Friday, March 25, 2011

Product replacement on our HDPE 1 gallon containers

Here's how the change starts... we place an order with a manufacturer for a product that has not only been selling but increasing in sales over the past couple years.

Then instead of being notified of the lead time, the manufacturer notifies us that they are discontinuing that product and have no replacement. The tool is old and there are no investment plans to replace it unless we buy some crazy amount that would stock our shelves well into our golden years of retirement. Doesn't seem like a huge deal but in the time between when we placed our PO and were notified, 5 customer orders came in. So now we are also behind the eight ball so to speak. 

Not a big deal right? We can just source a similar product for replacement through a different vendor. Simple...unless your buyer of 25 years just left the company (and the snow) to move to Florida! So simple turned challenging quick and turned into a 5 month process to source and actually receive the product in to fill what is now many more customer orders, or shall I say back orders!

This is likely a problem met by distributors much more often in this age of high MOQ from the vendor and JIT on the customer end. Fortunately I am writing this as 873-0000 replacement containers are being received in our warehouse and will be ready for shipment on Monday. Have a nice weekend!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Improve work life and home life improves ten-fold

This week's ERP demonstrations were a real tail wagger!

When our IS project began almost a full year ago my main goal as part of the committee was to figure out how and why we do things currently. Now a year later I wonder, why do we do it like that and how soon can we change? How soon can we optimize our service levels? How soon can we optimize our stock levels to be better prepared for our customer's needs?

One good thing (of many) that has come from this exhausting process is making us think how can we do things better NOW without waiting for software to save the day? I would assume, or at least hope, that every company tries to think that way. In my opinion, we have gone above and beyond to maintain high service levels despite all the manual processes internally. So to dream about how good it will be when software does save the day, makes me one happy employee. When I am one happy employee, my dog wags his tail to the smile on my face when I get home at night!

This sounds corny and like I have no social life. Truth be told, myself and many people in my social circle, spend more waking hours at work than at home. Dynalab Corp. is a nice company to work for, I've been here 15 years. They have built a successful business based on employee loyalty as much as customer satisfaction. I stay because I am treated well, feel as though I have a common goal of business success and overall have made lasting friendships with people whom I interact.

To end this week with another blog entry (two in a row) and in a positive mood excited about the future is nice. Trickle down effect; when we improve our business it leads to satisfied customers and happier employees! Have a nice weekend everyone, time to go see my dog.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Where does time go?

I made a New Year's resolution to put weekly entries into our blog... 
how am I doing?

Easy answer... not good! If I can't seem to keep up the schedule (which obviously I can't) then I should at least start posting what's going on at Dynalab Corp. keeping me so busy! I am on a team of employees chosen to investigate a new ERP system. This project has been in progress for close to a year now. We spent the majority of that time talking with many key employees and flow charting how we do everything currently. 

RFI have been sent to a number of software companies. Now the fun begins, seeing what they have to offer and how it will fit our company's needs. The list is down to a hand full of companies which doesn't seem like many for such an expensive purchase until communication overlaps between them all. Our IT Manager is facilitating that part and I don't envy him at all. 

Although we feel our customer commitment is high there are definitely processes that could be automated serving you all better. We want to grow our customer relationships, instill confidence in our abilities and overall grow the business for all.

Any customers out there willing to share their similar ERP experience please chime in!