Our last post about the itelligence supply-chain benchmarking survey discussed the general role that benchmarking plays in successful businesses. Sure, you learned that in business school, and it’s been on your to-do list ever since. Or, maybe you did it once, made the necessary adjustments and moved on to more pressing business concerns.
If you’ve already gone through the benchmarking process – way to go! You’re doing better than a lot of your competitors. If you’ve never benchmarked – well, at least you’re not alone.
It’s important to realize that effective benchmarking isn’t something that happens just once, and it is not just another business term people throw around with less direction than Roy Halladay’s curve ball.
In order to understand how you stack up against your competitors in our ever-changing, free-flowing business world, you need to anchor your benchmarking efforts with key performance indicators (KPIs). The good news is these KPIs don’t reside at the bottom of the ocean.
Generally speaking, manufacturers and wholesale distributors strive to increase sales and decrease costs. It’s much easier to achieve these goals when consistently monitoring KPIs to gauge industry performance. You wouldn’t pick your stocks based on earnings numbers from five years ago, and you shouldn’t manage your supply chain based on KPIs from back then either.
Admittedly, continuous measurement sounds tedious, but automated solutions play an important role in this process. Solutions like it.wholesale and it.manufacturing from itelligence enhance the value of KPIs by providing up-to-date metrics with true visibility across all enterprise activities, from inventory and operations to financials.
Take, for instance, West Chester Holdings. A wholesale distributor of gloves and protective clothing, West Chester knew they needed to improve inventory management and focus on days sales outstanding for them to improve competitiveness. The company selected it.wholesale, a qualified SAP® Business All-in-One partner solution, to attack these metrics and saw a quick ROI.
After a 15-week “big bang” implementation, the company gained better inventory visibility and saw improvements in its warehouse management processes, service levels, and billing cycles. Final results included a two-day reduction in days sales outstanding and a 24 percent sales growth—all without adding new staff. These two KPIs alone show the importance of monitoring how you stack up against peers—and the power of automated solutions to help put you over the top.
In our last post, we mentioned the benchmarking survey that will help you see how you measure up against your competitors. The video included below goes along with that survey to give a bit of a different perspective on the whole benchmarking process. Check it out and let us know what you think. And don’t forget to take the survey, here, if you haven’t already.