Get Real-Time Inventory Visibility with Rebus, by Longbow Advantage

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Longbow's software Rebus Data Services continues to increase company ROI by implementing their dashboards.

Rebus Dashboard

Increase ROI:
A company has 35 different warehouses full of inventory. The inventory is continually changing, moving from one location to another, and getting shipped in and out. The status of the inventory items changes from available to unavailable, and people adjust quantities up and down. Ideally, a manager wants to see activity and data across all inventory - but without any real way of looking at it all in a single view, it can be excruciating. A director either has two separate warehouse management systems at each of the sites, or own half of the facilities while 3PLs run the other half, and risk having no visibility into their system operations.

The Solution - Real-Time Inventory:
Longbow Advantage developed trigger points in their data services software, Rebus©, to track inventory changes. Rebus can follow when items move, get adjusted up or down, and so forth. Having visibility to this real-time data allows businesses to display it on dashboards across the warehouses within their distribution network.

The top-down view of enterprise-wide inventory is a valuable capability that sets Rebus apart from any other supply chain management software. Especially when analyzing the way warehouse systems operate, for example, an ERP is at the top while the WMS is at the bottom, all the data feeds up. However, this approach leads to issues, because although the WMS's are feeding the ERP, they are only tracking inventory items at the lot level or item lot stay, which lacks inventory details at the high level where it is valuable.

With Rebus' top-down view, companies can drill down to a piece identification code. For example, if a manager has a case full of pens, Rebus can track it down to one box and know that that one box is sitting in this case, on this specific pallet, in this exact rack. That manager now has access to that deep level of detailed information.

Increase Efficiency or ROI:
Inventory visibility increases a company's efficiency or ROI in a couple of ways, mostly dependent on what is trying to be achieved.

Scenario 1 - Real-Time Inventory Reporting:
Let's say a manager needs to drill down to a specific level of detail to understand what inventory is and where it is located; however, there are multiple systems. In order to gather the information needed, the manager is looking at plenty of manual work to determine what the disposition of inventory is. This could mean having to open five different sessions of an application, investigate each instance, do an extract of the data, and aggregate it all into a spreadsheet. Then finally, have access to see what the company's inventory looks like - but is it in real-time?

This manual approach to reporting is time-consuming and unnecessary. With a consolidated view of real-time data into your inventory, any business can make quick decisions that can save them hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Scenario 2 - Shift Inventory:
It's possible to shift inventory from one location to another. For instance, a director can see in real-time if a manager has an abundance of one product that failed to sell, got damaged, or is to expire soon. This grants the capability of rather than eventually discarding it; the director can make an informed decision on how to proceed. The director could have the customer service representatives contact clients directly – offering the excess goods at a discounted rate or sell the products to a secondary market. There are a variety of tangible benefits that would be obtained from having the view of real-time data on the products in a warehouse.

A keynote is that this data is in real-time because, yes, it is possible to gather this data in a spreadsheet, for example. However, that spreadsheet takes time, labor, and money to compile. Not to mention that the completed spreadsheet would not hold the current information by the time you look at it. Something may have already happened to the damaged inventory – the warehouse might have already recouped the items; that is just one example of why real-time data is so important and valuable.

Inventory Visibility & Quality Assurance Dashboards:
Inventory Visibility is a crucial component of Rebus. Also referred to as Quality Assurance, by having real-time visibility into inventory at any level, a company can also view detail into products that are being released or placed on quality hold.

The Inventory Visibility/Quality Assurance dashboards were designed and developed because one of Longbow's Global Packaging Food Manufacturing clients was having issues viewing QA holds at the plant level due to data constraints with their systems. In essence, they put a hold on a product, but the interface would fail, and the hold would not be processed at the warehouse. This leads to unnecessary risks, such as – shipping damaged product to a customer, which could be catastrophic. Leading to a product recall that could damage a company's reputation, ruin their customer relationships, and result in hundreds of thousands of dollars lost. Rebus provides visibility into real-time QA metrics and data to avoid these unnecessary risks. By giving real-time visibility to all of the inventory based on lot number, location, and status, the client could quickly identify at-risk inventory and prevent these issues before they occurred.

About Longbow Advantage 
Longbow Advantage is a strategic supply chain consulting and SaaS company. With unparalleled expertise in supply chain networks, Longbow is a tactical technology and implementation partner for WMS, LMS, TMS, and GTM software. Longbows record of success across supply chain execution systems for a variety of manufacturing, retail, logistics, and distribution customers includes hundreds of projects completed on-time and on-budget and a crowd of raving fans in the supply chain space.

About Rebus
Rebus, built by Longbow, is a supply chain data services SaaS that provides complete visibility and real-time performance analytics of your distribution network. Rebus aggregates and harmonizes logistics data from any supply chain execution software to provide a real-time view of your logistics operations and deliver cross-functional insights.

Rebus is a trademark of Longbow Advantage Inc.

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Valerie Bennett

Stephanie Alvarado
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