As with almost every topic our clients call about, Vendor Managed Inventory or VMI and supply chain partner collaboration programs are no different. Success directly correlates to people.
Questions You Should Ask When Coordinating VMI
1. Do your employees and partners understand VMI and the benefits of VMI? Undoubtedly, success is better when people understand how it matters.
2. Do your employees have relationships with their VMI counterparts? Do they have a good relationship with their suppliers and/or customers related to Vendor Managed Inventory? Have they met them? It goes a long way to meet a few key contacts.
3. Do your employees understand what is expected of them on a daily, weekly and monthly basis? Don’t assume if your customer requested VMI that they have clarified how the process works. Make sure the processes, systems/technologies, and communications are clearly understood.
4. Do all VMI parties understand the measurements? Often, we see scorecards used as a way to track performance. Do you understand what goes into the calculations? What is important to your customers? Have you explained what is important to your suppliers?
5. Have you set up check points? One of the keys to success is to set up time to talk with all VMI-related parties to see what’s working, what’s not working and how you can improve the process and results.