GAINS Systems (GAINS) is a comprehensive inventory planning software that uses our data to indicate when specific items in our inventory need to be replenished and the level in which they need to be replenished to. Using forecasts, lead times and other volatility metrics, GAINS helps calculate how much of each item needs to be held to help satisfy the demand of our customers. Through these calculations, GAINS is able to make specific replenishment recommendations that point our purchasing department in the right direction, rather than having to sift through thousands of items to determine which ones need to be bought at any given time.
What does that mean for us?
Following NIM’s acquisition of Metalwest, we spent time learning what tools they use that have helped them become such a successful company. Their use of GAINS immediately stood out as a tool that could help us improve our inventory planning practices, especially since we already had a great model for how the system could be set up. Through discussions with Metalwest and GAINS representatives, we decided that it was a no brainer that GAINS would be a great tool to help boost Norfolk Iron’s inventory planning process.
Our purpose at Norfolk Iron is to have the inventory that our customers need when they need it, and GAINS should help us accomplish just that.
By taking so many factors into account for each individual item, GAINS will help us make sure that we are able to service our customers to a level that was not previously possible. In specifying the items that need to be considered each day for replenishment, it gives our purchasing team that ability to then find the best possible supply chain for supplying each item to the customers who need it.
Is GAINS operational, yet?
Within the coming weeks, GAINS will be fully operational and will be used by our inventory planners to determine the makeup of our inventory.
Each branch has their own inventory manager who will work to make sure that their branch has the inventory that is required to service their customers. By being part of the branch management team, they will work with the branch sales team to ensure that the valuable information that the sales team receives through conversations with their customers will be included as part of our inventory replenishment plan.
These conversations can have a great impact on making sure that Norfolk Iron is holding in our warehouses is the material that our customers need.
Throughout the implementation process, we have learned a great deal about where our inventory has been historically and where it will be in the future, and we are excited about the improvements that are going to be made.
Post written by Ben Dubois, operations analyst