Enhanced Supply Chain visibility for the effective management of every aspect of the supply chain, to balance demand with production efforts, maintain optimum inventory levels and meet customer expectations.
Tianma Reduces Logistics and Distribution Manpower by 13 Percent with Manhattan SCALE
Manhattan Associates, Inc. (NASDAQ: MANH) today announced that Tianma Microelectronics is expanding its successful Manhattan SCALE implementation that has already delivered improved logistics productivity and reduced order lead times. Initially deployed at Tianma’s Xiamen site in Fujian province, the Manhattan SCALE implementation is being expanded to all nine of the company’s warehouses across six manufacturing facilities in China and Japan.
Tianma is a leading provider of small and medium-sized display solutions. In 2016, company executives recognised the distribution management limitations of its incumbent Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) system and subsequently decided to upgrade its warehouse management capabilities with Manhattan SCALE. The implementation has driven a thirteen percent reduction in the manpower requirement at this facility, and has improved inventory accuracy and accelerated goods flows, which have in turn reduced delivery errors and order-to-delivery cycle times. Tianma expects it will be able to replicate these results across its entire warehousing estate, saving an estimated RMB 2.8 million in labour costs annually.
Guo Xiongmeng, Director of Information Management Centre at Tianma, said, “Manhattan SCALE gives us market-leading supply chain capabilities that enable us to execute efficiently and accurately across our fulfilment operations. It is already streamlining operational processes within our warehouses and providing us with improved visibility of both inventory and data across our supply chain operations. We can ship goods faster, share detailed logistics information with our customers, and we can easily replicate the system deployment across all our domestic and overseas facilities. In addition, with new innovations continually added to the SCALE solution over time, we are confident we will be able to meet the demands of our customers well into the future.”
Stone Chen, General Manager of Manhattan Associates, Greater China, commented: “We’re delighted with the success Tianma has already achieved with Manhattan SCALE and we look forward to working alongside the company to help it deliver on its operational improvement and business expansion goals in the coming years.”
CED Distributor Gets Smart with Bins to Build Business
Royal Wholesale Electric is a distributor based in Salt Lake City, Utah, specialising in electrical components for use in automation and industrial applications. It is part of Consolidated Electrical Distributors, one of the nation’s largest distributors of electrical components.
But Royal faces a problem common to every distributor, regardless of offering or size — competing for business with a service that can be easily commoditised.
Combatting “3 Bids & a Buy”
All too often, customers request proposals from three distributors and choose the lowest bid without considering the value a distributor brings to the relationship. To avoid this price-based competition, Royal looked at how technology could set them apart.
According to Dusty Siddoway, Royal’s PC manager, they began using the ACTYLUS™ Smart Bin Solution from Apex Supply Chain Technologies® to automate some of the distributor’s vendor-managed inventory (VMI) programmes. One of their first installations was with Intermountain Electronics (IE). IE manufactures rugged electrical distribution and control equipment designed for the oil and gas, mining and power generation industries.
Before the ACTYLUS Solution, IE was using a large, homemade metal shelf with slots to store its components. Bulky by design, it could easily accommodate any inventory IE might have on hand. This resulted in IE carrying surplus inventory, at significant expense.
“It was obvious IE had more inventory on hand than they needed,” said Siddoway. “We knew automating their VMI program for electrical components would decrease their inventory and make them more efficient. This frees up money and floor space for IE, without creating any new or additional costs.”
Solution Allows For 24/7 Inventory Monitoring
Now three ACTYLUS racks, with a mix of 144 large and small bins, handle the homemade shelf’s SKUs with room to spare, all within a smaller footprint. Its LED lighting and brightly colored bins make it easier for workers to identify components accurately. For Royal, the biggest benefit the solution brings is the one you can’t see, the Apex Trajectory Cloud™ data platform.
“With the Trajectory Cloud platform, we know when IE’s bins are running low,” said Siddoway. “This helps prevent stock-outs and eliminates the need for us to conduct bin checks. And since IE is located in Price, Utah, every customer visit entails a four-hour round trip. So, this visibility into IE’s material flow is critical.”
Trajectory Cloud can be accessed online from any computer or through a mobile phone. In addition to automatically notifying Royal when preset minimum thresholds are reached in each bin, it generates monthly reports to show IE inventory consumption.
“We wanted to eliminate bin checks from the replenishment process,” says Siddoway. “The 24/7 access to real-time inventory levels makes this possible. We would not have this customer without having the ACTYLUS Smart Bins in place.”
With an accurate inventory count, Royal provides IE with only the amount needed to replenish its inventory each week. This has helped streamline the procurement process and decrease the number of suppliers needed to service IE.
Since the ACTYLUS Smart Bin Solution virtually eliminates stock-outs, IE no longer needs safety stock. All of this, in turn, decreases IE’s spend and their inventory manager has been able to make better use of her time. This includes working with Royal to look at opportunities to expand IE’s use of this technology.
ACTYLUS Brings Royal New Business & a Fast ROI
Not only has ACTYLUS made Royal more competitive, it’s also proven to be surprisingly affordable. To that end, Royal’s smart bin systems were obtained through the Apex Complete Technology Subscription (ACTS). This leasing program makes the investment in ACTYLUS an operational expenditure. Based on this and on Royal’s ability to calculate a return on their investment, the ACTYLUS solution has been easy to afford.
Siddoway simply takes the amount of revenue ACTYLUS generates each month, subtracts the cost of the ACTS subscription and reflects the cost savings generated by only having one visit to IE each week. Using these factors alone, Royal estimates it sees a return on investment every month.
This math may become even more attractive for Royal. With 12 empty ACTYLUS bins in its system, IE can give more SKUs to Royal. And as the ACTYLUS Solution enables remote site monitoring, the distributor has been able to expand its new business efforts to a broader geographical area.
“By automating VMI replenishment, we can expand our business without investing in additional overhead,” said Siddoway.
ACTYLUS Smart Bins have helped set Royal apart from its competitors and expanded new business conversations to a broader base of potential customers. This helps ensure its services won’t be commoditised with other distributor programmes. Instead of focusing on “a vendor’s price,” now Royal can show their potential and existing customers “a business partner’s value.”
Rexel Puts Spark into Customer Service with Infor M3
Infor, a leading provider of beautiful business applications specialised by industry and built for the cloud, today announced that Rexel UK, a leading distributor of electrical products and services has deployed Infor M3. Supporting a major business improvement programme, the application will standardise processes across all of Rexel’s 350 sites, and provide access to in-depth information to aid customer service and deliver a consistent brand experience.
Infor M3 will help Rexel establish a robust platform which will enable change to be deployed more effectively. As part of the ongoing business improvement programme, the application will drive efficiencies, facilitate clear visibility of inventory, and allow the executive team to extend their ability to monitor and compare performance across the group.
Specifically the application will help manage the challenges associated with a high volume distribution business, delivering a consistently high level of customer experience across the organisation.
“Establishing a technology platform which allows us to deliver a consistent brand experience, is key to instilling loyalty and growing the business,” comments Frank Lauriello, CTO, Rexel. “Upgrading from Movex to Infor M3 means that every site has access to in-depth information on inventory and costs quickly and easily, boosting visibility, supporting decision-making and optimising customer service.”
“Having had experience of working with many large ERP systems, including SAP and Oracle, I have to say that the performance and scalability of Infor M3 is impressive. Going forward, we are working with Infor to help us to drive innovation in both our service strategy and web proposition. Because Infor M3 equips us with the flexibility to adapt easily to change, we’ll be leveraging this throughout the improvement programme.
“For high volume businesses, inventory and customer service really are intrinsic to business growth, comments Phil Lewis, VP Solution Consulting, Europe, Infor. “In 2017, delivering products at the right price, accompanied by great service and a consistent brand experience irrespective of which branch you might buy from, is hugely dependent on having the right systems to provide up to date information, and delivering against demand in the most efficient way. Infor M3 facilitates this while scaling to allow distributors to flex and grow as their strategies dictate.”