Problem Solved: A Profit Point Client Journey

You don’t need a solution. You don’t even need the solution. What you need is your solution.

At Profit Point, we’ve talked a lot lately about co-sourcing and the challenge of finding the supply chain tool that’s truly right for your needs. We’ve written about the keys to any successful supply chain improvement project, and how we’ve shaped our team to help yours.

So what does this all really look like in action?

It’s Never That Simple

Consider one Profit Point client who came to us for help optimizing their order allocation. To people outside the supply chain industry, assigning inventory to an order sounds simple and straightforward. But we know differently: Our client needed a tool that allowed them to adjust service levels based on their customers’ needs as well as the client’s own priorities.

Why? Because not all customers are the same – some might require orders more quickly to avoid compliance penalties, while others might need specific inventory which meets different packaging regulations. Tools which rely too heavily on a “first-in-first-out” approach to filling orders leave supply chains vulnerable to customers taking advantage of the system by exploiting lead times.

So we listened to the client. We learned everything we could about their business needs, and relied on their expertise about their end-users. And then we combined our supply chain and programming skills to produce a tailor-made, customizable solution that helped them serve their customers better and stay one step ahead of their competitors.

Delivering on Specifics

The tool we built enables our client to reschedule orders, preserve inventory to ensure them, and label allocations based on the priority of the customer as well as how old the order was, with particular attention to how many days late each unit was shipped. Customers are prioritized within sets of guidelines: No order can be shipped early, for instance, and no inventory can be negative. The client’s marketing team would also provide allocation limits on certain SKUs. We also gave them the ability to adjust things on the fly to enable fulfillment of orders in conjunction with a customer’s promotional campaign.

These capabilities are invaluable to organizations, manufacturers, and distributors so they can make sure their highest-priority customers are served properly and with a quick response.  It was a game-changer for this particular client in the technology industry, since tech evolves quickly and requires rapid adjustments to keep pace, often with a very limited time to get inventory out of your hands and into your customers’.

None of this is possible with a tool that’s too rigid – that’s why Profit Point aims to deliver complete customization. Other tools might be able to do what we’re doing, but to then later on customize it is proving to be difficult with off-the-shelf solutions.

Usable and Unique

We also had to deliver basic usability to a range of client roles.

By implementing a modular solution, we made it possible for users with various jobs and priorities to easily select the proper options and get exactly the data they need. Users can modify their data or copy-and-paste it into a spreadsheet if they want. We customized interfaces for getting into specific pieces of data like calendars and scheduling workdays.

The tool integrates even further with the database and can trigger stored procedures to run optimization, or fetch and send data -whatever the ERP requires. It also manages the status of the whole system so the user knows where we are in the whole process of fetching, loading, optimizing, and reporting. And it lets them know if there are errors along the way, what exactly broke, as well as the specific validation errors.

Heading in the Best Direction

Results? You could say they were positive.

In the first five years using the Profit Point tool, our client’s order-to-ship cycle time improved from 45% on time to 85% shipping on time. They had a significant reduction in noncompliance, and they improved channel partner relationships to the point where they were winning awards.

The funny thing is, this tool was originally conceived as a sort of stop-gap solution – but they’ve been using it now for a decade and a half, partnering with us along the way. There’s just nothing else out there that delivers at the same level. The tool enabled our client to take full advantage of their market differentiation, and has also successfully evolved as the business environment has changed.

That’s one Profit Point client’s story – now, let’s work on yours.

About Nilgün Demir

Nilgün has end to end supply chain experience working in chemicals, food & packaging, and retail industries. She has extensive supply chain experience with linking planning, procurement, operations, and logistics for an integrated manufacturing solution.

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