Disconnected Data Can Cost You Money and Customers – Plant Manager
By Mike Dorris
As a production plant manager, you rely on data to help guide your decisions about which seeds to produce, how much and how best to fulfill your customers’ orders. If that data is wrong or outdated because you’re having to search in multiple systems, it can throw the whole process into chaos. That can cost money … and customers.
Your inventory is your lifeblood. The Sales team places the orders and it’s up to you to fulfill them. If your records are in multiple systems, the door is open to errors that could indicate different inventory levels. That may mean your customer is promised something that isn’t available, and could make them wait to have the order delivered. How long do you think they’ll wait before they start looking for another supplier?
As you know, inventory affects the prices quoted to your customers. If sales is looking in the wrong system, or data isn’t updated, that could mean the quote is wrong. Real-time data in one reliable system is important. It allows sales to use the right margin, not one that is too low that will lose the company money, or too high that might lose the customer.
Returns and Carry-overs
Disconnected data sometimes leads to getting orders wrong or not having the inventory to fulfill the orders. That can cause expensive returns, which wreak havoc. The seed needs to be sold, but the scramble is on. And it might need to be mixed, so that’s additional processing that had not been factored in. In addition, carrying excess inventory requires cash that could be used for other things and eventually may require expensive write-offs. The industry average for inventory write-offs is 8-12 percent a year. Integrated data could prevent your business from being one of those struggling with write-offs.
Accurate, real-time data is of the utmost importance for production. But it is a challenge to achieve the accuracy and timeliness you need when you have to move between multiple systems. The room for error and misinterpretation is just too great. Connecting data is key for making sound production calls to fill customers’ orders precisely, when they expect them.