How Does Vendor Managed Inventory Work? – Definition
Vendor managed inventory (VMI) is a type of supply chain management process that allows the vendor to control and manage their customer’s inventory. This means that the vendor can track, analyze, and adjust the customer’s inventory levels to meet their needs. The end goal of VMI is to maximize the customer’s sales while minimizing the costs associated with excess or out-of-stock inventory. In this blog post, we’ll explore what exactly vendor managed inventory is, how it works, and why it’s beneficial for businesses.
What is Vendor Managed Inventory?
Vendor managed inventory (VMI) is a system in which the supplier of goods manages the inventory of those goods at the customer’s site. The customer provides the supplier with information about its desired level of inventory, and the supplier then uses that information to maintain stock levels. This system can help to improve communication and coordination between the customer and supplier, and can also lead to cost savings for both parties.
The Benefits of Vendor Managed Inventory
Vendor Managed Inventory, or VMI, is a system where the vendor takes on the responsibility of managing inventory levels for a company. This can be done through various means such as barcoding items and tracking usage data. The main benefit of this system is that it can help to reduce inventory costs by ensuring that stock is only ordered when needed. It can also improve customer service levels by reducing the chance of stock outs.
The Drawbacks of Vendor Managed Inventory
There are several potential drawbacks to implementing vendor managed inventory, including:
1. Increased complexity – Vendor managed inventory can make your supply chain more complex, as you now have to coordinate with multiple vendors instead of just one. This can lead to communication breakdowns and errors.
2. Loss of control – When you outsource your inventory management to a vendor, you are giving up some control over your stock levels and order fulfilment. This can be risky, particularly if the vendor is not reliable or efficient.
3. Higher costs – Vendor managed inventory can be more expensive than managing your own inventory, as you will typically have to pay the vendor a management fee.
4. Inflexibility – Once you have outsourced your inventory management to a vendor, it can be difficult to change vendors or cancel the arrangement if you are unhappy with the service.
How Does Vendor Managed Inventory Work?
Vendor Managed Inventory is a system where the vendor is responsible for managing the inventory levels of their products at the retailer. The vendor uses information from the retailer to forecast future demand and then ships product to the retailer based on that forecast. This system can work well if both the vendor and retailer have accurate information and trust each other to act in good faith. However, it can also lead to problems if either party does not have accurate information or tries to game the system.
Real-World Examples of Vendor Managed Inventory
In a vendor managed inventory system, the supplier is responsible for managing the inventory at the customer’s site. This type of arrangement is common in industries where there is a high degree of product turnover and where it is difficult for the customer to forecast future demand.
For example, consider a grocery store that uses a vendor managed inventory system for its milk supply. The grocery store contracts with a dairy producer to supply milk to the store. The dairy producer is responsible for delivering milk to the store and for managing the inventory of milk at the store.
The dairy producer uses information on past sales of milk at the store to forecast future demand. Based on this forecast, the dairy producer determines how much milk needs to be delivered to the store and when deliveries should be made.
If the grocery store’s sales of milk increase, the dairy producer will increase deliveries to meet the increased demand. Similarly, if sales of milk decrease, the dairy producer will reduce deliveries to avoid having excess inventory at the store.
In this way, a vendor managed inventory system can help businesses respond quickly to changes in demand and avoid having too much or too little inventory on hand.
In conclusion, vendor managed inventory is a great way to better manage your business’s inventory and keep costs down. With different levels of control available, you can choose the option that best suits your business needs. Additionally, it allows vendors to have more insight into their customer’s purchasing habits which helps them understand their customers better and make more informed decisions when it comes to stocking product. VMI is a system worth considering if you are looking for an efficient solution to managing your organization’s inventory requirements.