Tonight brings us another guest post from Steve Day. Steve is discussing the importance of the systems we have within our businesses.

This is another topic that could probably take up an entire book and I am going to give it short shrift.  I am really only bringing it up because I think too many people blame their operating system for their inventory problems. I don’t buy the argument.  If your operating system can’t control inventory then you made a really bad investment decision.

I am a lot more optimistic.  Your operating system is probably better than you think.  If you have one of the more popular distributor operating systems that has hundreds of Constructions, Mining, Agriculture or OTR truck distributors using it, it probably does that thing you need it to do but don’t believe it can do.  You just haven’t asked the question correctly yet.

The last operating system I used was not perfect but it was pretty darn good.   We almost always figured out how to get the information out of it we wanted.  I took some evil pleasure in finding out the system would do something when an operational manager told me it would not.  Folks eventually learned to push the system because they grew tired of amusing me.  It was a very solid system.

Because of employee turnover at the systems provider, I have seen cases where they were not even aware of all of their systems capabilities.  Always send your Inventory Control Manager and when possible, the Inventory Control staff, to your systems providers training sessions and to their annual meetings.  It will pay off.

You may want to add on a reporting system like TARGIT if you have not already done so.  Microsoft also offers a system as do other companies.  I am simply more familiar with TARGIT because that is what we used.  It will allow you to have some great automated reports that tell you more than you can stand some times.    It also let us build these reports for our branch operating people on a dashboard that gives them all the reports we looked at but just for their operation.  Most of them updated daily.  I have found that most of my distributor buddies who have these types of reporting capabilities have found a real improvement in their managers understanding of operational imperatives.

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