When it comes to stock control, it should never feel like you are walking a tightrope, deciding on whether you should acquire more stock or not – you have to be absolutely sure. The number one challenge that retailers, distributors and manufacturers face is finding the right balance between meeting demand and optimising inventory levels. Having too little, can result in loss of sales, too much can put a strain on your cash on hand. Say that after all these considerations, you have decided to upgrade your stock control system in favour of a more efficient one.
We asked our Chief Executive Officer, Ashley Regenass, to elaborate on the greatest differentiator in the Sage X3 solution and what one must keep in mind to ensure a smooth transfer.
What are the main benefits clients look for in a stock control system?
Inventory management boils down to answering a few simple questions: What items are in stock, how many, and when should I order more to ensure customer satisfaction? Due to volume fluctuations, companies may at times find themselves out of critical items or overstocked on others.
A reliable forecast of future demand is what you need. Sage Inventory Advisor (a Sage X3 add on module) helps companies to better manage their costs, meet expectations and increase customer satisfaction because it does more than just track inventory – it’s a diagnostic tool that lets you know when you have excess inventory, potential lost sales and surplus orders. The software will also extract actionable, analytical intelligence from your historical sales, purchasing and supply chain data. Best of all, it is a forecasting tool that tracks item-by-item products and makes suggestions about planning optimal replenishment and improving fill rates.
What else can the Sage Inventory Advisor do?
The Sage inventory optimisation tool applies multiple sets of analysis and formulas to determine how and when you should stock. The software gathers intelligence from your sales team to provide optimal forecasts and classifies all items by value to draw your attention to what contributes the most to your bottom line.
The system will advise you not to stock glasses in winter because they only sell in summer. Without Sage Inventory Advisor, you could be taking your cash and putting it in the wrong place. This has an impact on cashflow and a direct impact on business because you will tie up cash you could use more effectively elsewhere. The system gets as clever as seeing a pattern emerge like the need to stock more red glasses for Polokwane and blue for Sandton.
What is the benefit of an ERP system with built-in WMS?
Many organisations struggle with different data sitting in the ERP to the Warehouse Management System ‘WMS’. The ERP system might be telling you that you have three plastic containers in stock while the WMS says you have four. You don’t want to be sitting with this dilemma when all you want is to deliver to your client.
You won’t have a big integration cost nor a “system argument” like the one mentioned above when the WMS system is built into the ERP system. Our system provides one set of data, one version of the truth – and It’s a real-time data analysis. If someone in the warehouse breaks a glass, sales can see there are now seven glasses, so they know not to try and sell stock that isn’t there.
The benefits of having WMS core to the ERP means that you don’t have to worry about a costly integration and you don’t run the risk of the integration not working properly or it being inaccurate. You can define and control the warehouse in the ERP system (so essentially you’ll have one place for setup, rules and master data) and it’s managed in real time. If something contracts in the warehouse, it will link to and ensure synchronisation across stock, sales, purchasing and manufacturing.
What must clients keep in mind before implementing a stock control system?
“Sage Inventory Advisor and WMS for Sage X3 are the two crucial components of managing inventory. Otherwise, you don’t have an inventory optimisation and management system, you have a stock system,” says Ashley Regenass. To truly analyse and manage your inventory, control costs and keep your customers satisfied, you need to take a closer look at Sage X3 and Sage Inventory Advisor as a combined solution.