Sage Business Solutions has released Sage Inventory Advisor, a cloud-based subscription service that integrates with Sage ERP solutions for forecasting and planning.
According to the company, the new program is designed to specifically address many of the complex supply chain and inventory challenges faced by businesses
Sage Inventory Advisor is fast to implement and accessible in a web browser and mobile devices, providing companies with daily inventory diagnostics to help reduce time spent on forecasting, while determining the optimal investment required to achieve the desired target fill.
"Inventory is one of the largest business expenses for a distribution or manufacturing company," Mike Lorge, Sage Business Solutions' managing director explained.
"How well businesses adjust to demand and manage their inventory has a significant impact on the amount of capital invested in stock and associated warehousing costs. Eventually, the cost of inventory impacts the bottom line dramatically.”
Lorge state that the cloud based program has been built for mid-market companies engaged in any type of inventory management, such as wholesale distribution, manufacturing, and retail trade, adding that the company also provides an advisor which analyses inventory data to identify where improvements can be made.
The inventory advisor also provides "what if" simulation in an intuitive, graphical user interface that makes analysis, forecasting and stock replenishment faster and easier.
The development came after Sage surveyed its customers to understand the issues at the heart of the problem of inventory:
According to its results, 42 per cent rated stock-outs as their primary concern for inventory management; 37 per cent were primarily concerned by excess inventory; and more than one in five said they spend too much time calculating reorder quantities.
Conducting a follow up survey with the same customers after they implemented the program, they found the operations had reduced excess inventory by up to 15 percent; manage to improve fill rate by up to 10 per cent and eliminated stock-outs; slashed time spent on forecasting by half; and managed to
free up 15 to 20 per cent of their capital invested in stock to invest in strategic
areas of their business and increase profits.
In the development of the cloud based software, Sage focused on a number of key features, such as an easy to use dashboard which provides visibility to critical inventory and KPIs such as stock holding, stock outs, potential stock-outs, excess stock.
Inventory monitoring was also in focus, ensuring that the program provides early warning of stock-outs, a month-to-date warning where
sales are not tracking to the forecast, and an ability to recommend optimal replenishment and automatically calculate min/max levels
A classification matrix, which classifies inventory into nine colour-coded categories, allows users to rapidly identify and focus on important items; while an ordering schedule recommends replenishment orders based on optimised inventory policy and highlights shortfalls in order recommendations where full containers need to be replenished.
Order management, and the capacity for inventory forecasting, which includes an ability to amend forecasts at an item and summary level as well as a dynamic, graphical forecast engine assists user in forecasting and planning for future replenishment order, are all part of the new software.
"We've been making a concerted effort to integrate processes, building vehicles to put data into the cloud, which then sync to mobile devices and back office ERP. With Sage Inventory Advisor, we're enabling businesses to leverage their own internal data for inventory management that will help them make better business decisions,” added Lorge.
Sage Inventory Advisor is currently available for those businesses running Sage 300 ERP and Sage ERP X3.