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How Switching to MCE’s Customer Managed Inventory Reduced Time Managing Inventory by 80% - VMI Case Study #3

How Switching to MCE’s Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) Program Reduced Inventory Management Time by 80% 

The Problem  

A customer who manufactures equipment for bridge inspections is in a very remote location and reached out with concerns regarding the inventory they purchased through Motion & Control Enterprises (MCE). They wanted to improve their inventory and stock levels on items that include tubing and hose, connectors and fittings, valves and filters, as well as hose components and hose reels. 

Initially, they assigned responsibilities to on-site employees to manage their inventory. Rather than assigning one team member the responsibility of managing parts inventory, they attempted to approach inventory management as a team. They found, however, that this resulted in product ordered only for the current job without anticipating future project needs. They attributed the inefficiencies to a lack of visibility in product movement.  

This customer also struggled with effective inventory organization. Inventory items were stacked on surfaces instead of being put away inside designated cabinets. Failure to organize these items led to downtime events as team members searched for items or awaited delivery on new orders.  

The Solution  

The team at MCE worked with the customer to understand their inventory usage by reviewing the purchase history on file. They then created dynamic reorder points that would adjust to the customer’s demand. The team used this information to set the up the customer with a CMI program specifically designed to meet their needs.  

Due to the customer’s remote work location and the facility's security requirements, we recommended our Customer Managed Inventory (CMI) Program and associated inventory software, Clear Spider, the technology leveraged by MCE’s VMI team members in the field. We also entered their commonly used inventory items, associated each item with an SKU, and provided product labels.  

Training on Clear Spider technology is a simple 3-step process. Using the app available on any Android or Apple device, CMI customers simply:  

  1. Scan label 
  2. Enter quantity of items 
  3. Send quote to MCE for processing 

The Results 

With the CMI program through MCE, this customer reduced their time spent managing inventory by 80% and eliminated downtime due to stockouts the following year.   

The customer’s old way of inventory management consisted of a parts manager manually writing down part numbers and quantities to be submitted to the team leader for review. The team leader would create a purchase order (PO) in the system before sending the request to the MCE customer care team for processing and order fulfillment.  

The new CMI program automated the fulfillment process for faster, more efficient and accurate ordering. Using our app, the customer’s parts manager could scan product SKUs for a quote which then would trigger a purchase order directly to MCE, notifying the team leader of purchase activity.  

The simplicity of the technology and product labels enabled the customer to create their own express check-out process, making it easy to implement into weekly operations.  

We also shared regular reports with the customer with stocking recommendations on products that had increases or decreases in demand. These reports also shed light on stocked products that potentially were no longer needed.  

An indirect benefit of partnering with MCE and our Customer Managed Inventory Program is the enhanced customer experience they passed on to their customers. 

The added visibility and tracking available through our Customer Managed Inventory program helped the customer avoid expensive stockouts on mission-critical items. The labels also allowed for more effective organization of inventory items, cutting down on excessive spending and long lead times on special order items needed for production. Plus, because the customer wasn't slowed down waiting for parts, they could turn more of their own products faster. 

Interested in an optimized inventory plan for your operation? Get in touch with our CMI experts and ask about our FREE inventory evaluation.

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