In the early 1930’s, a team at Harvard University designed the first modem check-out system which used punch cards that corresponded with catalog items. A computer would then read the punch cards and relay the information to the store room, which would then bring the item up front to the customer.
However as time progressed, merchants knew they needed a better system. With that said, researchers then created the first modern bar-coding system which was introduced in the 1940’s. But once again, the system was too slow and lacked the computing power needed for it to work properly. It wasn’t until the mid-1990’s that modern inventory management systems were implemented. This was made possible in large part by advancements in software technology- and as we know, businesses rely on it quite a bit!
With all that in mind, consider how important accurate and timely deliveries are to customers and to businesses as a whole. This is why inventory management systems have been taken a step further- they have been tailored to specific industries.
For egg producers, relying on specific technology to track and trace products from farm to consumer is key to running a successful operation and increasing consumer confidence.
So as a controller or accounting manager in today’s competitive layer industry, you are aware that being unable to satisfy your customers’ requirements can be the difference between establishing a long-term relationship and never hearing from a customer again. With many customers you are only given one chance to prove your value as an operation, so of course, you want to make sure you are meeting their expectations.
While great customer service is important, it will only take you so far. Ultimately, in order to keep them happy, you want to deliver your orders accurately and on time – this means you must have a good inventory management system to keep track of the products you’re selling.
To do that, you rely on your inventory management system to guide your decisions on how many eggs need to be produced, and how best to fulfill your customer’s orders. If that data is wrong or outdated because you’re having to search in disconnected systems, it can throw the whole process into a chaos that can cost you money, and most importantly your customer base.
So how does managing your inventory on multiple disconnected systems affect your operation? Consider the following:
By managing your records in disconnected systems, you’re opening the door to errors that could indicate different inventory levels. That may mean your customer is promised something that isn’t available, and could have to wait to have the order delivered. How long do you think they’ll wait before they start looking for another egg supplier?
Disconnected data sometimes leads to getting orders wrong. For example, what if you send your customer more eggs than they initially asked for? They will eventually return excess shipments and your customers won’t be happy with the level of service; they expect accurate and timely shipments. Also, these expensive returns will wreak havoc on your operation as a whole.
Although there are many more issues that can evolve from operating on disconnected systems, in the end it’s all about establishing uniformity. Accurate, real-time data is of the utmost importance for production. But it is a challenge to achieve the accuracy and timeliness you need when you have to move between disconnected systems. The room for error and misinterpretation is just too great- disconnected systems can be too slow to respond to increased demand volatility, they lack visibility, increase supply chain risk, and cannot react quickly to unexpected supply chain events.
You need a solution that gives you full stock control of eggs and packaging materials, and lets you trace your eggs from the farm to the shop- all in real time.
How do you manage your inventory and what challenges does your layer operation encounter?