When it comes to modern supply chain management, Data Systems International® (more widely recognized as DSI) is leading the charge in innovation. A privately-owned company in business for 40 years, they offer a digital supply chain platform which has created first-rate Cloud Inventory® and mobile-first supply chain solutions. DSI specializes in inventory management as a complete horizontal process, from manufacturing, to distribution, to the final mile, and they serve over 3,000 customers in more than 50 countries. DSI has excelled and helped customers achieve their goals through their four value props: optimization, compliance, revenue generation, and productivity. 

1. Optimization

Inventory optimization is key to success. DSI’s President and CEO, Mark Goode, states, “DSI’s Cloud Inventory® solution is able to show where inventory is at all times, because visibility into accessible inventory is the first step to knowing what is available to deliver.” Mark Goode continues by saying, “Understanding the optimization of the inventory not only from distribution but looking all the way back in manufacturing how much inventory I’m going to need, and then how much inventory am I going to deliver or service, we look at that inventory management as a complete horizontal process — manufacturing, distribution, and then the final mile. That’s why we’re unique.” 

Goode further explains, “Optimizing field inventory is a key area that is ripe for optimization. Managing inventory ‘in the field’ is a tricky process for many companies, because most ERPs and warehouse management systems (WMS) don’t do it well. Field inventory is essentially any inventory, assets, or material you need to track that lies outside the four walls of the warehouse, and the process can be quite complex. Optimizing field inventory starts with knowing where the inventory is. Let’s look at the example of a service call where a field technician goes to repair a problem at a home or business. More than half of those service calls end up on repeat service calls because they don’t have the right inventory on the truck, or they didn’t know what the right asset was, at the home or the business that they were servicing. In this case, visibility into available inventory and ensuring it is in the right place at the right time is vital to profitability and customer service.”

2. Compliance 

Manufacturing and distributing goods within regulated industries typically requires compliance with set standards, and DSI helps their customers achieve compliance through their platform that provides constant monitoring of a supply chain. Mark Goode notes, “Our customers rely on our Cloud Inventory® solutions to meet compliance and regulatory mandates for their products. We have many customers in medical device and pharmaceutical industries delivering very, very important health care products. To eliminate counterfeiting, to ensure that the consumer or the business ordered the exact prescription that they wanted, we have proof of delivery solutions. And those proof of delivery solutions are tied all way back to the origination in the manufacturing point of those products.”

Goode continues on to explain this concept, saying, “We have companies that we’ve watched and grown with that make medical devices. What we’re able to do with them, is when they have a consigned inventory at the hospital, we help them manage that consigned inventory at the hospital all the way to the point where there is a sales rep inside of the surgical room, and they decide working with the doctor on which device or item they’re going to use. It is important before they go into the surgery, for the rep to know how much inventory is in their briefcase; how much inventory that they have available to them. They have got to start working all these scheduled procedures weeks before, and — is that inventory literally in their trunk? Is it in the hospital? Is it at another rep’s location that maybe is the next state over? We do a lot of inventory management in the medical device market. Why that’s so typical, again, is because you need to have the inventory view all the way back to manufacturing.”

3. Revenue Generation 

Customers know that time spent often translates to money spent, which also means that time saved will result in money saved. Being able to have a holistic horizontal view of a supply chain can help minimize time spent on tracking resources and can increase revenue generation. Mark Goode puts the pieces together, saying, “To summarize, what we do for our customers is the horizontal view of the inventory management. It’s so much needed in this world today around the digital economy and looking at your supply chain as a revenue chain. How can I generate revenue with my supply chain? How can I make it more productive as far as my labor and my people costs and all the assets I have servicing my inventory? Is my inventory compliant with other service level agreements I’ve promised internally or externally to my suppliers or to my customers in the optimization of that inventory? Making sure I have the correct amount of inventory on hand to maximize my cash flow and profitability.”

4. Productivity

Saving money also translates to how productive your company and workers are. The more access to information your workers and associates have, the potential for productivity increases. Since Cloud Inventory® is one of the main solutions DSI offers, they have been innovative in making their applications available through their mobile-first platform. Mark Goode explains, “We’ve always been mobile-first, and what does mobile-first mean? Companies could be using that device with an iOS or iPad device, or an Android device, or an HTML5 device. So, with the device of choice, we personalize our application and wrap it around that whole use case and the business application to make sure that that worker is very, very productive.” DSI has even configured their platform to the degree that it can keep track of inventory both on and offline, which turns out to be a significant attribute when workers are in environments where cellphone reception or the internet cannot be accessed.

The Four Value Props in Sync

Goode lays out how DSI is able to tap into each of their four value props and ties them all together, saying, “If you think about the four value props of inventory optimization, revenue generation, productivity, and compliance, I’m getting my compliance because I’ve got my quality control. I’m getting my worker productivity both in the field and in the distribution center. I’m optimized in my inventory, making sure that I have inventory at all points along the supply chain through to the point of consumption. And then I’m able to generate revenue and increase profitability. I’m talking more and more to clients all the time about revenue chain, encouraging them to quit thinking it’s just a cost chain; it’s a revenue chain. Look at it that way, take out a fine-tooth comb and find every opportunity to drive profitability from it.”