Reverse auctions represent a sourcing strategy many distributors will be forced to cope with in the coming years ' a situation likely to upset many wholesale distribution executives. This conclusion comes from the new Facing the Forces of Change: The Road to Opportunity report (available from the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors here.
Strategic sourcing is a process by which customers gather and use information about their own spending patterns to reduce purchasing costs. Strategic sourcing initiatives aim to counter the field-level sales and marketing efforts of wholesale distribution sales reps trying to influence local buying decisions.
Understanding reverse auctions
Reverse auctions are real-time price ...
Company accelerates SAP install after major glitches
January 10, 2004
The last issue of MDM provided a summary of W.W. Grainger's 2004 strategy and its new focus on raising local customer service levels by adding more inventory into targeted markets. This article presents details on the company's infrastructure investments, trials and tribulations over the past few years, to reach the goals outlined in the last MDM issue.
The following comments were made at an analyst meeting on Dec. 15, 2003 by Wesley M. Clark, president and COO of Grainger:
Grainger saves customers time and money by providing them with the right products at the right time, at the right place and with the right information. We are able to do this because Grainger has always been well positioned to help customers realize cost savings through our multiple ...
Amazon.com had to develop a hybrid fulfillment and procurement model where it purchases both from manufacturers and from distributors to be able to offer universal product selection and to conduct inventory turns at nearly historical levels. Amazon's VP of consumer electronics says emerging retailers traditionally bought first from a local distributor and then branch out to other distributors as growth dictates.
Amazon found the traditional scenario where the retailer then goes direct with the manufacturer when a certain volume in business is reached does not offer the best economics to the retailer, nor is it the best way to serve the customer. For instance, Amazon.com often finds it is better to pay $5 more for a television from a ...
The lead article in this issue addresses reverse auctions and the impacts ahead on distributors. The article also points to two key issues for 2004 in this rebuilding economy: internal cost management and building your competitive differentiation through service and value beyond the products delivered.
There are endless case studies of economies in transition where the leaders identify and act quickly to fill emerging needs. As the article points out, not all customers want the same level of service with the same price sensitivity. You have to clarify the menu of services you provide, what it costs to provide them, price and market these services effectively.
Distributors have the unique position in the supply channel to look both upstream and downstream to find opportunities ...
3M, St. Paul, MN, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire HighJump Software Inc., a provider of supply chain execution software and solutions, including related trademarks and patents. The software company, known for its warehouse management barcode and radio-frequency technology, and more recently its RFID technology, will be part of 3M's Industrial Services and Solutions Division.
Demand for supply chain execution solutions is growing as customers across many markets face increasingly complex supply chains driven globally by customer and regulatory requirements. HighJump Software provides integrated solutions for warehouse and yard management, transportation management, supply chain visibility and event management, trading partner collaboration, and data ...
There are trade-offs and compromises to integrating Web capabilities into your legacy system. If you're looking to build more than "brochureware," here's a simple guide to evaluate how complex your Web solution may need to be, and the best course of action to get the job done.
Many distributors use a computer system implemented more than a decade ago. Now, years later, you may have lost that loving feeling as you need to create better visibility into your business for customers and suppliers. Why do we keep these legacy systems? The truth is these software programs continue to do a reasonably good job on running the core business ﾖ and they're paid for.
While a new system may be the best answer, many distribution companies have a significant investment in custom ...
RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology is a tool of industry, not the other way around. It is a way to exploit the use of clever data placement with even more clever data and transactional processing. With some very large supply chain managers driving RFID development, we'll see it quickly move into warehouse applications across many industries.
With recent announcements by Walmart and the Department of Defense that they will require their largest suppliers to provide RFID tags, there has been a good deal of pie-in-the-sky assertions in the technical media regarding RFID. Most of the hype is coming from three sources: Consulting firms, WMS (warehouse management system) providers and the manufacturers of (surprise) RFID tags and reader equipment.
MRO Software, Inc., Bedford, MA, announced revenues of $46.0 million for the company's fourth quarter and $176.9 million for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30.
Total revenues for the fourth quarter were $46.0 million compared with $46.1 million for the fourth quarter last year. Revenues for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30 were $176.9 million, compared with $171.9 million for the prior year, an increase of 3%.
On a GAAP basis, the company reported net income for the fourth quarter of $2.6 million compared with a net loss of $2.0 million for the same quarter last year. On a GAAP basis for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, the company reported net income of $4.9 million compared with a net loss of $10.6 million for the prior year.
supplyFORCE.com was founded during the dot-com boom with an aggressive, ambitious agenda and seed money from venture capitalists and a small group of electrical, industrial supply, and pipes-valves-fittings distributors.
A financial restructuring of the company in early October saw the VC's leave and the company mutate. Now it's no longer in the dot-com or Internet businesses and has become a distributor-owned entity. The focus now: National accounts sales for the 250 -plus member distributors.
Affiliated Distributors and its chair/CEO, Bill Weisberg, served as the original drivers behind supplyFORCE.com. Unlike the now-defunct SourceAlliance.com and the still-extant Vantage Group, supplyFORCE.com was not limited to electrical distributors.
Prophet 21, Yardley, PA, has acquired Systems Design, Inc., Chicago, IL, the provider of Prism software. Prism has a customer base of 238 distributors in the U.S. and Canada, about 25 percent of those tile and floor covering distributors. The company has a similar customer footprint across several wholesale distribution sectors as Prophet 21, including industrial, electrical, plumbing and HVACR. There are also customers in restaurant supplies. Prophet 21 said it would continue to support Prism, a Unix-based legacy software package that uses COBOL and the UniData database. Prophet 21 already has customers among tile and floor covering distributors, including Arizona Tile, H.J. Oldenkamp, Sunderland Brothers and more.
It's good match from a value proposition standpoint, ...