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Screenshot from the huddle

Supply Chain Management: How to Regain Control with Ignition by Telus

Jul 28, 2021
4 min read

Warehousing and distribution operations are living, breathing ecosystems, constantly influenced by changing consumer demands. Because of all the moving parts, you can easily lose visibility into inventory, revenue, downtime, processes, and more. Barcoding’s June Huddle, “Regain Control of Your Supply Chain,” looked at solutions that offer a 360-degree view of all the metrics that matter.

Weren’t able to join us? You’re in luck because we’ve got the recap right here! (And if you’d like to watch a recording of the Huddle, there’s a link below.)

Our Speakers

  • Jody Costa, VP of Marketing & Strategic Partnerships, Barcoding
  • Peter Zalinski, Senior Supply Chain Architect & Director of Partner Solutions, Barcoding
  • Jonathan Greene, Senior VP of Customer Development, Ignition by Telus
  • David Feaster, Senior Sales Consultant, Ignition by Telus
  • Jim Hilton, Director of Product & Sales Strategy, Ignition by Telus 

Jody Costa kicked off the Huddle by sharing a brief video showcasing some impressive results being seen by folks using Ignition by Telus’ software solution to get better supply chain visibility. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • “We thought we were capturing 100% of the monies that were due or available to us, and only through really reviewing our year-end financials after being on [the] suite of solutions did we notice that making that change gained us a percent and a half!”
  • “In the last nine years, we’ve increased our business 500%...our technology allowed us to keep up with that growth. We’re now at 1 in 5,000 on mispicks”
  • “We’ve reduced our out-of-stocks on the store level by 15 to 20%
  • “We’re able to shrink our labor costs by almost 30%

Next Up: Visibility and Connectivity

Visibility and connectivity are becoming increasingly critical in supply chain management no matter what you’re moving, but perhaps nowhere more so than in the food industry. It’s said about supply chain software solutions, “If you can make it in the Food & Beverage industry, you can make it anywhere.” In other words, it has the flexibility to address the supply chain issues in nearly any other industry.

During this portion of the Huddle, they gave us prominent examples of the inherent complexity of warehousing/shipping food as compared to, say, widgets. Let’s say you’re selling apples...you may sell apples by the piece, by the pound, by 3-lb or 5-lb bag. And the same goes with chicken: every single package of chicken has a different weight, nutritional values, and provenance. Most Food & Beverage products have specific government mandates, safety requirements, traceability, lots, ideal temperatures, requirements for how you load and build trucks, power positions, center aisle/side door configurations, stackability issues, and more. So, as you can see, software designed to give optimum visibility into an industry with this much complexity will almost certainly be flexible enough to address the challenges of others.

Let’s Talk About Disruption

As our host, Jody Costa asked the group, “What’s going to be a permanent post-COVID fixture of the industry going forward?” 

  • Conveniences… the ability to place orders online can’t go away. Many restaurants have changed their business model, in part because labor moved elsewhere; some restaurants have gone entirely virtual and may never come back. Those that adapted and were flexible, succeeded. 
  • COVID made it clear that we need more visibility. Pre-COVID, one study showed that retail grocers had only 75% confidence that products on their shelves were inventoried accurately; today, we need much more accuracy in order to serve customers in the ways they demand.
  • Software helps operators have the flexibility to adjust to market conditions—they can quickly move products around to get their most popular items in, identify where spikes are, get visibility into what they have in inventory, understand which products they can get and move and which they can’t, and find suitable substitutes.
  • The restaurants that succeeded were “...the ones that listened.” Not just adapted to change but really listened and made a plan before reacting to the pandemic.

An Example of Knowledge-Sharing

One member of the Huddle remarked that visibility is more of an “east to west” concept, rather than the typical “north to south” silo’d approach, where data travels down through one operational team. With the right software solution in place, every team has access and can leverage the same information to make decisions in real-time. So when a customer refuses a shipment, for example, the driver, the warehouse, sales, and customer service will all know about the situation and can act appropriately.

“Ignition says it’s purpose-built… but you’re selling yourself short: You’re actually built for almost every purpose. Whether it’s molten steel or flowing milk, any environment has similar activities and you capture [all the data].”

Could It Work For You?

Next, we discussed scalability. While typically one thinks of growth when talking about scalability, it goes in both directions... and so does Ignition. The solution helps large, complex operations and mid-tier and smaller regional organizations. 

We also talked about points at which companies reinvent themselves or, more accurately, when they take opportunities to optimize. Reinvention typically happens at these milestones, and technology is the enabler:

  • When a company is around $30 million, they want to get rid of manual processes and automate 
  • At around $60 million, inventory becomes problematic, and the company looks for a solution that delivers data related to delivery, traceability, food safety, and others
  • At around $100 million, distributors are managing huge (>100,000-sq.-ft.) warehouses, and they’re focused on optimizing them 

“If you’re unable to adapt to changing situations, you need better technology.”

Thank you!

We appreciate the expertise of our esteemed panel (thank you!) and for all of you who joined to get their insights. Together, Barcoding and Ignition by Telus have the solutions to keep you nimbly adapting to the craziness that can be the supply chain. If you’d like to talk, we’d love to know more about your business and its challenges. Click the link below to get the conversation started!

Keep an eye out for information about our next Huddle; in the meantime, watch the recording to learn more!

 

Schedule a Consultation!

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