VMI in a Hurry

Pre-packaged vendor-managed inventory solutions target mid-market

Chicago  December 17, 2001  Swedish-based software company IFS is shipping a vendor-management inventory (VMI) solution for mid-market companies that need to connect to both large and small customers and suppliers  and that are looking to do so in a hurry.

IFS's VMI solutions are being wrapped up in the provider's Engage line of pre-packaged software, and the provider also offers Web-based VMI options.

The pre-packaged software allows mid-market companies to get up-and-running quickly with VMI, IFS asserts. Such companies can integrate with larger customers and suppliers using the off-the-shelf software. The Web portal-based solution allows mid-market companies to integrate with smaller customers and suppliers, IFS says.

In either case, IFS is focusing on the potential for rapid return on investment by using a pre-packaged solution.

"Midsize customers are facing great pressure from their board of directors and investors, who are not approving budgets for 'big bang' implementations that are tedious and time-consuming," said Terje Vangbo, IFS North America president. Pre-packaged suites can be installed on a module-by-module basis, reducing entry cost while providing for a faster bottom-line impact, Vango argued.

The benefits of VMI can include inventory reduction, reduced administrative costs and increased production utilization and fulfillment service levels. VMI can help automate the inventory replenishment process, thereby eliminate purchasing processes that do not add value, along with obstacles to timely and efficient information flow.