After you’ve decided to adopt Vendor Managed Inventory the next step is to find a great VMI solution. With so many companies offering these systems and each claiming to be the best, it is upon you to compare the different options to determine which VMI operations platform is right for you. Here are some things to look out for:
• Does it work?
This point is so obvious and yet it is overlooked or taken for granted. But the sad truth is that software companies are excellent promoters of their products. Most of them are known to over-promise and under-deliver. In order to get the truth, check third party sources such as industry groups and forums for individual opinions and user reviews, find out about the vendor’s reputation, and consider their experience. You want to choose a vendor with a proven track record.
• Can it scale?
As your business grows, the VMI system should be flexible enough to support this growth. Consider where you want to be in five years’ time and find out if the VMI system has the capacity to scale proportionally to support your needs through the journey. If possible, look for a vendor whose solution is utilised across a diverse landscape of customers who have experience with both modest and large VMI programs.
When it comes to VMI systems, the expression “you get what you pay for” is absolutely true. The best VMI programs cost a lot of money. However, this doesn’t mean you should look for the most expensive VMI solutions. Instead, compare your options based on “Total Cost of Ownership.” Go with a provider that follows a standard SaaS pricing model with very little ancillary changes.
• IT Impact
Lastly, consider the impact on your current IT infrastructure. While the IT department rarely makes the final decision regarding VMI purchase, their experience and technical ability will play a key role in the platform you choose. Additionally, instead of choosing a platform that requires a significant hardware investment or software installation and maintenance, you would be better off with a cloud solution. Cloud-based VMI programs are not only less expensive but are also easier to implement, maintain, and support.
There are several other factors you might want to consider depending on your individual needs. But a VMI operations platform with these four qualities would be a great choice altogether.