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Knowledge of Asset Locations Enables Better Inventory Control

Businesses in the supply chain, including distribution centers (DC), are searching for creative ways to maintain inventory, keep lead times short as feasible, and keep costs low.

Businesses in the supply chain, including distribution centers (DC), are searching for creative ways to maintain inventory, keep lead times short as feasible, and keep costs low. Netarus, an industry leader, has developed innovative technology that reduces lead time, increases delivery frequency, and aids in inventory modeling and supply chain management. What makes SiteTrax™ so powerful is that, regardless of the size of the business, it provides immediate knowledge of shipping status, geo-location, and efficiency of inventory management.

When it comes to inventory and lead times, one of the perennial questions is how big infrequent payloads compare to more frequent, smaller payloads and how this affects scheduling. A study was done in 1998 by Joseph Sean Walkenhorst, B.S. Chemical Engineering at Brigham Young University called Quantifying the Value of Reduced Lead Time and Increased Delivery Frequency. He set out in the study to look at a variety of companies and how they sought to improve their profitability by removing expenses from their supply chains, but they could only go so far by focusing solely on their own outlay. To optimally reduce total overhead, including their own, they needed to also consider the expenses and systems of other companies in their supply chain. Some changes that raise the expenditures of one company may lower the costs of the entire supply chain. 

This project’s modeling also estimated the potential value of several possible changes to their supply chain in the United States. Some of these likely changes included, to name a few, improving inventory performance for all products and DCs to match best-in-class inventory for each customer, increasing frequency by combining products to achieve daily shipments to customer’s DCs, and increasing frequency by ensuring that high volume SKUs were included in every shipment. Matching best in class inventory performance offered the most potential opportunity of all possible improvements.

The 1998 investigation was thorough and examined three different size companies but ultimately found that any changes to a large supply chain network will undoubtedly be costly, but the conceivable benefits to customers are substantial. But that was 1998. What about today?

The modern era of supply control, dwell time, turn time, and just in time inventory can look back and learn from the study with a fresh perspective that includes up-to-date technology like SiteTrax™ to provide solutions. This powerful tool can solve a slew of supply problems in a matter of seconds while also saving money. Basically, SiteTrax™ recognizes that if you know where your inventory is, you might not need to carry as much. 

Knowing the inventory, locating stock, and storing supply can translate to a variety of costs. While there are different motives at all stages of the supply chain, they all require lead time knowledge for things to run smoothly. 

With SiteTrax™, it’s as simple as pressing a button. SiteTrax™ instantly captures asset IDs from intermodal containers and chassis as well as their location and delivers this data to any database, enterprise ledger, ERP, or transportation management system. The SiteTrax™ platform, powered by Netarus, provides a straightforward way to capture the geolocation of intermodal containers and share the information within an organization, all while using a smartphone.

As the 1998 study suggested, if demand is highly variable, the variability in demand will be the primary driver of safety stock inventories; if demand is stable, the variability in lead time will be the primary driver of safety stock inventories. If a product does not ship frequently, it will have a high cycle stock, which may make safety stock reductions less significant. SiteTrax™ provides a quick and uncomplicated way to keep track of the variables and moving parts in the supply chain, providing an accurate and up-to-date snapshot of inventory.

Logistics managers will especially appreciate the real-time accuracy of SiteTrax™. The highly precise information will result in shorter average lead times and the capability to reduce inventories while assisting in the scheduling and frequency of shipments. Companies with high promotional sales that can replenish their stores in the middle of a promotion to meet higher-than-expected demand will benefit from knowing exactly how much inventory is available and where that inventory is located.

Moreover, SiteTrax™ is user friendly and there is no learning curve. An employee that knows how to use a phone application can use SiteTrax™. A company can capture container assets in real-time with the click of a button on virtually any mobile device or the latest virtual gate solution. When an asset is captured, its ID is automatically pushed into any public, enterprise, or distributed database, including Yard Management Systems (YMS) and Terminal Operating Systems (TOS).

While yard management and complete inventory control in 1998 affected the supply chain much like it does today, the solutions to the common issues impacting efficiency and overhead are much more readily available and easily implemented in 2022. 

Manual asset tracking is no longer necessary, and with SiteTrax’s cutting-edge technology and real-time analytics, businesses can spend more time understanding where their assets are, the amount, and customizing purchases, scheduling shipments, controlling inventory and knowing where it is in a much smarter, convenient, and cost-effective professional way. Or, as SiteTrax™ puts it, “Can’t find your assets?” Don’t want to spend millions on automation and control gates? SiteTrax™ is as simple as pressing a button.”

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