Blog: Optimizing the Future: How GAINS Unlocks Supply Chain Potential in the Distribution Industry

The Supply Chain Is Only as Strong as Its Weakest Link—GAINS Strengthens Every One

In the hyper-competitive world of the distribution industry, supply chain professionals are the unsung heroes behind the curtain, tirelessly working to ensure that products go from point A to point B seamlessly and cost-effectively. It’s a job filled with uncertainty and guesswork, exacerbated by everything from geopolitics to climate change. What if there were a way to clear the fog, to bring pinpoint accuracy to an inherently chaotic process? Enter the GAINS solution that is rewiring how supply chains function.

GAINS Drives Business Success: A Transformational Experience

A GAINS customer and Electrical Distributor with 150 store locations was dealing with a vast network of 5,000 suppliers; this U.S. electrical distributor provides 300,000 SKUs across the construction, industrial, and utility sectors. With 2,500 employees, the company has an impressive revenue generation of $3 billion.

Previously, the company relied on SAP for inventory planning and forecasting. However, they found the platform lacking in user-friendliness, which hampered accurate data aggregation, inventory allocation, and demand forecasting. They were at a crossroads, deciding between sticking with an upgraded version of SAP or switching to GAINSystems (GAINS). They opted for GAINS because of its superior capabilities in flexible forecasting, buyer and inventory planning, service level and cost optimization, and accommodating lead times into inventory and scheduling decisions.

Implementation and Outcomes

GAINS Kicked off the project in January 2018, taking only six months for a full deployment. The results were immediate and impressive. GAINS automated tasks that previously required manual intervention—order processing, inventory management, and account management—thus consolidating data from multiple sources. The result was a sharp increase in operational productivity, more accurate forecasting, and reduced operating costs.

Reporting times were slashed by 75%, an immense gain in efficiency that allowed for quicker, more informed decision-making. Furthermore, GAINS allowed them to model different business scenarios, devise inventory-sharing strategies, and conduct financial impact analyses—enabling them to make data-backed decisions that contributed to business profitability. Since integrating GAINS, the company has experienced a remarkable 36% year-over-year growth, solidifying the system’s role as a significant contributor to the company’s escalating success.

Benco Dental

Another compelling example that underscores the transformative power of GAINS is the case of Benco Dental, the largest privately-owned full-service distributor of oral healthcare technology and supplies in the U.S. With GAINS driving its Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) process, the company has turned optimization into an art form.

The Case for Change: Benco Dental’s Supply Chain Puzzle

Benco Dental was at a critical juncture. They served over 30,000 dental professionals and managed a portfolio of over 60,000 products from 1,100 manufacturers. The numbers were impressive, but they presented a complex supply chain challenge. How do you deliver exceptional service while managing such an expansive and intricate network of products, especially in a market teeming with rivals?

Traditional approaches to supply chain management were no longer sufficient. The rate of new product introductions and the sporadic demand for low-volume items threw a wrench in the works. Benco Dental needed something more potent—a solution that could harmonize its towering objectives of market leadership and exceptional customer service.

The GAINS Effect: A Symphony of Data-Driven Insights

GAINS provides more than just a solution; it offers a paradigm shift. Transform the S&OP process from a complex jigsaw puzzle into a guided, almost intuitive experience. It introduces a layer of intelligence that includes AI-driven profit-maximizing service level attainment with item-location precision and profit-optimized inventory policies for synchronized replenishment.

Benco Dental integrated GAINS and instantly began reaping the rewards:

  • A 10% market share growth
  • A 15% reduction in inventory
  • A 7% increase in sales
  • An astonishing 96% increase in customer service levels

But how exactly did GAINS catalyze these leaps? One word: Automation. GAINS employs automated dynamic forecasting, effectively minimizing human error and bias. It uses machine learning-based scenario analysis, freeing the executive leadership to focus on actual business outcomes rather than drowning in spreadsheets. Automated replenishment systems gauge opportunities and risks, allowing for a more nuanced approach to stock control.

The Future is Optimized

In a rapidly evolving industry, standing still is akin to moving backward. Fueled by the insights from GAINS, Benco Dental wasn’t just standing; it was sprinting ahead. Profit-optimized scenario analysis gave the team the confidence to realign inventory and pivot swiftly to gain market share.

These results are more than just numbers; they’re a proof of concept. They demonstrate that even a complex, sprawling supply chain can be tamed and optimized when you have the right tools. The ramifications extend beyond Benco Dental. GAINS has a playbook for what businesses in the distribution industry can achieve when they’re powered by intelligent systems.

GAINS has shown a glimpse of a future where supply chain professionals don’t just react to the market but anticipate and shape it. It’s not just about keeping up with change but defining what change means. In this future, supply chain professionals are not just operational leaders but strategic visionaries, and companies aren’t merely surviving; they’re thriving.

Now, the question isn’t why supply chain professionals in distribution are looking to GAINS to optimize their operations. The real question is, why isn’t everyone?

Listen to our in-depth discussion on “Why distributors turn to GAINS to make better decisions.”

Additional Reading

GAINSystems Recognized by Nucleus Research for Optimizing and Managing Supply Chain Processes

Why GAINS is the Ideal Partner for Your Supply Chain Integration Project

How Much Would You Gain from Taking an AI Approach to Inventory?