The pandemic dealt an unprecedented blow to global supply chains, with virtually all business leaders reporting disruptions to their strategic sourcing and supplier management processes.
Yet some companies found ways to mitigate the impact to their operations. In Demand Driven Technology’s Pandemic Planning series, we take a look at their stories—and how they leveraged DDMRP to adjust to a changing landscape.
More Control, Better Visibilty
There are a number of benefits that come with in-house manufacturing, from greater flexibility and higher margins to more control over output and quality.
Of course, moving things in house can also expose inefficiencies in materials planning, as Indiana based ABI Attachments discovered a few years ago. The company, which designs, produces, and distributes ground engaging attachments like infield groomers and landscape rakes, once managed its 1,200 component parts through a spreadsheet-based planning system.
Unfortunately, this system “just wasn’t working,” in the words of John Dilling, ABI’s VP of Finance. The process was complicated. Stockouts were common, driving up costs.
“We kept having to run to the hardware store and pay five times as much for a handful of parts,” explained Dilling.
Enter Replenishment+, installed shortly before the pandemic to help ABI bring their materials inventory in line with actual demand. With many of the company’s customers stuck at home and focused on landscape improvements, ABI’s sales rose considerably. Fortunately, Replenishment+ made it easy to keep up with the increased demand.
“From the time we launched at the end of 2019 to December 2020, we had an 18% drop in our active inventory items,” said Dilling. “At the same time, our sales went up 12%. And we still maintained great customer service and on-time delivery.”
Timely delivery, of course, proved an especially powerful advantage during the pandemic, when many of ABI’s contract manufacturers experienced delays of up to 12 weeks. Furthermore, since Replenishment+ had given them a clearer understanding of what materials were needed, Dilling’s team could adapt more efficiently to fast-changing commodity prices with bigger orders and better deals.
To learn more about how Replenishment+ helped ABI streamline materials planning and increase in-house manufacturing, read the case study.