Supply and Demand RTBI for Just-in-Time Supply Management
In today’s volatile business conditions, just- in-time (JIT) supply management has often been recommended as a more conforming method of planning and controlling the flow and storage of inventory stocks, from the point of origination to consumption. Supply and demand depend on the movement of goods from the moment raw materials are received, stored and distributed from storage to produce finished goods, and subsequently stored as inventory until it reaches the end-user consumer. All these involve warehousing, physical handling, order processing and scheduling, and the deployment of delivery vehicles or shipping conduits.
JIT customers have real-time demand for which next-day deliveries may be too long inasmuch as customers maintain their inventory at critically minimal levels. Orders that are placed at a moment’s notice should be delivered the same day or same hour if possible. Suppliers who do not have the capacity to render this kind of service can be replaced by those who have the ability to meet JIT demands.
There are now cloud-based RTBI applications for wholesale distributors. The application enables distribution-entrepreneurs to boost their efficiency in addressing customers’ JIT needs via a web portal or call-center unit. Customers can simply place orders online or by phone, and can immediately determine their order status since the distributor’s order-fulfillment system will proceed with automated processing.
(a) The latter’s workforce including its shippers are linked to the portal; hence all back-office applications will alert and mobilize those involved with the order-fulfillment. This system enhances not only the speed of facilitating the order processes but also the accuracy and reduction of paper work.
(b) The order-fulfillment system can be linked to highly-reputed shippers like FedEx®, UPS®, and USPS®, while orders can be visibly tracked and monitored from shipment to delivery, up to the customer’s confirmation that goods have been received.
(c) Fulfilled orders are accurately captured in accounts receivable records and inventory ledgers as they are linked to the accounting system via the sales order confirmation placed by the customer.
(d) The wholesale-distributor’s own inventory-levels are intuitively managed by using demand-planning features that monitor demand-based replenishment through real time inventory tracking, lot management and advanced distribution bins.
(e) Wholesale businesses engaged in repackaging their products are aided by streamlined procedures that handle fulfillment-order processes via a “pick-pack-and ship" system.
(f) These RTBI systems also have the capabilities to monitor and improve cash flow since on-demand requirements have critical on-demand financial needs in order to mobilize the entire supply and demand chain of activities. Data pertaining to collection of COD payments, purchases on account, payment to suppliers and shippers are integrated with a financial management cloud solution.