Distribution that Unlocks your Supply Chain
Distribution of goods is an incredibly important part of your supply chain. No matter your industry segment, a large portion of your cost-of-goods-sold is in distribution. Add to that the cost of inventory, return logistics, the demands of eCommerce, and client-specific requirements and it gets very complex.
That’s where KPI comes in. We can analyze your entire distribution network and help you start with a strategy for your organization to rally around. Just have a site that needs focus? No problem. KPI can optimize a single site or a critical operation within a site using classical industrial engineering techniques, LEAN processes, and by applying technology to certain activities. Our approach is to roll out a total menu of technologies and a sequencing plan. We can then time the roll-out and implementation of the technologies with your cash flow or volume forecasts. This approach gives your business a multi-year strategy and a series of checkpoints along the way to confirm business objectives and technology system performance.
Digital Supply Chain
Automation in your distribution network enables a digital supply chain. The presence of automation and real-time record-keeping, in addition to software to optimize the facility operations, mean a facility can communicate inventory, efficiency, and throughput to the business at large. When digital facilities are coupled together into a single network the opportunities begin to grow. Finally, vendors, partners, and customers can be connected to create a level of responsiveness and transparency that can only be unlocked through robotic and software automation. A digital supply chain enables the use of ML (machine learning) and AI (artificial intelligence) to self-optimize and provide predictive analytics.
The most important part of a supply chain distribution strategy is a control tower. Think of the role a control tower plays at an airport. People and goods need to move from origin to destination, highly automated pieces of technology (airplanes!) need to coordinate movements, and human operators (pilots!) need to perform inputs, analysis, and assessments in real time to inform and manually adjust the system. Outside factors, such as weather or other airports cast widespread impacts into the system. Where are all of these competing factors prioritized? In the control tower.
As of yet there is no “one-stop-shop” approach to a control tower for your distribution network. There is, however, an approach to developing one for your business that starts with a basic set of tools. Once the basics are in place (LEAN, people process, regulatory), advanced tools can be applied (software and automation). Finally, customized tools can be added on top of the advanced tools (custom software, ERP integration, and partner/customer integration). This multi-step process to building a control tower can enable your business to pivot in the face of uncertainty (pandemic), optimize over time (continuous improvement), and stay ahead of industry trends (SKU proliferation, eCommerce).