VMI: Improving Supplier & Customer Relationships

VMI: Improving Supplier & Customer Relationships

IntelliTrans Vendor Managed Inventory

Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) has been heralded by many industries, including automotive, consumer products, retail, and more recently healthcare and pharmaceuticals. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. VMI has a multitude of applications in a variety of industries, each with unique needs. For example, the IntelliTrans Global Vendor Managed Inventory (GVMI) solution is used by many large manufacturers and consumers of bulk chemicals, plastics, grains, and oil & gas to gain visibility and control of their supply chain.

GVMI is a web-based solution that utilizes sensor technology and six sigma data analysis to optimize supply chain and operations management. Our customers save money by reducing inventory and shipment costs. Sensors in storage silos retrieve information via telemetry and project that information back to the suppliers of the product in those silos. With that knowledge, the supplier knows how much product their customer has, how fast they are using it, and when to send more. This reduces the total cost to serve their customers AND associated working capital.

Keys to successfully implementing VMI

Look for automation that goes beyond measurement.

Game-changing VMI will have the capacity to integrate electronic order creation and send replenishment orders directly from the VMI application to your ERP. Such solutions will exchange the necessary purchase order information to create the transaction, and then monitor quantities delivered against that purchase order.

A VMI solution should be tailored to meet your needs.

If you have a short lead time supply chain with relatively simple replenishment logistics, then your solution should allow you to set high, re-order, and safety stock inventory levels. It should obtain readings multiple times per day and send alerts to your customer service team to drive order fulfillment. Have a longer lead time in your supply chain?  Integrated Collaborative Planning, Forecasting, and Replenishment (CPFR) solutions integrate a demand forecast, silo inventory, and in-transit inventory tracking to provide a forward-looking replenishment plan. These features will ensure the customer always has enough product, while the supplier always has enough lead time to fill the order using the preferred mode and transportation provider.

Ensure “buy-in” throughout the organization.

Regardless of the industry, successfully implementing VMI will require senior management support, collaboration, trust, great technology, and a willingness to rethink the traditional ordering process. Without these essentials, VMI initiatives often fail. However, if those basic building blocks are in place, you are set to reap the rewards: improved inventory turns, service, and sales.

What all this means is that the supplier has a lower cost-to-serve, inventory on-site is maintained at a lower level than before, and the relationship between supplier & customer evolves from transactional to strategic.

Meet the New IntelliTrans!

Meet the New IntelliTrans!

IntelliTrans has spent the past six months developing a new look that complements our expanded services and big plans for the future! 

In 1992, we started as a simple solution to track railcars. But since then we’ve expanded into inventory and other modes of transportation to provide a Global Control Tower to run your supply chain more efficiently. Our new look is more than updated logos and PowerPoint presentations – it reflects all the hard work that’s gone into becoming who we are today. We hope you like it!

We have a lot of exciting things planned in 2019 and we’d love for you to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to make sure you’re the first to receive the latest and greatest news. We’re also keen on sharing information and content so please tag us in any of your posts or company updates and we can help spread the word about your successes, too!

When is a Control Tower not a Control Tower?

When is a Control Tower not a Control Tower?

A Control Tower is not a Control Tower if it only provides shipment visibility. Claiming that shipment visibility is a Control Tower is like saying you only need radar equipment and you don’t need Air Traffic Controllers or the ability to have bidirectional communication with pilots. A true Control Tower means:

  • finding alternative ways to satisfy customer demand if a shipment is late.
  • utilizing detailed dock and yard information to prevent late shipments in the first place.
  • knowing your customer’s inventory levels and demand forecast to make your supply chain more resilient.
  • managing the challenges inherent in complex supply chains.

IntelliTrans has provided shipment visibility services since 1992, and our visibility platform remains a core part of our business today. However, we don’t stop with visibility, our Control Tower has integrated on-asset monitoring hardware, integrated mapping solutions, and proactive exception notice delivery to our customers and customers’ customers. If you want to take control of your supply chain and do more than look at your shipments, reach out to IntelliTrans. We have a team of experienced supply chain professionals leveraging mature processes and world-class technology ready to drive improvement on your behalf.

Reliable ETAs in a Changing World

Reliable ETAs in a Changing World

In today’s shipping environment, it’s tough to make accurate predictions on shipment estimated time of arrival (ETA); things like yard congestion, weather, service schedules, block size, and resources available compound unpredictability. This unpredictability is causing shippers to turn to freight visibility platforms now more than ever to gain control of their supply chains. In the age of Amazon, it’s not enough to be given ETAs from the outset, shippers need current data points and dynamic ETAs updated throughout the course of the shipment.

IntelliTrans has been innovating supply chain technology for over 25 years. For ETAs, we couple the most current data with historical data analysis on a route. When shippers view our dynamic ETA, they are seeing the past, the present, and the predicted future. We provide intervention services to ensure complete and accurate data in conjunction with machine learning algorithms to find signals in noisy data, allowing us to discover systemic insights and provide more accurate information to our customers and staff.

If your service partners are not providing you with accurate ETAs, better visibility, and incremental value improvement then it’s time to leave them behind. Inaccurate empty railcar supply can lead to facility shutdowns that negatively impact customer relationships, so expect more from your Transportation Management System provider.

After all, if we can order a $10 gadget on Amazon and track it all the way to our front door, shippers should be able to gain the same level of granularity with their $100K+ asset loaded with high-value inventory. Don’t settle with the status quo because it’s easy; IntelliTrans is here to help you navigate change.

Introducing the TMS API Suite

Introducing the TMS API Suite

Our goal at IntelliTrans is to drive successful outcomes for shippers, and helping carriers and 3PLs better serve our shipper customers is a key part of that mission. That’s why we’ve released an API suite to extend IntelliTrans TMS functionality to carrier and 3PL apps, platforms, and enterprise systems. Its REST architecture allows you to do things like gather load details, accept and decline contract loads, and provide location updates.

Traditionally, these types of integrations have involved extensive development time, complex requirements, and significant upfront fees. But with IntelliTrans TMS API suite, we help abstract the complexity so you can start moving freight and scale more efficiently.

What can you do with it?

You can do just about anything you can do using the IntelliTrans TMS app. For example:

  • Search for loads and pull full load detail
  • Accept and decline contract loads
  • Place and revoke spot bids
  • Upload important documents like delivery receipts, signed BOLs, and damage photos
  • Provide location updates and delivery confirmations
  • Accept and decline fixed-rate offers

How do I get started?

We have detailed documentation to set you on the right path and we are more than happy to help you get started. Contact us here to get started!

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What’s next?

This is just the beginning. We’re excited about what this new development means for our IntelliTrans customer community, and we can’t wait to see what you build with this new set of capabilities. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.



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