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Look To MRP Software For Inventory Management Visibility

Manufacturers must have visibility into their inventory because it allows them to make better informed and more financially efficient purchasing decisions.

Manufacturers and distributors must have visibility into their inventory because it allows them to make better informed and more financially efficient purchasing decisions. Material Requirements Planning (MRP) software provides total inventory visibility, while also eliminating manual inventory management processes. This, in turn, improves customer service levels and provides insight into historical purchasing data.

With MRP software, companies can determine how much inventory they have in their warehouses at any given time, and as a result they can better suggest how much of a particular item to purchase or manufacture. Most ERP and MRP software solutions also offer clear and consolidated viewing of historical usage data, which allows organizations to accurately project the future usage of an item and create a corresponding target buy, or target production quantity. By capturing historical weekly usage data, MRP also allows them to react faster to changes in demand.

COMP Cams, a Memphis, Tennessee-based specialty performance automotive, motorcycle, and kart aftermarket parts manufacturer, realizes the value of inventory visibility that MRP software offers. As both a manufacturer and a distributor, they must monitor and track products on the shop floor as well as throughout their warehouse. MRP software has helped them optimize the accurate maintenance of their inventory. By streamlining purchasing processes for their sales staff, MRP has helped decrease ‘out of stocks’ and ‘back orders,’ resulting in improved customer service and significant financial savings.

No matter the industry, customer service is a crucial component for manufacturers and distributors. COMP Cams understands the importance of quality customer service. In fact, they’ve built a reputation of consistently over-delivering to their customer base. Whether it is quality, performance, design, delivery time, order fill rate or problem resolutions, COMP Cams’ customers require immediate communication and product assistance. Maintaining accurate inventory levels via MRP software allows the company to uphold their high customer service reputation, while also automating much of the material planning process for their buyers and sales staff.

In addition to inventory visibility and purchasing processes automation, MRP software provides manufacturers and distributors with two key business benefits — speed and efficiency. By providing full visibility into the list of vendors that buyers need to work with on any particular day, organizations have access to clear and detailed information that allows them to make better inventory planning decisions more quickly and accurately. The software also allows manufacturers and distributors to replenish supplies while at the same time reducing inventory levels. This, too, results in higher customer service levels, while also allowing employees to focus on other crucial operational tasks, rather than manually processing purchasing data.

As an automotive company, COMP Cams recognizes their industry’s affinity for fast-moving trends and new technologies. While they understood the benefits of inventory visibility and efficiency that MRP software offers, they worried that implementing such an infrastructure would affect their organization’s flexibility and nimbleness — qualities that have consistently kept them ahead of their competition. It wasn’t long before the company realized, however, that full visibility and insight into one’s inventory proves to be an enormous competitive advantage. They no longer had to spend time and money on 50+ pages of paper purchasing reports. With MRP software, they could view and analyze their planning reports in one, cohesive, online dashboard, rather than wasting financial and employee resources by printing out reports and manually logging hundreds of inventory decisions.

Although companies such as COMP Cams are utilizing MRP software to improve planning decisions and eliminate manual reporting processes, the application also offers manufacturers and distributors an enormous competitive advantage by streamlining business operations and improving customer service levels. The software gives organizations the ability to clearly view historical and forecasted inventory information, allowing buyers and sales staff to react quickly and efficiently to changes in inventory demand. Perhaps most importantly, though, MRP software removes inefficient and costly manual planning processes, enabling companies to focus their valuable time and energy on satisfying their customer base and growing their business. 

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