All of your employees want to do a great job. Success in work makes for happy employees and happy employees make for more success. To do a great job, you employees need the right set of goals, tools and technology to succeed.
Your buyers are no exception. Unfortunately, buyers in most distribution organizations are limited by the tools they have at hand. Typically, this toolset is the purchasing functionality in your ERP system supplemented by a set of spreadsheets. As your supply chain and customer demand increases in complexity and your SKU count grows in your warehouse and branches, these spreadsheets become unwieldy and way too time consuming to maintain.
Because your final PO's and transfers are primarily calculated by buyers "eyeballing" the spreadsheets and ERP suggested PO's, purchasing processes become hidden, tribal knowledge, known only to a handful of purchasing employees inside your organization. It becomes very difficult to bring a new buyer up to speed when you have to pass along these secret rites of purchasing. It’s not uncommon for a distributor to take years to train a buyer to be fully effective because without the right tools in place the new buyer has to build up their own subjective knowledge through a long, painful process of successes and failures.
Buyers also have difficulty communicating back to the C-suite. When was the last time you had a discussion about ERP settings such as “back order tolerance quantities,” or “product automatic trend percentages?” Thrive solves these issues by aligning your corporate goals all the way through your forecasts and replenishment processes, tracking those goals in the system and auto-correcting as it goes. This allows your buyers to focus on what really matters – getting the right products into the right places – and reduces the amount of time they spend recalculating spreadsheets and manually overriding numbers inside your ERP system.
Buyers often feel like their lives are in chaos. The current processes they use to calculate buys are very reactive. A manager might walk into the warehouse and see dusty, overstocked shelves and then yell at the buyer for purchasing too much inventory. But if a buyer is too thrifty, they get yelled at for having too many stockouts that lead to lost sales opportunities. Unfortunately, many distribution buyers have a difficult, no-win job. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Buyers tell us all the time that Thrive reduces their stress level and saves them time. Typical distribution buyers override 50-70% of the ERP suggested order quantities. With Thrive, that number drops to 10-15%.
Thrive is forward looking and has a meaningful, usable and accurate forecast. It can look into the future to project inventory levels and purchase quantities so that buyers aren’t caught with too much or too little. Thrive provides your buyers with much more proactive feedback to make their lives easier. This proactivity alerts buyers when trends change allowing your buyers to make better decisions. For example, in the past, if you lost a large customer, your buyers may not know for several months still buying at the same level which ends up in overstock. Thrive monitors your customer activity by SKU, and alerts your buyers. Thrive also reacts faster, lowering forecasts to help prevent the overbuying. Thrive can even project out-of-stocks and lost sales before they happen and notify your buyers so they can prevent them. Thrive eliminates the chaos in their lives making them happier, more effective employees.