What’s the scoop on transforming your supply chain planning? Mike Polansky, Director of Planning and Procurement at electrical distributor Graybar, shares some great insight with Dave Shrager of GAINS. For more insights, watch the on-demand webinar: https://vimeo.com/657972149
Did you expect the 33% reduction of receiving activity? That is dramatic!
Mike Polansky: Honestly, I was not expecting a 33% reduction of year-over-year inbound PO lines. That drove significant new efficiencies faster than we anticipated.
The first tip-off I got that something good was going on, was a call from the Transportation Director regarding one of our warehouses. The conversation went something like this:
Transportation Director: “Is everything OK?”
Mike: Usually asking if everything is OK doesn’t signal good news. So I asked, “What are you talking about?”
Transportation Director: “I’m hearing there’s not as much stuff coming in.”
Mike: “Well, that’s good, right?”
Transportation Director: “Yeah, but you know, is everything OK?”
Mike: “Everything’s going just fine. Just as we planned.”
When GAINS works with a wholesale distributor on a supply chain transformation initiative, is there a common place to start?
Dave Shrager: That’s really not a simple question to answer. We focus on helping clients drive tangible results quickly and generally start with where they are feeling the biggest pain. In some cases, that’s inventory turns. In other cases, that’s forecasting demand or synchronizing supply-side sourcing and production activities. GAINS has done this hundreds of times and our team will walk you through a number of questions about your business, current challenges and transformation goals. This helps focus on the best starting point for each customer’s business. From there, we’ll leverage our experience and our Proven Path to Performance Methodology to map out a path to exponential improvements.
Mike Polansky: This was the third inventory management software implementation I’ve been involved with. For Graybar, I knew the potential benefits were significant. I lobbied to go big with our vision right out of the box. We did not want a long and protracted project that took years to deliver ROI.
Map out the priorities and necessary timeline to fit your particular company, what you can handle, how much you can bite off, and look for a vendor you can work with closely and trust. That’s what we did at Graybar.
Dave Shrager: Mike, you brought up a really good point that I’d like to double down on. I think supply chain planning selection teams often sell themselves short. The biggest challenge we face working with new and prospective customers is the idea that it has to be “a massive IT effort that
is going to disrupt day-to-day business for years.” Or, they will lack confidence in their ability to use the AI and ML technology to drive change.
I encourage people to lean forward, be aggressive and stay open to changes that drive improvements. If it feels like it’s too much, dial it back. With GAINS, you’ll get to value quickly and we can guide you down this path. These transformations are achievable and can be accomplished must faster than you think.
Mike Polansky: The Graybar team is proud of the results we’ve achieved with GAINS (click here to see the on-demand webinar). The payback was fantastic and the team truly “owned” the new and improved planning process. You’ve seen our results and numbers! And, as far as I’m concerned, that was a worthwhile investment that continues to deliver value every day.
Graybar is one of the largest distributors in the country. Is GAINS appropriate for a smaller distributor with around $250 million in revenue?
Dave Shrager: The GAINS customer base is made up of companies with a wide range of revenue from around $100 million to companies with greater than $10 billion in annual revenue. What’s really important to them all is the time to value, ease of use and depth of capabilities GAINS provides. We are able to deploy quickly – as fast as 8 weeks – which dramatically accelerates each customer’s return on investment (ROI) and helps build momentum for ongoing transformation.
Mike Polansky: There are a lot of good creative ideas coming from the GAINS customer base and user community. And, it’s great to see many of those suggestions included in the GAINS product platform over time.