Basic Guide to ECommerce Inventory Management!

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In this digital age, one of the best ways to earn money is to sell unique products online with the help of an eCommerce platform, such as Amazon, Alibaba, etc. However, to have a profitable online selling business, it’s crucial to understand the importance of inventory management in eCommerce. 

An effective inventory management system is one of the most crucial elements of running a sustainable eCommerce business. It helps businesses arrange their products systematically and ensure all products are released on time to increase fulfillment rate and promote positive customer satisfaction.

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What is Demand Sensing?

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Understanding more about the needs and wants of customers through demand sensing can help supply chain leaders make informed decisions, improve inventory management, and increase profitability.

In recent months, conversations about how to improve forecasting in the supply chain have focused on a subject: demand sensing.

However, what is demand sensing?

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10 Small Business Inventory Management Tips!

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Many overwhelming strategies, processes and techniques will come your way if you have to learn and perform inventory management. It can be hard to make sense of the overall framework you need to use for any of the small business inventory management tips and techniques.

But it’s certainly possible to deal with them with some of the trusted practices in the industry.  Large businesses have already pushed limits to minimize human error, and it’s high time you build solid inventory management for growing your company.

Let’s look at our highly recommended small business inventory management tips!

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The Supply Chain Detective™ and the Inventory Turnover Mystery!

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The company I had just joined went to market declaring that it was a world leader in Distribution and Logistics. That was a clear contradiction to the Inventory Turnover Mystery I was about to discover.

As I settled into the job and started learning, and studying, the various Supply Chain metrics I was surprised when I looked at the Inventory Turnover performance of the company.

Looking at recent and historical Inventory performance I could see that turnover always stayed around 5-6 turns with little variation. Everyone seemed content with the situation and unmotivated to make it better.

For a company that declared their world leading capability I was astonished. 5-6 turns? True leadership in this areas would require double digit turns.

I needed to figure out what was truly going on and get this Inventory Turnover mystery solved. This was another case for the Supply Chain Detective™.

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The Supply Chain Detective™ and The Case of the Missing Cash!

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We were tremendously excited!

We had just completed the acquisition of a company that had great, complementary technical capabilities, a broader geographic footprint, new customers, and accretive profitability.

The CFO and I took over day to day management of the acquired company.  A few weeks after the excitement of the acquisition had died down the CFO called me into his office.

“We are out of cash.  Next week we have to decide to either pay the employees or pay our suppliers.  We don’t have enough cash to do both.” How could we be missing cash?

We were in trouble.

What happened to the cash? How were we going to become solvent again and keep the business afloat for the long term?

It was another case for the Supply Chain Detective™!

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What is Inventory Shrinkage?

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There are many terms for inventory shrinkage: warehouse shrinkage, product shrinkage, loss of product. They all amount to the same thing — your merchandise is missing from the warehouse shelves.

For businesses that sell physical things, some amount of shrinkage is unavoidable. At point of sale, stores can experience retail shrinkage from breakage and shoplifting. ECommerce businesses experience inventory shrinkage when items are damaged on warehouse shelves or disappear during shipping or receiving.

It’s important to understand your shrinkage rate because it affects your bottom line. Here’s everything you need to know to calculate and prevent inventory shrinkage.

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