Real-time supply chain visibility and best-in-class inventory optimization lower costs while improving customer service

Inventory Visibility & Optimization

Determining just how much inventory and where to hold it is a constant challenge that gets more expensive every year. Trends such as growth through innovation programs, shorter customer lead times and outsourced manufacturing add complexity. Item proliferation, new warehouses closer to customers and new manufacturing sites mean more materials, components and finished goods are now stored in more locations. Sometimes even just knowing where stock is located can be a difficult, creating perceived shortages and over-ordering.  

Inventory Visibility & Optimization

How can inventory become a source of competitive advantage? Rethinking inventory management starts by setting optimal minimum and maximum targets for all forms and functions of stock using real-time visibility to materials on hand across the supply chain. This includes inventory at internally-managed stocking locations like plants, regional distribution centers, customer ship-to warehouses, vendor managed inventory (VMI) locations embedded in channel partners, as well as materials or goods in transit. For companies using E2open’s multi-enterprise capabilities, visibility and optimization also include supplier and channel-managed inventory, providing end-to-end visibility and optimization across the entire value chain. 

With E2open’s Inventory Visibility & Optimization solution, the right inventory is properly positioned at the right place and time to ensure service with minimal capital investment.  

"Challenge" Label
"Solution" Label
Service shortfalls on some items and excess stock on others from using simple “rules of thumb” to set inventory
Optimal settings for every item-location ensures the right stock to better capture sales, increase return on capital and reduce waste
Excess and obsolete write-offs from lack of visibility to inventory stored at different locations in the supply chain
Efficient use of materials, lower operating costs and better return on working capital
Slow and error-prone manual processes for inventory collaboration with partners and administrating VMI
Automated and streamlined processes with efficient monitoring and exception-based orchestration of material movements
While a number of vendors offer inventory optimization solutions, we looked for a single integrated solution to address both our forecasting and inventory objectives. E2open’s solutions are designed to work together at the most granular level, providing a seamless way to maximize the financial benefits of our new accurate forecasts.
Planning & Optimization Leader
Global Chemicals Manufacturer

Gain accurate, shared visibility of current and projected inventory across all tiers of the end-to-end supply chain, including both inbound and outbound. E2open’s Inventory Collaboration solution tracks on-hand, in-transit and on-order inventory, regardless of where stock is physically stored, who manages it or who owns it. The solution manages consigned materials at third-party distribution centers, tracks raw material, work-in-process and finished goods inventory at outsourced production lines (e.g., for shadow planning using E2open's Supply Planning & Response solution), publishes stocking level targets to partners in the supply or distribution network, and tracks the deviation of actual inventory levels from minimum and maximum targets at any node. Inventory can be located correctly and sent where it is needed most. All parties share the same information and solve problems together instead of wondering whose data is correct.

Establish closer operational relationships with key suppliers and simplify the materials replenishment process by removing ordering and order tracking steps. E2open’s Inbound VMI solution provides the infrastructure for suppliers to execute an efficient VMI process. A variety of operational configurations are supported, including virtual stock at suppliers, consigned stock at consumption points, and physical execution by third-party logistics providers. Optimal target stocking levels of raw materials and components can be set via E2open's Multi-Enterprise Inventory Optimization solution. Suggested replenishments and alerts are provided to all parties (in accordance with role-based permissions), providing shared visibility to the status and actions. A well-executed Inbound VMI program results in more on-time in-full consumption requests, at a lower overall cost.

Manage inventory replenishment for key customers’ supply chains to increase service and reduce response time. E2open’s Outbound VMI solution enables monitoring customer inventory consumption and keeping materials stocked between minimum and maximum thresholds. A variety of operational configurations are supported, including virtual stock at the supplying enterprise, consigned stock at customer locations, and physical execution of the VMI process by third-party logistics providers. Optimal target stocking levels of finished goods can be set via E2open's Multi-Enterprise Inventory Optimization solution. Suggested replenishments and alerts are provided to all parties (in accordance with role-based permissions), providing shared visibility to the status and actions. A well-executed Outbound VMI program results in more on-time in-full replenishments to customers at a lower overall cost.

Reduce inventory while protecting or increasing service levels. E2open's Multi-Enterprise Inventory Optimization solution determines optimal stock levels for all forms (e.g. raw materials and finished goods) and functions (e.g. safety, cycle, in-transit and work-in-progress) of stock. This includes minimum stock levels to ensure service and maximum levels to avoid waste for perishable items or materials. Replace static rules of thumb with specific inventory strategies for each SKU and location, including suppliers and channel partners to optimize inventory across the entire value chain. Inventory optimization is an important step in monetizing increased forecast accuracy from E2open's Demand Sensing, capturing growth opportunities through better service, reducing production disruptions and expediting costs, and freeing working capital invested in unproductive stock.

Accurately track movement of materials in near real-time over multiple hand-offs, and reduce overall inventory levels across the supply chain. E2open’s Materials Track & Trace solution provides a comprehensive view of inventory at each step on the way to consumption – not just the last leg. Gain end-to-end visibility to material moves, regardless of the party handling the stock or the system in which the data resides, even as ownership changes. Internal and external stakeholders (including procurement, production and central planning / materials management, as well as suppliers, contractors and logistics providers) participate in the orchestration and exception-based management of work orders, purchase orders, shipments, receipts, and other transactions. Linkages to and dependency of each party becomes visible to all, and each hand-off is individually measurable for continuous performance improvement. Visibility to where materials are at all times reduces over-ordering in response to perceived shortages and streamlines operations with exceptions and expedites.

E2open’s Inventory Visibility & Optimization solutions not only track materials as they move through and are stored across the supply chain, but set optimal inventory levels and efficiently manage deployment to enable the highest customer service at the lowest cost. Effective end-to-end visibility and optimization provides a key foundation for building a digital supply chain.