There are a number of options, and plenty of decisions to make for companies considering a Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) program. Depending on a company’s goals, budget, and available resources they’ll have to decide on the type of VMI program, to what extent the VMI provider’s personnel will be used, how products in your program are going to be replenished and accessed, and more.
We’ll look at a few of these options in this post.
There are essentially two types of VMI programs
Both Non-Consigned and Consigned VMI programs offer customers a similar list of benefits, which you can read more about HERE.
The more traditional of the two is Non-Consigned VMI. In a Non-Consigned program, the customer pays for the inventory as it’s brought in, and whenever replenishment is necessary.
In a Consigned VMI program, the inventory is put in place, but the customer doesn’t pay for it until it’s consumed. There are numerous additional benefits (on top of those mentioned HERE) for the customer who engages in a Consigned program, which you can learn more about in THIS post on Consigned inventory.
* It should be noted that the benefits expressed here are relative to VMI, not simply Consigned inventory. One can have Consigned inventory without a VMI program, but that is not what we’re discussing here.
Another option for the VMI customer is whether to have the service provider embed an employee on location, full time. It is more common for the VMI partner to send employees in once, twice, or even three times a week, depending on the breadth of the program. But for customers with substantial volume, an embedded VMI employee might be the way to go.
Additionally, depending on the types of products being placed in the program, VMI customers might consider the option of using vending machines in lieu of (or in addition to) traditional bin stocking (i.e. bins or totes on shelves in your warehouse). MRO products such as work gloves, safety glasses, and drill bits lend themselves very well to
VMI vending machines. This option offers an added layer of security, as well as the ability to easily tie usage, via the swipe of an access card, to specific employees, departments, jobs, or end products.
These are just a few of the options available in a Vendor Managed Inventory program. Austin Hardware VMI programs are custom designed to the needs of each individual company. We would be happy to walk you through all the available options and develop a program tailored just to you and your inventory needs.
If you believe your company might benefit from Vendor Inventory Management we invite you to click HERE to learn more.
Or fill out our quick form below contacting us to schedule a VMI consultation today.