Saturday, December 8, 2012

ProMat 2013 in Chicago

ProMat is coming to Chicago in 2013. This event is held every two years and is the largest trade show of its type for the supply chain. It is expected that over 800 exhibitors will be present and it will be attended by tens of thousands of people.

When: January 21 - 23, 2013
Where: McCormick Place (Chicago)

Attendees of this event can expect to learn and network with industry experts. Over 100 educational seminars will be offered across various learning tracks. Those that are active in the supply chain should consider attending this event. The industry continues to find new technology improvements to help companies gain a further technical advantage, this event is a great setting to interact with product and service solution providers.

Video: Zebra Printers show RFID Printers at ProMat

To learn more about Zebra visit

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Spotlight on Online Ordering and Inventory Accuracy

Here's a great article from EcommerceBytes about Stitch Labs. A challenge that the seller has is ensuring that a customer is able to have reliable access to what can be fulfilled online. This is a common problem among e-commerce websites and those in the catalog business. Connecting online websites and back end operations can be challenging. Failing to do so can hurt customer satisfaction. The larger the company, the more important, and often more challenging it is to implement. Having good process in place can also save time for your customer support group via phone and emails.

Read the exchange between Stitch Labs co-founder Jake Gasaway and EcommerceBytes by visiting

In this article Mr. Gasaway explains how the company has made multiple improvements since 2011, including better integration with and product improvements that allow users to rearrange their product catalog within the SaaS environment.

Below is a Stitch Lab video integration example with Etsy.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Marketing best practices and inventory management improve dental website

Supply chain upgrades and marketing best practices have boosted the new website. Leveraging 40 years of dental community experience, the website helps make strives with online personalization and online inventory management. Details about the upgraded operations can be seen here:

Personalization is a big topic among small companies. The ability to give customers a personal experience is leading to new abilities to improve conversion rate. With, customers are able to personalize their communication materials such as reminder cards, recall cards and dental holiday cards.

It is good to see more companies, especially established companies modernizing their technology and marketing process. Giving customers options and backing it up with supply chain improvements is a great way to find additional opportunity within your industry and to gain a competitive advantage. recently underwent multiple technology upgrades to its operations.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Thoughts on Inventory Management Software

Came across this product management article by Penelope Edwards last week. The article outlined 10 different ways to take your inventory to another level. It is a good read. Check it out if you get a chance:

As business is squeezed ensuring profits are being made within inventory management channels is essential. It is amazing how many organizations overlook operations and programs in place. The impact to margins can be the difference between being profitable versus facing cutbacks and financial examinations within the channel.

A good system should work within your organization's means of operations and culture. See Penelope's top 10 methods below for improving inventory.

Top 10 Methods:
  1. Check in products immediately as they are delivered
  2. Place purchase orders
  3. Barcoding
  4. Do a regular stock take
  5. Get the balance right
  6. Adjust for loss, write-offs and donations
  7. Cut out double-selling
  8. Set your minimum re-order levels
  9. Develop a good relationship with your vendors
  10. Get things out the door

Some of the above are process-driven, while other, such are implementing a barcoding system, are technology-driven. Manageing inventory, and turning over inventory can free up cash flow and improve overall company performance. Integrating with organizations to review your inventory sytem, and to find improvements is something that should be done to keep up with advances in accounting, warehousing and other platforms.


Jewelry Inventory Management Improved via HF RFID

Saw this online previously. I've been meaning to post about it. A company out of China just came out with a jewlry RFID tag. Pretty exciting stuff. This industry is plagued with challenges around inventory management and tracking of inventory. In particular the risk of loss or theft is significant.

From what I've seen online, the product is compatiable with ISO 15693 or ISO 14443A/B standard.

  • 13.56 HMz HF tag
  • 40 cm basing maximum read range depending on RFID reader
  • Smart RFID tag can not operate if the tag is removed or broken
  • Tags are assigned a unique identification number
  • Waterproof
  • Dustproof
  • Multiple colors available

Here's a question I'm wondering, what other applications can this product be used for? The technology continues to move fast. Innovative inventory and warehouse professionals continue to look at prospects for new applications.

Image from:

Click to Learn More:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Examining Inventory Management Challenges

Organizations of today are facing many business challenges. Operational challenges, in particular, an increase in operating expenses are driving pressure to improve DC Operations. Warehouses of today are facing heavy challenges to do more with less. The need to better understand inventory management is higher today than ever before.

Operating Expense Traps:
  • Failure to improve operations in picking and replenishment (think put-aways too)
  • Failure to direct inventory management through centralized process
  • Failure to understand ideal locations for inventory
Be Flexible:
A little flexibility can go a long way. Be flexible in how you approach both your operations and your way of thinking. The inventory management process of the past might not work in the present day. Technology has changed as has our understanding of operations. In today's business environment where pressure is ever-increasing to improve margins, having additional gains in operating expense through the distribution channel can greatly improve both a company's bottom line, in addition to its ability to be competitive in the market.

The Functionality Challenge:
Ask yourself if you distribution is functioning properly. Most people will see room for improvements either through systems design, technology, or the human element of performing within the system. Depending upon the size of your operation will depend on the opportunity. Trying to quanitify the opportunity through reporting and forecasting will help win over others in management whom are responsible for controlling resources for such an investment.

Using custom reports to monitor inventory levels will help uncover challenges within product management. Reporting systems of today should be able to integrate with ERP and/or accounting systems.

Caption: Are you getting all the performance needed out of your inventory management system? What types of fuctionality is missing?

Draft a Plan:
Looking at how the distribution channel operates is not a five minute, or often a five hour exercise. If you have questions about your organization, consider drafting them on paper. Start looking at the pros and the cons of the current setup. How is the current system functioning well and how is it coming up short? What pain does this cause the organization? If this pain was removed, what is the opportunity. Once you've answered these questions, it might be a good idea to call an internal meeting and start the process.