Putting a Sparkle on Inventory Management at The Bell Group

Jewelry manufacturer integrates John Galt planning suite with Great Plains ERP system to better balance supply and demand

Jewelry manufacturer integrates John Galt planning suite with Great Plains ERP system to better balance supply and demand

Chicago — February 4, 2005 — Industrial jewelry distributor The Bell Group has completed its implementation of the Inventory Management Module and Demand Management Engine of John Galt's Atlas Planning Suite as part of an initiative to better balance the company's supply and demand.

Albuquerque-based Bell Group is a family-owned industrial distributor serving the jewelry industry. In business for 61 years, the company has more than 500 employees and over 150,000 customers in 80 different countries.

Bell Group wanted to better manage backorders, inventory levels and customer service by providing business analysts same-day purchasing and manufacturing information, keeping the business synchronized. To accomplish this goal, the company opted to replace its COBOL-based demand planning system with state-of-the-art technology that could integrate with its Microsoft Great Plains enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

For a provider, Bell Group went with Chicago-based John Galt Solutions. The Demand Management Engine in John Galt's Atlas Planning Suite produces the demand forecast and provides a workspace for planners to share adjustments for consensus planning. The forecast is then fed into the Inventory Management Module to optimize inventory planning and replenishment while maintaining order fill rates and safety stock levels.

"We are now able to bring the manufacturing and distribution sides of our business together, working on the same set of numbers," said Ted Anderson, a business analyst with The Bell Group. "Our next step in the project will be to integrate the Atlas Planning Suite with our e-commerce site, roll those orders into Atlas Planning Suite for demand planning and inventory optimization, and integrate with Great Plains for execution. This will enable us to implement a consensus sales and operations planning process into our business."

Anne Omrod, president and CEO of John Galt Solutions, said that the planning suite can help companies better manage their inventory by performing "what-if" analyses and helping an enterprise manage its inventory position by exception. "The Bell Group wanted to build a demand-driven supply network, and we are excited that Atlas Planning Suite is the foundation for that process," Omrod said.

For an in-depth look at how agribusiness Syngenta is reducing inventory while maintaining customer service levels by building a demand planning process based on a collaborative forecasting solution, see the SDCExec.com article " Forecasting Processes from the Ground Up ."

Demand planners at glove manufacturer Wells Lamont have put their finger on a way to bring new value to the company by leveraging technology that allows them to plan by exception. Read their story in the article " Planning by Exception," in the December 2004/January 2005 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

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