Make Inventory Management Easy, Even When Inventory Levels Are Low
Managing inventory is like walking on a tightrope. While juggling. In the rain. And what’s worse, if you lose balance, inventory issues can impact both your immediate profits, and your long-term trading relationships.
When inventory is in short supply, the key to staying competitive is strategic order fulfillment. You’ll need to maximize on-shelf availability where sales are highest, while minimizing your inventory presence in lagging locations. You’ll need to avoid selling what you can’t fulfill. And you’ll need to be agile enough to shift gears when (not if) supply chain disruptions occur.
By choosing a vendor managed inventory (VMI) solution with available-to-promise (ATP) and allocation, you can proactively track customer demand and supplier inventory and take strategic action to stay ahead. You’ll be able to cut lead times, balance stock levels, and prevent overstocking, resulting in lower costs for you, and higher satisfaction for your customers.
Available to Promise (ATP)
How it Works
Creating orders for products that won’t ship can cause major issues in your supply chain, from extra work to communicate downstream, to underweight shipments, to invoicing discrepancies. TrueCommerce’s VMI platform comes with built-in options for allocation and ATP to minimize the impact of demand and supply fluctuations.
- When working on an order, planners can choose the ATP option before executing
- The VMI solution either performs a web service call to the ordering system, or checks the supplier ATP file, and returns the total inventory available to fulfill that order
- The system can be set to automatically adjust orders not to exceed ATP, OR it can be set to alert the planner when either the order quantity >ATP, or ATP=0
- The adjusted purchase order can be launched or sent to the buyer for approval
Adjust your VMI orders in real-time based on supplier inventory availability to prevent overselling and maximize in-full order fulfillment.
- Automatic stock alerts let you know about potential order fulfillment issues
- Advanced features enable you to automatically adjust order quantities based on ATP inventory
- Suggested orders include real-time product availability information, so planners don’t need to switch between systems to check stock levels
- Web-service integration connects directly with your ordering systems to assess inventory availability
Inventory Allocation Optimization
How Allocation Works
Inventory allocation software goes beyond ATP, with features that combine allocation locations, item quantities, and analytics to intelligently spread the total amount of inventory across those locations, without exceeding the target maximum days of supply. Using TrueCommerce VMI, you can distribute inventory quantities across all locations for a distributor, or within groups of locations for that distributor.
- Create allocation groups based on sourcing points, geographic location, example, and more
- Set Max Days of Supply (DOS) for each location or location group
- Choose from three allocation modes: Up, Down, or Up/Down to automatically adjust inventory distribution across locations
- Up/Down (Default):
Allows the system to increase or decrease the total order quantity based on the allocation quantity and max DOS.
Checks to ensure the total order quantity does not exceed the allocation quantity, and decreases the order as needed
Allows the supplier to “push” additional inventory out to locations when the total order quantity is less than the allocation quantity
A Better Way to Allocate
Enable your supplier planners to more easily manage inventory items in short supply and streamline product allocation across downstream partner locations.
- Allocate inventory strategically, instead of fulfilling orders on a first-come, first-served basis
- Maximize sales of products in short supply, limited-release items, or those being discontinued
- Pair allocation with item stratification, ATP, and demand forecasting to eliminate supply chain blind spots and increase on-shelf availability in key locations
Strengthen Your VMI Program
TrueCommerce’s ATP and inventory allocation software tools simplify inventory optimization across your supply chain, so you can spend less time tracking inventory and adjusting orders by hand.
- Decrease excess inventory and maintain high service levels across your downstream trading partners
- Minimize lead time for order fulfillment to keep up with changing markets without hefty safety stock investments
- Increase planner productivity with tools that eliminate the need to check multiple inventory systems or manually modify each order