Blue Ridge within distribution
We help wholesalers and distributors in a variety of industries. The challenges are often piling up:Uneven or seasonal demand, often mixed with promotions or project sales. Long lead times or even unreliable suppliers.
It is difficult to efficiently classify the goods and assign them a reasonable level of service.
We have to take into account a number of logistical and commercial conditions at both the goods and the supplier level - it is often difficult to choose an ordering strategy that pays off.
To decide when to order and how much, a seemingly simple question, is difficult to answer and translate into daily orders.
Often there are a number of factors that must be taken into account, which are easily overooked. Thus, ordering too soon, too much, too late, too little - or even a combination of all factors.
And, if that's not enough, there are a number of processes that need special attention, such as promotions, deals or forward buys, and a host of other important things. And when time is scarce due to poor system support in your ERP system, the time you have available runs out.
Blue Ridge solutions are suitable for distributors and wholesalers. Whether your company operates with one or more warehouses in a supply chain network, Blue Ridge solutions are tailor made for this type of business and have structured all of the above issues into a world-renowned best practice called The Seven Steps of Buying. With this simple, yet very powerful methodology as its foundaton, , your buyers will have access to cutting-edge algorithms and optimization processes that allow you to generate outstanding results related to the company's supply chain planning:
- Your customer level demand is automatically cleansed, classified and forecasted with a selection of advanced forecasting models and pattern recognition as a basis for seasonally adjusted forecasts
- Your suppliers' lead time and lead time variance are forecasted and calculated to avoid pulling your leg on the last stretch.
- Your range is classified and your items are getting their service level goals adjusted on a regular basis.
- Our solution will help you determine your optimal buying strategy. The system will always make sure you are buying in the most profitable way at all levels.
- The solution buys coordinated across your suppliers exactly when needed. This ensures your service levels while reducing your inventory levels.
- You will have time to plan future promotions, forward buys and deals, project purchases or other tactical measures at ease.
- Finally, you will be able to easily validate the pre-optimized orders with a minimum of time spent.
We call this profitable buying, ensuring high service levels and lower inventory levels and - costs - at the same time!
Blue Ridge in retail
Blue Ridge solutions are growing strongly in retail. The retail sector faces major challenges:
- Customers are becoming better informed; They can do product- and price comparisons online.
- In principle, if you are going to shop something today, you can do it anytime, anywhere. So customers can thus choose your product from competing retailers, via the web and also have an expectation that the goods can be offered in stores through click & collect or to receive them as direct home delivery.
- Therefore, in order to stay ahead of competition, it becomes crucial to have as precise and effective planning tools as possible, so that one can anticipate and adapt to the needs of the customers in the most precise way possible and thus have unmatched availability with the right capital tied up and minimized operating costs.
- An increasing number of retailers see artificial intelligence as a key driver for future development, especially in areas such as forecasting customer demand.
From a planning perspective, it will then be crucial to be able to conduct effective Supply Chain Planning as well as efficient category management.
The Blue Ridge solutions have very strong optimization algorithms that enable total, integrated planning from the manufacturer, via central warehouse, regional warehouse and out to the individual store shelf. The solutions are constantly being developed with advanced algorithms, machine learning and AI, which is crucial in retail. In addition, the solution offers a complete Sales & Operations Planning process fully integrated with the other Supply Chain Planning modules. This enables integrated planning where the entire organization can interact seamlessly.
To make the planning complete, Inventory Investment also offers a complete, cloud-based category management solution, covering areas like:
- Assortment Planning
- Floor Planning
- Space Planning
- Assortment Management
Inventory Investment offers the recognized solution Quant Retail for complete End to End Supply Chain Planning.
Production planning with Blue Ridge
Because of its unique design, Blue Ridge adds a new dimension to production planning. The system utilizes both that it can plan integrated through several stages in the supply chain, that it can handle product structures - often called BoM or KIT, that it is time-phased and service-driven, creates economically and logistically optimized series and lot sizes and can conduct capacity planning.
It starts with advanced forecasting of demand for your finished products. Second, the system creates optimal production orders. Using the definition of your BoM (Bill of Material), the system automatically knows your component consumption. From there, the system turns this into purchases from your raw material suppliers.
Because the system has this comprehensive overview and control, you will at all times know your finished goods inventory, raw material inventory, production load as well as your future orders to your raw material suppliers. For many, it may be appropriate to extend this into a complete Sales & Operations Planning process. If you also have plants in different countries where a finished product from one factory can be used as component in another factory, the system also handles this.