Brewing Up a Better Schedule for a Product with Many Variables

For the coffee producer Mother Parkers, scheduling coffee production across two plants was an ever-increasing challenge. Mother Parkers decided to take proactive steps toward consolidating its day-to-day scheduling data by engaging Supply Chain Consultants (SCC) to help. SCC applied its scheduling algorithms to improve schedule attainment, visibility, and stability—exactly what Mother Parkers needed.

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Selecting ERP for Oil and Gas Industry Contractors and Vendors

  • Source: IFS
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Suppliers to the oil and gas industry are under more pressure than ever before to increase quality, collaborate closely with the customer, and take on more project risk. Learn how enterprise resource planning (ERP) helps engineers procure construction companies, equipment fabricators, and service providers to meet the new demands from oil and gas companies. Download this white paper to learn more. Read More

Evaluating Routing Software: 4 Things You Can't Do Without

The path to deciding on a routing software solution has some key considerations. These variables will impact the return on investment (ROI) you get and influence how smoothly you can integrate the software into your enterprise.

This paper outlines four key things to consider that will impact ROI and the effectiveness of your transportation and routing management solution. First, the specific industry knowledge and expertise of your routing software vendor will guide you to a better software decision.

Next to consider is the quality, quantity, and accessibility of training for your new routing software. The training and support offered will have a huge impact on its value to your business.

The adaptability and flexibility of your routing solution are also important factors to ensure that the software aligns with your business, and not that your business bends to the software. These are a few things a software partner needs to be able to explain and provide if it’s crucial to your business:
  • Static routing
  • Dynamic routing
  • Off-day deliveries
  • Variables in your route specifications
To tie all of the key routing solution considerations together, you need a technology platform that runs the way your enterprise does. Consider the technical environment that works best for you—is it software as a service (Saas), is it an on-premise system? Talking to fleet managers and asking your software vendor many questions will put you on the path to the right routing solution. Read More

From VAR to Solution Provider: Five Strategies for Business Transformation

  • Source: Computer Economics, Inc.
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The traditional value-added reseller (VAR) business—comprised of companies that add features or services to an existing product and then resell it as an integrated product or complete solution—has become more challenging, with declining product margins, increasing competition, and lower-cost alternatives to proprietary products. The pressures are causing many VARs to grow their businesses from simply selling products to offering more comprehensive solutions built on a richer set of services and recurring revenue models.

For decades, VARs have been an important channel for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), like computer manufacturers and software vendors, to reach customers. The “value-add” can simply be to provide local implementation and hands-on support or it can involve adding other hardware, software, and services to tailor the OEM’s product to a specific industry, problem, or use. In many markets, customers prefer buying from VARs instead of directly from OEMs, as VARs are closer to the customer, offer local support, and are in a better position to develop long-term relationships.

The VAR business model has been attractive in the past, as it was profitable to resell OEM products. Over the past decade, however, product margins have been shrinking as the result of several long-term trends. In this report, learn about five strategies for making the transformation from VAR to solution provider. The changes needed require a new view of the business and a new mindset, to move from a deal mindset to long-term customer relationships, become invested in customer success, and transition from cash up front to realizing revenue over the life of a contract. Read More

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New Product Development and Introduction (NPDI)

  • Source: SAP
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New product development and introduction (NPDI) is probably the most important process for many companies, but also one of the least understood. While NPDI is responsible for revenues, few companies assign an owner for the whole process. Instead, it is usually driven through a series of functional “silos,” causing delay—and the loss of the original market requirements. Read More

Managing Product Innovation

  • Source: SAP
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Inadequacies at the front end of the product development process is one of the leading causes of product failure for consumer products companies. Many companies thus make ill-informed decisions that turn into costly mistakes. The challenge is to establish a front-end process that nurtures profitable innovation and maximizes portfolio value in light of resource constraints, portfolio balance, and strategic alignment. Read More

Optimizing Gross Margin over Continously Cleansed Data

Imperfect product data can erode your gross margin, frustrate both your customers and your employees, and slow new sales opportunities. The proven safeguards are automated data cleansing, systematic management of data processes, and margin optimization. Real dollars can be reclaimed in the supply chain by making certain that every byte of product information is accurate and synchronized, internally and externally. Read More
 
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