DMS and SMS
In some cases larger clients combine the benefits of data integrity with the power of comprehensive inventory management.  Many SMS clients have a stock status database that is corrupt.  This lack of data integrity transcends accuracy of individual descriptions.  It reaches duplicate item numbers that would disguise the true measure of on hand inventory.  Clients with duplicate items often continue to order when they actually have excess on the shelf - just disguised as another item number.

DMS finds duplicates - either through duplicate descriptions or through cross referencing supplier part numbers.  Clients can quickly update their stock status systems to eliminate the wrong item number and add the on hand values to the correct item number where that material belongs.  Once the inventory is properly identified and accounted for, SMS can take over.  Forecasting is much more accurate.  Transferring stock is much easier.  Ordering levels go down thus eliminating some or your excess stock.

When should you use DMS with SMS?

Maintenance Inventories are the most common users of DMS.  This is because Distribution Inventories are often smaller and fast moving.  This also because Manufacturing Inventories often integrate production parts rather than parts from another company.  Maintenance Inventories are traditionally large, slow moving and acquired from a wide variety of outside suppliers.  Additionally, Maintenance Inventories are often the result of acquiring many smaller companies and integrating their part numbering systems - a sure recipe for disaster.

Forecasting and Replenishment Planning for these inventories may be statistically accurate.  However, unless duplicates are minimized, excess ordering is bound to happen.  It becomes more and more difficult to eliminate excess inventory.  Even though customer service improves, the Return-on-Investment numbers will not improve.  They cannot unless the investment part of the equation shrinks.

When is a good time to look for DMS?
  • When years of neglect arouse suspicion that data is not correct
  • When migrating data from a legacy system to a new system
  • When suppliers are telling you that your data does not have integrity
  • When you cannot locate the proper item to do the job
  • When inventory continues to grow