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Manage Manufacturing Supply Chains with Scalable Automation

Scalable Supply Chain Management

By leveraging CloudSourcingTM and the power of digital VMI, suppliers can manage multiple inventory streams with multiple manufacturers. Because the  ShelfAware platform is scalable, it’s typical to start small and grow with time. Here is a typical example from one of ShelfAware’s many recent installations.

Generalist industrial suppliers no longer have to complicate the management of their multiple supply chains. For example, in the third quarter of 2023, two different branch locations of an industrial supplier were responsible for two different installations in different states. They used ShelfAware, a robust digital vendor managed inventory (VMI) platform, and the magical user interface RFID to track inventory.

Both installations are multi-building manufacturing operations—one is an agricultural equipment manufacturer in rural Indiana and the other is an RV manufacturer in rural Ohio. Each building has some level of autonomy on multi-building manufacturing campuses with different divisions in each building.

Both companies are huge with tens of thousands of annual moving components. However, both installs begin operations in one of the small buildings within the campus of multiple buildings. Because ShelfAware is scaleable, it’s a simple process to slowly begin adding more inventory stations to the process.

The digital VMI platform allows for multiple suppliers to collaborate with one or more manufacturers.

Large and Small Manufacturers Benefit from the Power of Digital VMI

All of those different operating companies are interconnected from a software standpoint. The automated inventory management process starts small by tracking around $10,000 of inventory, however it can grow quickly to track tens of millions of dollars of inventory. ShelfAware is organized so that it’s easy to report on the entire company’s spend, or it can be broken down by installation. Reports can be generated based on product category or operating company.

This is typical of most ShelfAware applications—the inventory management may begin in one building with one supplier and a couple hundred SKUs (even for the larger manufacturing facilities). However, it is quickly broadened by adding suppliers, another building with a few hundred more SKUs, and additional product categories to experience growth and more complex supply chain management over time.

Inventory Automation is More Adoptable with Scalability

For many manufacturers, technology adoption can be scary. But it doesn’t have to be that way. One $10 sensor can be placed on one pump in a facility and just like that—the facility is automated. The magnitude of the automation grows from there.

The same is true for a digital VMI platform like ShelfAware. Just because it has the capacity to track hundreds of thousands of SKUs across multiple product categories and multiple suppliers, the process doesn’t have to start with that kind of overwhelming, “all-in” adoption.

A manufacturer can begin digitizing its supply chain with 100 parts in one operating corner of one facility. As it experiences the simplicity of the process and the accuracy of the tracking, the manufacturer can begin to scale and use the platform throughout its entire supply chain.

This is what automation adoption looks like for manufacturing companies of any size.

For the two recent installations in Ohio and Indiana, tracking a couple hundred SKUs with ShelfAware in one building at each location could escalate to automating tens of millions of dollars of inventory across all buildings on the large manufacturing campuses.

Learn about how manufacturers of all sizes are leveraging ShelfAware to manage their complex supply chains:

How Energy Manufacturing Tackled Inventory Challenges with an Affordable, Easy-to-Use Supply Chain Solution

Automation Simplifies Inventory Management for Eskridge

It’s Easy for Contractors to Manage Complex Supply Chains

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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