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Reducing Supply Chain Costs Starts With Supply Chain Visibility

supply chain visibility words

Everyone in the manufacturing industry wants to reduce inventory costs; easier said than done and there is no magic bullet. Simultaneously there is little appetite for inventory reduction solutions with a big price tag. The closest any manufacturer can get to the magic is supply chain visibility.

Eliminating Excess Warehouse Inventory Through Right Sizing Demand Driven Production

Warehouse Inventory

Warehouse’s inventory at an all-time high, choosing a location for storage is tougher than ever. Demand for space is causing prices to go up, and manufacturers want to make sure they are still getting top notch service, especially when expenditures are higher than previous levels.  DC Velocity reported U.S. warehousing costs spiked in 2013 as retailers, incented by low interest rates and inventory carrying

Adopting Cloud-Based Supply Chain Technology

cloud is the key

Recently, Supply Chain Brain (SCB) published, “A Forecast for the Cloud in Supply Chain and Logistics.” Tom Boike, VP of supplier management with UPS, offered his perspective regarding the impact of cloud technology on the supply chain and logistics industry. 

How to Manage 3PLs

Inventory for 3pl

Third party logistics providers (3PL) offer a variety of services, but the primary function of these organizations can be summarized as providing transportation, warehousing, and management of inventory for another company. Some companies handle inventory on consignment. Consignment stock is often defined as inventory owned by one party (in this case the “Supplier”), but held by another (the “3PL”). This risk rests with the first party, and do not get paid until the goods are sold (in this case the third player, the manufacturing “Company”). 

Global Manufacturing Report Highlights Supply Chain Visibility Challenges

lack of visibility

Recently, Forbes and KPMG International released a survey on manufacturing entitled ‘The 2014 Global Manufacturing Outlook: Performance in the Crosshairs.” The report is based on interviews with 460 senior manufacturing executives around the world. 

The report contained four key findings: 

  • Manufacturers plan to invest in enhancing processes which increase profits
  • Organizations will increase R&D spending, including outside collaborations and leveraging technology
  • Supply Chain visibility remains a challenge.
  • Manufacturers want to achieve a globally integrated supply chain and share real-time information with suppliers

Accessing Inventory Savings via Simulation


Manufacturing companies must uncover opportunities to reduce inventory to stay competitive. One way to reduce excess inventory (without the risk of stocking-out of important parts) is to determine an optimal replenishment cycle. This can be done by identifying which parts would benefit from an eKanban loop replenishment system.

MRP/ERP Systems Failing Supply Chain Planners


Integrating Supply Chain Execution Solutions for Real-Time Visibility to Leverage MRP/ERP Investments 

During the last decade, I have personally visited over 150 manufacturing facilities worldwide to help manufacturing companies collaborate with suppliers and gain true supply chain visibility. Due to all this first-hand knowledge, it was a surprise to read Lora Cecere’s recent Forbes magazine article titled Bumps, Cracks and Opportunities reporting that large manufacturing companies, having spent a fortune on MRP systems (in this case SAP and JDA), still use spread sheets and other patches to get through the day. Cecere reports she has dealt with nine companies in one week alone who had to augment MRP forecasts. She shares how companies explained that they start using spread sheets after the forecast goes awry, and that many of the companies with whom she is working are not even using the costly MRP systems for supply chain planning.

Leveraging Investments in Oracle EBS with Ultriva Lean Suite


Are you a manufacturing company that wishes to extend your existing business system to accomplish one or more of the following?  

  • Gain End to End Supply Chain Visibility (E2ESCV)
  • Reduce your lead time by moving to a Demand Driven Manufacturing model
  • Build trust in your supply chain through collaboration with suppliers and customers
  • Migrate to electronic Kanban replenishment with suppliers for having the right part at the right place
  • Increase your customer service levels by moving to consumption driven replenishment with your customers – OEMs, Distributors or Retailers.

Let Ultriva Lean Suite accomplish these goals and extend your investment in Oracle EBS 

Kanban Labels Printed On-Demand Increase Supply Chain Accuracy


Recently, Modern Materials Handling magazine published a case study of a pet supply company struggling with inventory. Warehouse workers had to physically bring the inventory to a computer to scan it, then send it on to the destination.  The process was “cumbersome and inefficient.” The problem was solved by adding mobile workstations with scanning capabilities. There was a definite, measureable ROI, productivity increased by 40%, with the added benefit of freeing up workers. Warehouse employees now dedicate less time to product movement.  Workers also use the mobile carts as label makers for pallets to save time instead of walking across the warehouse to the workstation to print. 

For Manufacturing Companies, Small, Medium or Enterprise Size, the Pains are the Same.


Mid-May was a busy time for Ultriva. In addition to connecting with our users at our annual Customer Conference, we were an exhibitor at NetSuite’s SuiteWorld 2014. SuiteWorld is Netsuite’s annual user conference for customers, partners, media, and industry analysts in San Jose, California. 

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