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Cloud Inventory CPO Discusses Innovation in Digital Inventory Management

Listen to the podcast here: https://epodcastnetwork.com/innovation-in-digital-inventory-management-with-mark-nix-chief-product-officer/

Full Transcription below:

Eric Dye:

This is Eric Dye. And once again, welcome to Enterprise Radio, a part of EPN, the Enterprise Podcast Network. Today, once again, we’re visiting with Cloud Inventory’s Chief Product Officer, Mr. Mark Nix, who is an experienced and innovative supply chain and solution engineering professional. Mr. Nix joins the program to weigh in on how businesses are leveraging digital inventory management technology to adapt to the modern supply chain, as well as to discuss navigating the supply chain waters of 2022. And Mr. Nix, thanks for joining us once again.

Mark Nix:

Glad to be here with you again today.

Eric Dye:

And certainly realize it’s a busy time of year, so we especially thank you for taking out a moment to be with us. So for starters today, what are the advantages of a digital approach to inventory management? Let’s start there.

Mark Nix:

Well, Eric, by embracing digital, businesses gains unprecedented agility in today’s rapidly changing marketplace, companies can capture high resolution data like never before. Not only can they see detailed transactional information, but because we’re capturing data with mobile first applications at the point of activity, we’re also able to capture and act on information that a user doesn’t see. So for example, the geo location or weather data. Having these additional dimensions of data can empower companies to better manage inventories and materials, as well as deliver higher levels of customer service. So Eric, there’s actually four areas that you can use to categorize these improvements. So the first one is improved productivity. Mobile applications allow for streamlined execution focused user experience. As an example, users can be directed through a warehouse to put away items in an exact and appropriate locations. This allows for quicker decision making by the user and improved overall efficiency.

Mark Nix:

So secondly, it helps increase compliance. Applications can be configured to direct compliance based business rules rather than expecting an employee to remember and adhere regulations. So for example, companies handling lot controlled items with expiration dates may have different agreements by customer on appropriate shipping windows. Our mobile first picking apps and direct to the appropriate product, saving valuable time and preventing out of compliance shipments. So the third is inventory optimization. As mentioned, digital inventory management allows for the capture of real time data, thus eliminating data latency and empowering a company to make immediate decisions about inventory and raw materials. Managing inventory at the point of activity, rather than after the fact on paper reduces material handling, costs and optimizes the inventory. So actually, a good example of that is A.G. Barr. They’re a beverage manufacturer based in Scotland and produce over one and a half million liters of product a day.

Mark Nix:

Prior to implementing cloud inventory, A.G. Barr was utilizing paper based processes that created a 48 hour lag in the information and significant discrepancies in inventory accuracy. So Cloud Inventory now provides real time data and mobile first inventory execution, allowing A.G. Barr to eliminate many of these manual processes. In addition, updating their ERP system in real time makes their business move much faster. And finally, of course, is revenue generation. More and more of our customers are leveraging Cloud Inventory to create new revenue streams by managing their customer’s inventory, both inside and outside the four walls of the warehouse. So for example, with field inventories four stocking locations, you can help manage your customer’s item ownership data. In turn, this helps them meet their agreements with total confidence, speed and accuracy, thus generating additional greater streams of revenue.

Eric Dye:

Certainly some good information to lead things off here today, and thanks for that. Now, tell us also, why are some of the most innovative enterprises across the world employing digital inventory management?

Mark Nix:

Well, in today’s ever evolving digital marketplace, there’s a need for continuous adaptation and process improvement across the supply chain. The transition from manual, to automated, to full digital inventory management means that all processes must be inherently flexible at all times. In today’s challenging and unpredictable times, it’s not good enough to deploy a fixed process that solves the problem only once eliminating variation and error. Instead, it’s important to deploy an adaptable solution that’ll support continuous improvement.

Eric Dye:

Mr. Nix, another question along these lines, how does digital inventory management shift your day to day operations? I’m sure your input there would be most helpful.

Mark Nix:

Great question. Since inventory is consistently moving throughout the supply chain, no matter if it’s on the shop floor, in the warehouse or out in the field, keeping track of inventory can seem like a moving target, and making informed decision and can seem impossible at times. That’s why we’re relying on traditional inventory management methods won’t cut in today’s fast pace of industry and economy. With digital inventory management companies, can take back the control of their operations with a renewed focus on the business as a whole and improving efficiency. The ability to consistently know the state, location and authenticity of their inventory across the entire enterprise allows them to better need the needs of customers on a consistent basis.

Eric Dye:

It certainly is great to have you back on, on behalf of Cloud Inventory to get us up to speed. And really do appreciate what you do as well. In the market, today we’re joined by Mr. Mark Nix, chief product officer of Cloud Inventory, a company that empowers organizations with real time inventory visibility at all points in the supply chain, from the warehouse to the field. And he’s joined us here today on Enterprise Radio, a part of EPN, the Enterprise Podcast Network. Now, if you would, walk us through an example of a company that improved inventory visibility because of embracing a digital inventory management strategy.

Mark Nix:

I’d be happy to. So Belfor is a multinational corporation that sells recovery and restoration services, specifically for the purpose of restoring structures damaged due to fires, floods and other natural disasters. They turned to Cloud Inventory’s Field Inventory™ and Warehouse Inventory™ solutions to improve processes. Specifically, they were struggling with the ability to transfer inventory and equipment between locations that were frequently temporary due to the nature of their business and the need to maintain real time asset status and visibility, along with accurate location data. Because Belfor’s business model dictates stocking remote and regional warehouses where natural disaster events have occurred and then shutting down, the flexibility of Cloud Inventory is absolutely crucial. Traditional ERP systems often assume rigid inventory control environments with fixed warehouse locations and storage locations. Whereas Cloud Inventory, a flexible, data-centric inventory model allows for inventory notes to be created filled with inventory, and decommissioned once the project or need is completed. With Cloud Inventory, Belfor can now track in environments with little or no connectivity, and still ensure that they have the right materials and equipment on hand at the right place in time.

Eric Dye:

And that right there is so crucial and so important. And thanks for your feedback there in those regards. Now, as businesses prepare for a new year, 2022 is just around the corner, and also their journey ahead, what’s your point of view as to what’s in store for digital transformation?

Mark Nix:

I’ll tell you, Eric, that’s a very interesting question. Without a doubt, there’ll be winners and losers in the next year ahead based on those that choose to seize the opportunity as supply chains correct itself to equilibrium. More and more, there’s an increasing percentage of inventory in the supply chain that’s outside the four walls of the business. Those who fully grasp that and adapt to better track that inventory that’s outside the traditional warehouse will set themselves up for success and beyond. It’s also imperative to embrace a laser focus on improving productivity, optimizing inventory, and ensuring compliance to position your company with a competitive advantage and generate greater revenues for the years ahead. I’ll tell you, the formula is so simple. So first, run lean, improve individual productivity in each step of the supply chain, look for ways to automate your processes specifically where you can leverage mobility and reduce dependencies on the manual input of data.

Mark Nix:

Secondly, increase compliance. Due to many factors in the current landscape, we can also expect governments and inner agencies to increase regulatory requirements. Strive to have this knowledge available real time and embedded into your processes to maximize the competitive advantage. Implementing the right technology allows you to build adherence to regulation straight into the key processes. Third, improve inventory visibility. Know where your inventory is located and whether it’s readily available. Don’t stop with inventory on the shop floor of the warehouse. To drive competitive advantage, you need to know where your inventory is located in the field all the way out to the point of use [inaudible 00:10:37] … that end customer on the last mile. And finally, it’s always about revenue generation in some manner. With improved efficiencies of real-time inventory location and visibility, it increases profitability. That’s the natural outcome. But be innovative. Challenge your employees to look for new revenue streams. Think outside of the box and explore new ideas for providing your product. Companies need to be very conscious of the choice and the category that they’re going to fall into the years ahead.

Eric Dye:

Mr. Nix, always appreciates your time and your visits with us here today on the program. If listeners wanted to get more information on Cloud Inventory, where’s the best place to connect and also get further details?

Mark Nix:

So they can go to our website at cloudinventory.com.

Eric Dye:

That is simple and easy enough. And we’ll include that link within the show notes of this broadcast for those listening in mobile. Again, Mr. Nix, all the best. Happy holidays. And thanks for joining us here today on EPN.

Mark Nix:

Same to you, Eric. Have a great and safe holiday season.

Eric Dye:

Hey, I appreciate that. And you as well, we’ve been speaking with Mr. Mark Nix, the chief product officer of Cloud Inventory, a company that empowers organizations with real time inventory visibility at all points in the supply chain, from the warehouse to the field. And for all the details, visit cloudinventory.com. And this is Eric Dye, and you’ve been listening to Enterprise Radio, part of EPN, the Enterprise Podcast Network. Tune into our live location as we are streaming live 24/7 around the world at epocastnetwork.com/live. You can also find our live stream on iTunes Radio and TuneIn Radio, as well as the TuneIn Radio app for your listening convenience. And as always, we thank you for your support and for tuning in. Thanks for listening to Enterprise Radio. To subscribe to more of our programming, visit epodcastnetwork.com.

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