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VMI Systems


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3PL Warehouse Manager by 3PL Central logo
 
In addition to warehouse and inventory management, 3PL Central’s 3PL Warehouse Manager offers vendor-managed inventory capabilities. Alerts can be set up to notify suppliers when inventory is low and needs to be replenished.
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In addition to warehouse and inventory management, 3PL Central’s 3PL Warehouse Manager offers vendor-managed inventory capabilities. Alerts can be set up to notify suppliers when inventory is low and needs to be replenished.
 
Infoplus logo
 
Infoplus is an inventory management solution for small to midsize organizations in industries including consumer goods, electronics, food and beverage, retail, pharmaceuticals and more. The system is offered primarily as a web-based... Read More
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Infoplus is an inventory management solution for small to midsize organizations in industries including consumer goods, electronics, food and beverage, retail, pharmaceuticals and more. The system is offered primarily as a web-based... Read More
 
WISE logo
 
Royal 4 has been one of leading vendors of supply chain software since 1984. Within its modern supply chain solution, Royal 4 offers the ability for users to create a VMI system to share inventory management with suppliers.
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Royal 4 has been one of leading vendors of supply chain software since 1984. Within its modern supply chain solution, Royal 4 offers the ability for users to create a VMI system to share inventory management with suppliers.
 
Infor Supply Chain Management logo
 
Infor Supply Chain Management is a powerful tool designed to help organizations optimize their supply chain from end-to-end. With analytics at its core, Infor SCM helps you gain greater visibility into every facet of your supply... Read More
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Infor Supply Chain Management is a powerful tool designed to help organizations optimize their supply chain from end-to-end. With analytics at its core, Infor SCM helps you gain greater visibility into every facet of your supply... Read More
 
Oracle SCM Cloud logo
 
Oracle SCM Cloud offers a full suite of applications for companies to manage their supply chain, distribution, manufacturing, inventory management, and fleet.  Using product development, users can create a detailed bill of material... Read More
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Oracle SCM Cloud offers a full suite of applications for companies to manage their supply chain, distribution, manufacturing, inventory management, and fleet.  Using product development, users can create a detailed bill of material... Read More

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Bright Suite logo
 
Bright Suite, by Deposco, is a supply chain management solution built for both SMB and enterprise level companies. The platform is appropriate for third party logistics, apparel companies, automotive, consumer goods, healthcare, electronics,... Read More
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Bright Suite, by Deposco, is a supply chain management solution built for both SMB and enterprise level companies. The platform is appropriate for third party logistics, apparel companies, automotive, consumer goods, healthcare, electronics,... Read More
 
Geneva Business Management Systems (GBMS) logo
 
With GBMS from Geneva Systems, users can track both on-hand and available inventory to help decide how to best manage inventory replenishment. This web-based ERP system can be accessed on any computer with an Internet connection.
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With GBMS from Geneva Systems, users can track both on-hand and available inventory to help decide how to best manage inventory replenishment. This web-based ERP system can be accessed on any computer with an Internet connection.
 
SphereWMS logo
 
The Electronic Data Interchange functionality within SphereWMS allows for great collaboration with suppliers. Suppliers can see the status of the your inventory and replenish accordingly. This is key feature for many 3PLs.
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The Electronic Data Interchange functionality within SphereWMS allows for great collaboration with suppliers. Suppliers can see the status of the your inventory and replenish accordingly. This is key feature for many 3PLs.
 
Contract Insight Contract Management logo
 
Contract Insight is a contract lifecycle management solution developed by CobbleStone Systems. It system can be deployed either on the customer’s premises (with perpetual licensing) or in the cloud (with monthly subscription licensing). In... Read More
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Contract Insight is a contract lifecycle management solution developed by CobbleStone Systems. It system can be deployed either on the customer’s premises (with perpetual licensing) or in the cloud (with monthly subscription licensing). In... Read More
 
SCP 4.0 logo
 
Over the past decade, companies have reported up to 65% inventory reduction and savings of over $2 million by adopting SCP 4.0 by Jada Management Systems. This vendor management inventory and demand planning system is ideal for businesses... Read More
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Over the past decade, companies have reported up to 65% inventory reduction and savings of over $2 million by adopting SCP 4.0 by Jada Management Systems. This vendor management inventory and demand planning system is ideal for businesses... Read More

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Kenandy Cloud ERP logo
 
Kenandy is a comprehensive cloud-based ERP solution created for companies that design, manufacture, or distribute products. It helps businesses manage core processes including order-to-cash, planning and production, procurement, TPM,... Read More
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Kenandy is a comprehensive cloud-based ERP solution created for companies that design, manufacture, or distribute products. It helps businesses manage core processes including order-to-cash, planning and production, procurement, TPM,... Read More
 
Enterprise WMS and Interchange EDI logo
 
Ramp Systems' Enterprise WMS and Interchange EDI solution caters vendor managed inventory capabilities specifically to 3rd-party logistics companies (asset and non-asset). The system is offered both on-premise as well as online.
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Ramp Systems' Enterprise WMS and Interchange EDI solution caters vendor managed inventory capabilities specifically to 3rd-party logistics companies (asset and non-asset). The system is offered both on-premise as well as online.
 
Synapse logo
 
Created by Zethcon, Synapse is an end-to-end Warehouse Management System for small to mid-sized businesses. This system is geared towards 3PLs and offers many 3PL-centric features. However, it also works well for a variety of other... Read More
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Created by Zethcon, Synapse is an end-to-end Warehouse Management System for small to mid-sized businesses. This system is geared towards 3PLs and offers many 3PL-centric features. However, it also works well for a variety of other... Read More
 
Slingshot Enterprise Business Suite logo
 
The Slingshot Enterprise Business Suite is an ERP solution that can be deployed on-site or hosted by Slingshot. EBS supports vendor managed inventory, as well as warehouse, procurement, contract and forecasting management.
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The Slingshot Enterprise Business Suite is an ERP solution that can be deployed on-site or hosted by Slingshot. EBS supports vendor managed inventory, as well as warehouse, procurement, contract and forecasting management.
 
Cadence WMS logo
 
Cadence WMS is a comprehensive warehouse management system that helps companies manage every aspect of warehouse operations. A flexible solution, this system makes logistics operations more profitable.
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Cadence WMS is a comprehensive warehouse management system that helps companies manage every aspect of warehouse operations. A flexible solution, this system makes logistics operations more profitable.

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Conga Novatus Contract Management logo
 
Novatus Contract Lifecycle Management offers a vendor managed inventory solution with quick implementation. Novatus is available both on-premise or as a web-based solution and offers 24/7 user support.
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Novatus Contract Lifecycle Management offers a vendor managed inventory solution with quick implementation. Novatus is available both on-premise or as a web-based solution and offers 24/7 user support.
 
TECSYS EliteSeries logo
 
EliteSeries is a user-friendly Supply Chain Management solution from TECSYS. In addition to flexible deployment options, open source architecture gives companies maximum flexibility to customize and integrate the system.
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EliteSeries is a user-friendly Supply Chain Management solution from TECSYS. In addition to flexible deployment options, open source architecture gives companies maximum flexibility to customize and integrate the system.
 
Atlas Planning Suite logo
 
Atlas Planning Suite, provided by John Galt Solutions, is a supply chain management platform designed to suit the needs of scaling businesses in various industries. Companies in manufacturing, agriculture, industrial equipment, hospitality... Read More
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Atlas Planning Suite, provided by John Galt Solutions, is a supply chain management platform designed to suit the needs of scaling businesses in various industries. Companies in manufacturing, agriculture, industrial equipment, hospitality... Read More
 
Latitude WMS logo
 
Latitude Warehouse Management is a cloud-based inventory management program that can integrate into other programs, track performance through user-friendly analytic tools and be customized to fit any user.
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Latitude Warehouse Management is a cloud-based inventory management program that can integrate into other programs, track performance through user-friendly analytic tools and be customized to fit any user.
 
Lead Commerce logo
 
Lead Commerce is a full-featured, flexible, and customizable order management solution that offers a powerful suite of applications like Inventory Management, Merchandise Planning, and Customer Relationship Management. The solution... Read More
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Lead Commerce is a full-featured, flexible, and customizable order management solution that offers a powerful suite of applications like Inventory Management, Merchandise Planning, and Customer Relationship Management. The solution... Read More
 

Buyer's Guide

by Daniel Harris,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: May 24, 2017


Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) Software

The vendor-managed inventory approach refers to a business model where businesses act as the buyers while vendors (who manage manufacturing or the supply chain) are responsible for all stock at the buyer’s location. These vendors, who manufacture products sold at the buyer’s store, agree to replenish the inventory based on the fluctuating demand and supply trends. This sort of a relationship between the buyer and the vendor is a way to ensure that inventory is well-stocked and stores don’t face a shortfall.

In a way, VMI helps avoid overstocking or shortages in vendor warehouses and also helps avoid increased expenses for labor, purchasing and accounting for the buyers. Using VMI, businesses can optimally maintain inventory, which can result in easier access to products, faster processing times and lower labor costs for stocking and replenishing products. Vendors can also employ their own staff at the buyers’ stores to ensure that product promotion is more direct (i.e., from manufacturer to end customer) and streamlined across all locations.

In this model, the primary responsibility of ensuring optimum levels of inventory falls on the vendor. However, both vendors and buyers can choose to involve a third-party logistics (3PL) provider to deliver the products. The vendors and buyers have to be in constant communication to frequently gauge the inventory levels. One way to communicate and manage inventory is by using vendor-managed inventory software.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Vendor Managed Inventory Software?
Common Features of Vendor Managed Inventory Software
Evaluating Vendor Managed Inventory Software
Market Trends to Understand

What Is Vendor Managed Inventory Software?

Vendor managed inventory software, or supplier assisted inventory management (SAIM), allows the supplier to assume many of the duties related to maintaining the buyer’s inventory. Rather than place all of the responsibilities of the supply chain planning system on the customer, vendor managed inventory agreements establish a collaborative relationship between vendors and manufacturers or retailers. In this case, the buyer uses the software to keep the supplier aware of how much inventory should be available at the buyer’s location at all times, while the supplier uses the software to monitor that inventory and replenish it when necessary. This makes VMI software a particularly useful addition to any supply chain management system.

Common Features of Vendor Managed Inventory Software

Using VMI software, requests are constantly moving back and forth between buyer and supplier. The buyer can immediately inform the supplier about product activity, sending electronic documents that report inventory, sales and demand data, to name a few. The supplier can then reply with information and suggestions of its own, such as recommended replenishment quantities, advanced shipment notifications and invoices.

Specific features associated with VMI software include:

Supply chain synchronization The most basic feature of a vendor managed inventory system is to synchronize sales with the supply chain to automatically send new materials to buyers without their having to lift a finger.
Customer data acquisition VMI software simplifies and automates the process of getting product activity reports from each customer by automatically acquiring them and verifying the quality.
Product activity reports The software can create an inventory plan and order recommendations that can be adjusted or customized by the buyer and automatically send a purchase order once approved. This dramatically reduces the variability of manually managed inventory plans.
Activity analysis This business intelligence feature helps users identify problem areas, opportunities for growth and other potential VMI improvements.

Evaluating Vendor Managed Inventory Software

VMI software helps suppliers reduce lead times through increased visibility between supplier and buyer. It plays a crucial role in alerting the supplier when the customer is out of stock, so that if buyers historically put in last-minute, rush or disorganized orders, these systems can be particularly supportive in smoothing out that ordering and delivery process.

When purchasing vendor managed inventory software, consider the following criteria:

  • What format/software do your customers use for their product activity reports?
  • Is the VMI software customized/customizable to your industry’s product/inventory needs?
  • Are you looking for business intelligence capabilities that will improve the SAIM process over time?
  • Do you want a locally installed program, or a web-based software as a service system?

Market Trends to Understand

The basic trends of the market are edging toward a “less is more” ideology. This implies lower product wastages, lower costs and fewer instances of stock mismanagement. The usage of VMI solutions ensures that real-time data improves sales and fixes any issues that may arise.

Here are some market trends that can help buyers in their decision while purchasing a VMI software for their business and their vendors:

Shared risk: This is an important aspect of the VMI approach. Both vendors and buyers face risk as they are equally responsible for a smooth-functioning inventory management process. For example, sometimes when vendors fail to meet the sales targets, they repurchase the goods from buyers. In addition, the buyer is sometimes acting as only the host of the product and does not have ownership of the product. They earn commissions from the sale, but only after a sale is done. This does not give them much control over the stock in their stores.

Buyers, therefore, have to be certain about taking this risk and complying with contracts set with the vendors.

High market benchmark to cover:The VMI industry is dominated by retail giant Wal-Mart, which is now a master of it. Therefore, companies that opt for this business model and deploy VMI software solutions should look at Wal-Mart’s model of gaining profits in partnerships with its vendors. Constant innovations in the VMI software market will help companies further lower their inventory management costs. One way to go would be to automate warehouse management with robots, the way Amazon manages its warehouses and keeps a tight control over stock.

Stepping stone to innovation: The next step in VMI is jointly managed inventory (JMI), which aims for the buyer and vendor to have a highly collaborative relationship. JMI is essentially like VMI regarding goals and premise, but expands further on these categories. While developing JMI, buyers and vendors have to boost their tactical planning, which involves integrating the vendor into the buyer’s point-of-sale (POS) system. This way, vendors get a detailed and real-time insight into sales data; these analytics can help them make their manufacturing and delivery schedules more accurate.

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