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Inventory Planning Software
One thing is certain in the world of consumer products - it is constantly changing. That statement is more true in this decade than ever before. Companies are faced with swiftly evolving customer demands for the latest and the greatest, whatever that many prove to be. It is only through providing what the public wants that a company can stay in business and nobody wants to buy yesterdays gadget. That means that the pressure is on to try an predict what consumers will want next and determine where to get it and how to stock it. If a company doesnt have enough of a product when it is new and hot, that means sales are lost to competitors who do have the product. On the other hand, too much product down the road when the popularity of a particular item is waning, also means lost revenue. Figuring out how to play the middle ground is a tall order, but one that can be accomplished more easily with inventory planning software.

Inventory optimization software can help a company react more quickly as conditions in the marketplace being to change, and reduce exposure to economic risks. Asking hard questions and providing accurate answers are also a part of that particular business strategy.

To develop an optimum inventory strategy, a company must first establish which service level objectives are necessary for each product line and then determine which channels or customers are most important to target. Some products are more profitable than others and risks and costs change over time. If inventory is to be held at some point in the supply chain, it must be strtegically determined for maximum benefit. This type of postponement strategy can significantly improve customer service and reduce costs, but only if it is implemented properly.

Variability in supply and demand is hard to capture. Demand variation depends on seasonal factors, forecast errors, new product launches, and even customer promotions. Supply variation depends on lead time uncertainties or other supplier performance circumstances. If a business can capture these variables, it can determine how to meet customer service objectives at the lowest cost.

Another key in the decision making process is strategic sourcing and procurement, including which products to focus on and which suppliers to obtain them from. Product quality, delivery timetables, and impact on total revenues are all part of that decision process. And, finally, companies need to be able to measure performance to make sure their planned objectives are obtainable.

Inventory optimization software can help a company to quickly and accurately make all of the decisions and answer all of the questions necessary to maximize its return on investment. Sophisticated technology combined with intuitive user interfaces allow users to swiftly pose scenarios and compare outcomes. Changing service levels and inventory investment levels can be postulated and analyzed. These types of applications can be integrated with other components to optimize planning and execution functions. Better yet, most of the input data required is generally already available from other sources within the companys system - items like costs, supplier lists, carrying costs, and so on.

Companies are finding that inventory optimization software can improve their performance in the areas of delivery, reduced inventory costs, and management of supply chain variability. It can help with determining strategic sourcing and measuring performance against objectives - in other words, it can streamline the whole process from beginning to end.

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