Service And Aftermarket Parts Requires Different Strategies, Not Technology

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Many manufacturers provide a line of innovative products in addition to offering service or aftermarket parts and accessories. Manufacturing products often requires a different strategy from the aftermarket parts production; however, that doesn’t mean you need separate management solutions. You can manage manufacturing operations and aftermarket needs with the right suite of inventory tools.

Many manufacturers and distributors offer hundreds to thousands, or many more, products to customers. On top of those original products, there could be many more aftermarket parts and accessories. However, these aftermarket parts may not follow the same inventory management trends as their original products. The volume of SKU combinations for products and aftermarket parts that are coming and going can becoming increasingly challenging to manage, which could lead to a warehouse full of the wrong parts or stock-outs that can lead to dissatisfied customers. Different inventory needs require different strategies, not different software systems.

A robust enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution can provide strong supply chain and inventory management functionality; however, with challenging cases like this you need more. The Demand Manager offers stronger forecasting features than simple spreadsheets or entry-level inventory management software. You can forecast and monitor multiple size and color combinations of items and use different forecasting variables including operational, sales, financial, point-of-sales data, or other data. You can also configure forecasting scenarios by business item or customer-centric, or a hybrid model. Seasonal changes in buying behaviors can also be introduced into forecasting scenarios using the auto-detection feature in Demand Manager or the insight from your sales and service teams when developing scenarios.

Using strong management solutions, including Demand Manager, to create more accurate and reliable forecasting scenarios can improve the type and volume of inventory that you keep in your warehouse. You can carry less inventory, maintaining enough safety stock to prevent stock-outs, while not carrying more than you really need. Demand Manager can auto-detect and deploy an appropriate safety stocking strategy for intermittent demand parts, such as the aftermarket or accessories that complement the other products you provide to customers.

Products and aftermarket parts may require different inventory management strategies, not technology. Contact RockySoft to learn more about Demand Manager and other inventory management solutions that can provide greater control and insight.

By Jeffrey Porter with RockySoft, Microsoft Dynamics software provider for demand planning

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