The race to meet customer demand is long underway, and large enterprises are taking the lead, often far outpacing smaller businesses.
As supply and demand variables continue to add pressure, industry giants like Amazon, Walmart, and Home Depot dominate the race. They disrupt the industry with advanced supply chain technology, big data sets, and extensive resources to manage the data ensuring they deliver what their customers want when they want it.
Make way for the tech-enabled challengers.
Outdated manual systems won’t cut it in the modern supply chain today. Fast-growing challenger businesses require an inventory toolkit that enables speed to market and fuels growth to meet the changing buying behaviors of consumers.
I’m excited to announce Netstock’s first major application user interface. Our original user interface was designed more than 10 years ago, and in the interim, technology has advanced a lot. Our new user interface takes advantage of mobile devices, makes better use of laptop or desktop screens, and can scale to large monitors. We’ve tested it with dozens of early adopters, and we continually tweaked the interface based on their input. The feedback we got from those users has been overwhelmingly positive – Barry Kukkuk, President Netstock USA
What does it take to be a challenger business?
Challenger businesses are progressive thinkers – freeing themselves from manually planning inventory – and investing in demand and operations planning tools. They understand that a sustainable, resilient supply chain requires smart technology that can harness the necessary inventory data to drive customer-centric business strategies from the top down.
- They understand they are not data scientists. Keeping up with the giants doesn’t have to mean investing in huge teams. Challengers invest in demand planning solutions to do the heavy lifting – turning raw data from their ERP into actionable prescriptive insights. These businesses free up time formally wasted on working on spreadsheets to focus on balancing their inventory holding while exploring new opportunities and driving growth.
- They place the customer at the center of their supply chain. Working with predictive data, challenger businesses use these insights to confidently place accurate orders ensuring they don’t stock out of key items. According to our survey, 65% of respondents indicated they tried a new brand because an item was out of stock. Knowing how much buffer stock to have on hand and working with reliable suppliers, challenger businesses ensure the right stock arrives in full and on time.
- They are not driven by fear of ‘tomorrow.’ By unlocking the data in their ERP with an inventory optimization solution, challenger businesses calmly and confidently forecast the future. Enabling them to pivot and respond to changes in the market with data-driven insights, ensuring their supply chain is resilient and customer-centric.
- They work as a collaborative, responsive team. Challenger businesses work off centralized data by synchronizing inventory data and planning with sales, marketing, and operations. Challenger businesses work off one single version of the truth. They build integrated sales & operations planning strategies that enable their business to respond quickly to dynamic changes in the marketplace. This ensures they align with the business objectives, supporting the right activities to reach sales targets and increase working capital.
What makes up the modern inventory and planning toolkit?
- Tools that are fit for today’s purpose.
Firstly, it’s essential to review your current toolset and establish if the inventory tools you are using fit today’s purpose. Are you manually manipulating data on spreadsheets to know what stock to order? Do you have real-time information that quickly identifies the unreliable suppliers placing your supply at risk? Are you able to automatically calculate the right amount of safety stock?
ERP software is the foundation of a business and provides vital information. However, the functionality is static and doesn’t provide predictive insights to optimize inventory and accurately plan what’s needed to meet future demand.
The solution: Adding another layer of functionality to your ERP – with inventory optimization tools that provide intelligence at the click of a button.
Netstock’s refreshed user interface is slick, modern, and enables enhanced digital mobility in real-time – so planning teams can access the information anytime, anywhere.
- An inventory toolkit that enables growth.
Your supply chain is a complex network, and your inventory brings everything to life. Smart inventory decisions start by placing the customer at the center of your inventory planning – while factoring in supply volatility.
Savvy teams are focusing their energy – and investment – on getting the best tools to enable strategic inventory planning. These tools should be powerfully simple, easy to implement, and allow you to adjust your planning and map out various ‘what if’ scenarios, ensuring your business is ready to tackle any supply chain challenge.
At Netstock, our mission remains to arm the upcoming businesses with the predictive analytics and tools to help them compete effectively in the market. And I’m confident that this new user interface serves this purpose and makes it even easier and quicker for our users to get the job done – Barry Kukkuk, President Netstock USA
The challenger business toolkit is designed to enable success:
- Inventory optimization.
Do you ever feel like the depth of your responsibilities keeps you from getting anything done? With many key inventory indicators to monitor, you need real-time visibility. Working off a dashboard that highlights the top five priorities while measuring your stock holding and fill rate gives you the power to make quick, accurate decisions and free up working capital. You know exactly where to focus your time and resources with automatic SKU classification, ensuring you don’t stock out. Start each day knowing just what to do – and make it to the end of the day knowing you moved the needle to make the most significant impact.
- Precision forecasting & demand planning.
To navigate the twists and turns in any race, you need to plan and be flexible to adjust to change! The support of a powerful forecasting engine provides predictive insights that enable you to be proactive. Automatically generate accurate forecasts that maintain inventory levels and fill rates while factoring in changes in demand, seasonality, and extended supplier lead times. Adjusting your forecast in real-time, making multi-item manual adjustments, and building forecasts up to 24 months in advance means working smart today to reap the rewards tomorrow.
- Quick and confident ordering.
The key to remaining in the race is ensuring the right orders are placed at the right time! If you experience a stock-out, often customers are already looking for another supplier. With the right tools, you can automatically generate balanced and optimized orders for each SKU — based on predictive insights that anticipate variables. With the ability to automatically classify your stock and measure suppliers’ performance, you can immediately also consider the right amount of safety stock you need to order.
- Sales & operations planning.
Sales & operations planning [S&OP] is the extra boost you need to move you right to the front of the race. S&OP brings inventory to center-stage for the business – aligning finance, marketing, sales, and inventory planning to deliver better customer service levels, lower inventory, and encourage sustainable production. When everyone is working off the same accurate data – this single source of truth – provides a real-time lens across the business. The real bonus is these adjustments automatically update and reflect across the departments when you adjust your forecast. S&OP provides the business with instant, accurate information, enabling increased customer service levels, new sales opportunities, and profits!
We have tested the new environment of Netstock and found it more user friendly, modern & clear especially the separate head/column in the stock holding report. All the newly introduced features are working perfectly as demonstrated in new UI training section – Arsalan Ali, Al Noor Sugar Mills.
Netstock enables challenger businesses to thrive with real-time inventory visibility.
Netstock is the leading demand planning solution for the modern supply chain. Consistent feedback from Netstock customers on the online software review platform G2, rates Netstock a Leader, Momentum Leader, and High Performer in four categories. Netstock received the highest satisfaction score among products in the Demand Planning category.
Netstock provides near real-time data in a user-friendly dashboard, allowing you to focus on key areas. The drill-down function enables you to expand your view from five highlighted items to the full list, which can be sorted and filtered to best suit your needs. New stock items can be easily identified and forecasts created. – Yvonne Y, Finance Director.
Read more reviews here.
Close the technology gap with Netstock.
Netstock unlocks the data in your ERP, enabling you to adapt to change and make smart inventory decisions. The software is ‘alive’ – constantly notifying you when you need to take a particular action. As the future is unpredictable, Netstock enables you to plan for uncertainty – so you always make the right decisions for your supply chain.