BLUE RIDGE BUYER CAMPUS

Learn, share, grow ...

Blue Ridge Buyer Campus

cycle
Clarity FAQ of the Week: How do I see a range of service goals by buyer? Get the Answer.
Free Book Offer: 10 Steps to a World Class Inventory Investment Team Request a Copy

Clients

Industries

Underlying the unique challenges of each industry we serve is the critical need to align inventory levels with demand fulfillment. Our real-life, first-hand experience working as replenishment buyers, inventory managers and category management specialists for companies just like those we serve allows us to quickly expose profit opportunities-and help clients achieve the game-changing results others only promise.

Specialty Retail & Mass Merchandise

Non-Durables Industries

Durables Industries

Third-Party Logistics

VMI & Collaboration

 

Specialty Retail & Mass Merchandise

Issues. Retail replenishment teams must balance the replenishment of year-round products with the special challenges of seasonal, fashion and short lifecycle items. Slow movers, new item introductions, open-to-buy programs, imports, promotions, constrained supply situations, and inventory allocation requirements must all be managed well on a day-to-day basis. For rapidly growing companies, assortments and product procurement for new locations must be handled quickly and efficiently.

Opportunities. Less unproductive inventory, fewer markdowns and increased in-store availability are the result of aligning DC inventory with store demand and managing unique products effectively. Significant time and money savings can be quickly gained from rolling out the product assortments and ordering for new locations. Incorporating promotional planning into the daily replenishment routine generates more precise inventory investment. Placing the right quantities in the right locations through product allocation will result in game-changing profit gains.[Return to Top]

Food Service & Food Wholesale

Issues. Low margins are an ongoing challenge in the food industry, requiring a savvy inventory replenishment team with solid technology, and an investment-driven approach to replenishment. Food industry companies require robust solutions to help them manage a complex myriad of deals, promotions, truck load sizing, seasonality, lead-time concerns and perishable product. In addition, food service has unique needs when it comes to school bids and adding new accounts.

Opportunities. Significant inventory reductions and service improvements typically come from managing each item on its own at every location, rather than taking a global approach to replenishment. Smarter safety stocks, economic replenishment cycles, solid demand forecasts, lead-time forecasts and seasonal forecasts are just the start to achieving game-changing results. Profit opportunities are also abundant in the areas of deal forward buying and promotional planning, and more effective new item management will help companies meet their growth goals. [Return to Top]

Healthcare, Drug & Medical

Issues. While in the healthcare/medical industries the item mix is relatively smooth, the characteristic low margins need to be constantly and aggressively addressed. It takes an investment mind set and inventory-alignment technology to effectively manage deals, price increases, promotions, vendor minimums, lead time concerns and more. Replenishment buyers tasked with elevating customer service face even further challenges.

Opportunities. The game-changing results healthcare suppliers look for—substantial inventory reductions and increased demand fulfillment—typically come from a micro-management approach. Having a sustainable process that drives appropriate safety stocks, economic replenishment cycles, accurate forecasts and lead-time for every location builds a basic foundation. For additional profit, suppliers must also manage deal forward buying, promotional planning and new item management. Using a system that significantly saves replenishment buyers’ time gives them the opportunity to go after unannounced deals and work promotional campaigns in partnership with suppliers and other internal departments. [Return to Top]

Wine & Spirits

Issues. This industry is characterized by shrinking margins, presenting unique challenges to those responsible for replenishment of product. Savvy inventory replenishment guided by solid technology with a sustainable process goes a long way. The Wine & Spirits industry pushes the envelope of inventory replenishment systems with their needs for managing deals, promotions, truck load sizing, extreme seasonality, lead times and special needs of their labels. It requires a true investment-minded strategy and mindset to be profitable. Additionally, there are tremendous requirements to constantly communicate with suppliers.

Opportunities. Dramatic inventory reductions typically come from managing each item on its own at every location...service improvements result as well. As in other industries, keeping careful watch over safety stocks, economic replenishment cycles, and forecasts is where to begin to gain control of the entire process. Many have yet to explore the profit opportunities abundant in the areas of deal forward buying and smarter promotional planning. New item management will deliver a discipline as well as better service with lower inventory. [Return to Top]

Candy, Tobacco, & Convenience

Issues. Experiencing one of the highest turn rates of any industry, candy, tobacco, and convenience companies are subject to steep trends, seasonality, and significant regional variations in their demand patterns. While the items are high-volume, shelf-life constraints must be precisely managed and balanced with full truckload ordering requirements.

Opportunities. Dramatic inventory reductions typically come from managing each item on its own at every location...service improvements result as well. As in other industries, keeping careful watch over safety stocks, economic replenishment cycles, and forecasts is where to begin to gain control of the entire process. Many have yet to explore the profit opportunities abundant in the areas of deal forward buying and smarter promotional planning. New item management will deliver a discipline as well as better service with lower inventory.[Return to Top]

Automotive

Issues. Extremely slow moving items, demand seasonality, short product lifecycles, increased competition, industry globalization and increased lead times due to production locales are just a sample of the issues the auto parts industry contends with constantly. Margins increasingly play a bigger role in today’s competitive auto parts marketplace, and the need to align two critical goals—controlling costs and gaining market share—is critical to building and maintaining competitive advantage.

Opportunities. Control your costs, as well as your inventory! Today, companies need to forecast when product needs to be brought in, as well as how much product to bring in well in advance of the actual demand. This process of managing inventory by understanding customer demand guides auto parts companies to maximize their ability to increase fill-rates, while at the same time reducing or delaying unneeded inventory. Reducing inventory risk by managing the inventory replenishment process lets you better control your inventory costs and free up cash to meet your long-range goals, such as commercial sales, special programs and market grabbing promotional opportunities. [Return to Top]

Hardware, Lawn & Garden

Issues. Hardware/DIY distributors and retailers struggle to deal with slow movers, erratic demand, contract management and severe seasonality. Making available thousands of SKUs across hundreds of locations becomes a problem for full-line distributors when dealing with regional pricing and lead-times or changes in climate and demand from one location to another.

Opportunities. Every aspect of every SKU should be managed individually by location. What that means for you is that for every location, those components that drive profitable inventories are considered on a SKU by location basis. Components that are considered are demand fluctuations, seasonality, pricing, item economics, stock status and so much more. Similar items across your distribution network can have unique demand and lead times. Safety stock requirements are unique and calculated automatically and precisely for each item, and your purchase orders are built to take advantage of freight economics. [Return to Top]

HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing, Industrial Supply

Issues. Erratic demand defines the this industry. The result? Replenishment buyers play a guessing game as to which items will grow and which will fade. This can result in out-of-alignment service and inventory levels. To compound the challenge, regional uniqueness, seasonality, housing and production market differences all conspire to vex companies in this industry—and limit profit potential.

Opportunities. If you could manage each item on its own, everywhere in your operation, you would see dramatic inventory reductions and significant service improvements. That takes a clear, sustainable strategy to invest in smarter safety stocks, control economic replenishment cycles, build solid demand forecasts, and manage lead times. Profit opportunities abound in the areas of deal forward buying and smarter promotional planning. New item management will deliver a discipline as well as better service with lower inventory. [Return to Top]

Paper, Office, & Art Supplies

Issues. The paper, office, and art supply businesses require a variety of approaches to inventory management. The replenishment teams may manage anything from sheets to reams of paper, industrial supplies, inks and toners, to a specialty calligraphy pen nib. Solutions are required to manage each ordering challenge which may include high-volume items, seasonal items, slow movers, special orders, customer account sales fluctuations, import lead time and container ordering requirements, stock balancing and allocation situations.

Opportunities. Every aspect of every SKU should be managed individually by location. What that means for you is that for every location, those components that drive profitable inventories are considered on a SKU by location basis. Components that are considered are demand fluctuations, seasonality, pricing, item economics, stock status and so much more. Similar items across your distribution network can have unique demand and lead times. Safety stock requirements are unique and calculated automatically and precisely for each item, and your purchase orders are built to take advantage of freight economics.[Return to Top]

Follow Us

Learn, share, grow ...

Blue Ridge Buyer Campus

cycle
Clarity FAQ of the Week: How do I see a range of service goals by buyer? Get the Answer.
Free Book Offer: 10 Steps to a World Class Inventory Investment Team Request a Copy
© 2011 Blue Ridge Inventory Group, LLC. All rights reserved.