American businesses received some harsh news recently. After continued growth following the worst of the recession, American workers saw a decrease in productivity in 2016, the first such decrease since 2009.
Even with increased automation, combined human and machine efficiency actually declined ever so slightly last year. That may not sound like a serious economic travesty, but keep in mind this decline comes in the context of several consecutive years of increases in the same metric. Worse still is that this finding mirrors a trend among other developed countries across the globe.
So what does it all mean? Perhaps this data represents a temporary deviation, but many experts think something is wrong with American businesses. Some blame an aging workforce, while others see a problem in technology.
Many business owners and C-level finance execs are hesitant to invest in new tools and tech that would fix this problem. Instead, businesses are relying on outdated tools that provide suboptimal results.
Here at The Inventory Mentor, we often take aim at the spreadsheet. It’s an inexpensive tool that almost anyone in a cubicle has access to and knows how to use. But there are many tasks that businesses use spreadsheets for that they are simply not designed to handle.
For manufacturing and distribution businesses – the same ones that are most likely to be hurt by lagging productivity numbers – using spreadsheets to manage various supply chain tasks like inventory replenishment is a recipe for wasted cash and squandered time. It’s a tool that just can’t handle the complexity of the data that inventory managers deal with daily, and ERP software isn’t built to optimize inventory management, either.
In a moment like this where any small improvement can create a real competitive advantage, utilizing technology to optimize resources is absolutely critical. From an inventory management perspective, that means keeping fill rates high while depleting excess stock. An inventory app like Netstock is built to help you make better inventory replenishment decisions faster. With algorithms and data-based sales forecasts, a business can improve profitability and save time while doing it.
Hoping to get better results from the same old business tools sounds a bit like the definition of insanity. If you want better results, try better tools that were built to provide best practices. When it comes to inventory replenishment, that tool is Netstock.