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Intelligence for Distributors
Stockroom and service truck inventory managers looking to power through industry disruptions and still keep inventory well-stocked should meet today’s challenges head-on by collaborating with suppliers and using new technology. New approaches and technologies can result in real-time access to analytical data, better customer service, fewer inventory shortages, optimized inventory levels, strengthened supplier relationships and lowered inventory carrying costs.
To gain these benefits, inventory operators should take stock and rethink old ways of managing inventory. They should instead consider new automated technologies and methods to keep their stockrooms and service trucks filled with just the right inventory at the right time, and no more.
Peerless Research Group recently conducted a survey of operational factors at DCs and warehouses on behalf of Logistics Management and Modern Materials regarding concerns with warehouse operations and trends. The survey found that in 2021, warehouse operators faced issues with:
The survey found that managers needed to find a way to control inventory as efficiently as possible in a time of supply and labor shortages. And respondents posited that applying more technology is the path forward.
Gartner recently released a report listing predictions for 2022 and outlining the need for organizations to adapt more quickly to ever-changing conditions with innovative technologies. They’ve identified that, in 2022, CEOs have three priorities: growth, digitalization, and efficiency.
For stockroom and service truck managers looking to reduce inventory shortages and eliminate excess inventory to free up space, IoT technologies like inventory sensor bins and electronic shelf labeling systems paired with automated replenishment apps are ideal innovative technologies. Without hiring additional labor, stockroom managers can easily track inventory consumption in real-time and automatically place orders for replenishment.
Here are several innovative technologies that can help stockroom managers meet today’s inventory management demands:
IoT weight sensors placed under bins of supplies can digitally track stock levels. Paired with a software app that converts bin weights to quantity, these sensors allow complete physical inventory counts multiple times a day without human intervention. The right sensors can measure weights as little as .1 grams to as large as 1,000 kilograms 2,200 lbs. Setting minimum and maximum inventory levels on the replenishment app allows the bins to detect when an item drops too low and automatically trigger a replenishment order.
Sensor bins enable inventory managers to:
Automation with sensor bins benefits suppliers and stockroom managers. This technology allows a supplier’s staff to do more selling and less accounting for products, while the stockroom managers can reduce both inventory levels and annual carrying costs in overstocked inventory and free up stockroom space.
Electronic Shelf Labels (ESLs) are digital labels that interact with users and distributors. Gaining use in the industrial sector, these labels are growing in popularity as IoT inventory management tools. ESLs reveal the most current information, such as pricing, on-hand quantities and re-orders in progress. They can also connect to other devices to trigger commands or provide consumption reports.
Demand planning is a critical part of supply chain management, especially in times like these. Using an intelligent inventory app can help incorporate data on actual usage into decision-making. Modern demand planners are focused on stockroom needs and usage, rather than simply stocking products on shelves “just in case.” Collaborating with suppliers by using an automated stockroom replenishment app that provides visibility to both parties means suppliers can better respond to a stockroom manager’s expectations for quick and accurate replenishment.
With an unpredictable supply chain, IoT technologies that deliver “no-touch” physical inventory counts, optimized replenishment orders and analytics about stockroom and van inventory usage can help stockroom managers operate more efficiently without additional staff. The right digitalization solutions can provide better visibility into inventory levels for both suppliers and inventory managers and mitigate the effects of disruption while increasing productivity and growth.
Rock Rockwell is CEO of eTurns, a point-of-use inventory management app that automates inventory replenishment in stockroom and service trucks using phones, RFID and TrackStock SensorBins. Contact Rockwell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The post How to Manage Inventory Shortages with IoT Technologies appeared first on Modern Distribution Management.
Four new member companies have joined the Power Transmission Distributors Association, the organization said.
According to PTDA, the four new members are:
Guardair, of Chicopee, Massachusetts, a leading manufacturer of best-in-class pneumatic tools and gasket cutters used for industrial cleaning and maintenance. The company features multiple distinct brands: Guardair, a U.S. manufacturer of OSHA-compliant safety air guns and pneumatic vacuums and ALLPAX GASKET CUTTER SYSTEMS, the largest global manufacturer of gasket cutters and accessories used in the fabrication of custom flange gaskets.
Rubber Tree Systems of Cleveland, Ohio, which specializes in ERP and distribution in many different segments including fluid power, hose, accessories, power transmission, industrial supply, MRO supply, paper and furniture.
Renegade Industrial Supply of Beaumont, Texas, which operates in the valves and fittings business/industry within the wholesale trade-durable goods sector, with an emphasis on gaskets, fasteners and instrumentation equipment. It has since expanded to include bearings, power transmission products, rotating equipment repairs and industrial hoses.
MGS Soluções Técnicas Industriais (Americana, São Paulo, Brazil) offers different options for supplying power transmission products, equipment for transporting bulk materials, industrial hand tools, automatic lubricators, motors, geared motors, and rotary seals.
Radnor, Pennsylvania-based Airgas Inc. — an Air Liquide company and supplier of industrial, medical and specialty gases — has unveiled a new company tagline as part of ongoing marketing and communication efforts.
The new tagline is “Fill Your Potential,” and Airgas said it plans to “enhance its brand, inspire customers and associates, attract new customers and build brand loyalty.”
“The phrase captures Airgas’ unique promise and is empowered by the voices of both customers and Airgas associates,” the company said in a statement. “The claim aims to emphasize how Airgas, through its employees, is striving to accompany its customers on delivering their full potential may it be through gases, welding or safety products they use.”
The marketing and communications campaign includes new truck branding, facility materials, promotional items and additions to Airgas.com.
“Airgas associates thrive on enabling our customers to reach their competitive best, from daily reliability to ambitious transformations. Our new theme line, Fill Your Potential, represents our commitment and mobilization to journey with customers in pursuit of value creation, while together embracing the promise of a sustainable and prosperous future,” said Jay Worley, Airgas chief operating officer.
Food service packaging and janitorial supplies distributor Imperial Dade acquired North Alabama Chemical, the company’s 50th acquisition under Robert and Jason Tillis, chairman and CEO of Imperial Dade, respectively.
Financial terms were not announced.
Headquartered in Decatur, Alabama, with two additional locations in Florence and Huntsville, NAC is a full-service provider of janitorial supplies, services and solutions owned and operated by Peter Farrell.
“NAC is a leading distributor in northern Alabama and has an excellent commitment to its customers, which makes it a great addition to the Imperial Dade platform,” said Robert Tillis.
Jason Tillis added, “I am excited to partner with Peter and the NAC team to further grow our presence in northern Alabama in this next chapter of growth. This acquisition reinforces our focus to strengthen our presence in key growth markets to ensure our customers receive the highest quality service.”
The post Imperial Dade Nets 50th Acquisition Under Current Leadership appeared first on Modern Distribution Management.
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