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How Collaboration and Digital VMI Automation Improve Manufacturing Uptime

Industrial Machinery Digest Digital VMI

Manufacturers are discovering ways to incrementally adopt technology. By creating more automated and robust supply chains that work more closely with the suppliers that are independent and specialized, a focus is placed on the product verticals needed to keep a manufacturing facility running.

Inventory automation using a robust digital VMI platform is a big win for the entire supply chain. If you want to know what is on your shelf, inventory digitization provides complete visibility and massive amounts of data to track.

There are even more advantages—such as collaboration among suppliers through data-driven CloudSourcingTM, which allows independent suppliers to work together with a consumer on a single RFID-powered supply chain platform to manage complex industrial supply chains.

How Supplier Collaboration Increases Manufacturing Uptime

As markets have grown and matured, that traditional ways of managing inventory have become less efficient for independent distributors.

The biggest pushback to the idea of collaborative CloudSourcing™ has been reassuring companies that their customer bases will not be poached by potential competitors. It is important to note, however, that the upside outweighs the downside exponentially.

By acting as one, the suppliers now become much more valuable to the consumer and less likely to lose market share to their individual competitors. Long term stability means momentum can be built. Established business becomes concrete and stable.

Another advantage is that the collaboration business model offers a built-in referral system among suppliers. Suppliers can approach other suppliers that they have relationships with and invite them to join their digital VMI network to bring the best industrial suppliers to a single consumer.

This type of collaboration among suppliers in a single digital VMI leads to better uptime because better MRO parts that are sourced from better companies are now available at better prices and with better engineering support. The suppliers pay closer attention to their particular supply chains.

Advantages of Collaboration in an Automated Supply Chain

Traditional VMIs have never provided visibility or accountability. The supplier has access to all the data and doesn’t provide the information to the consumer.

Before digital VMI technology existed, suppliers were forced to have multiple branch locations to physically deliver components to manufactures, as needed. Now, even small-town, remotely-located manufacturers have the ability to get parts quickly, efficiently, and without the risk of stockouts that can halt production indefinitely.

Another understated benefit of automation happens when onboarding a particular product vertical onto the digital VMI platform, for example O-rings—an inexpensive but frequently-used component. The MRO crib is populated with several bins of different sizes of O-rings that are always kept in stock. Historically, manufacturers run out of them frequently. With automation, industrial manufacturers can simply set the system to reorder the inventory automatically.

When you “set it and forget it” on several product verticals, the manufacturer can remove all kinds of daily clutter like multiple purchase orders and the physical counting of shelf inventory.

Machinery owners and facility managers can eliminate all the busy work and paperwork and focus on manufacturing their products with minimal downtime.

Industrial Suppliers Improve Uptime with Automated Supply Chain Platform

ShelfAware CEO Andrew Johnson wrote an in-depth article for Industrial Machinery Digest that describes exactly how industrial suppliers can collaborate to improve uptime through automated inventory management. In the article, he provides several examples of how manufacturers who use a digital VMI solution like ShelfAware can benefit from real-time consumption data that flows through a customizable, secure, cloud-based, easy-to-install and deploy platform that makes valuable information visible to both the suppliers and the consumers. As a bonus, this solution also ensures a lean inventory pipeline with no stockouts.

Read the full article by following this link.

Automating Inventory With ShelfAware Is a Simple Process

Implementing ShelfAware’s robust platform is often complex but does not need to be slow. It begins with a group conversation involving a mix of finance, operations and IT professionals. A site audit (often multiple sites) is usually required before a proposal can be made.

Final proposals usually involve a formal stocking agreement, installation fee, and a product pricing quote. Onboarding consumers varies widely, but the minimum time required to convert a supply chain in most markets is about three months.

Want to learn more about an affordable way to automate your supply chain? Request your free ShelfAware demo 

Too good to be true?  ShelfAware is redefining the vendor-managed inventory industry. For this reason, we’re happy to talk to you about how our intelligent inventory platform can benefit your business. Contact us today for more information.

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