* Vendor-managed inventory (VMI) is a family of business models in which the buyer of a product (business) provides certain information to a vendor (supply chain)supplier of that product and the supplier takes full responsibility for maintaining an agreed inventory of the material, usually at the buyer's consumption location (usually a store). A third-party logistics provider can also be involved to make sure that the buyer has the required level of inventory by adjusting the demand and supply gaps. As a symbiotic relationship, VMI makes it less likely that a business will unintentionally become out of stock of a good and reduces inventory in the supply chain. Furthermore, vendor (supplier) representatives in a store benefit the vendor by ensuring the product is properly displayed and store staffs are familiar with the features of the product line, all the while helping to clean and organize their product lines for the store. One of the keys to making VMI work is shared risk. In some cases, if the inventory does not sell, the vendor (supplier) will repurchase the product from the buyer (retailer). In other cases, the product may be in the possession of the retailer but is not owned by the retailer until the sale takes place, meaning that the retailer simply houses (and assists with the sale of) the product in exchange for a predetermined commission or profit (sometimes referred to as consignment stock). A special form of this commission business is scan-based trading whereas VMI is usually applied but not mandatory to be used. This is one of the successful business models used by Wal-Mart and many other big box retailers. Oil companies often use technology to manage the gasoline inventories at the service stations that they supply (see Petrol soft Corporation). Home Depot uses the technique with larger suppliers of manufactured goods. VMI helps foster a closer understanding between the supplier and manufacturer by using Electronic Data Interchange formats, EDI software and statistical methodologies to forecast and maintain correct inventory in the supply chain. Vendors benefit from more control of displays and more customer contact for their employees; retailers benefit from reduced risk, better store staff knowledge (which builds brand loyalty for both the vendor and the retailer), and reduced display maintenance outlays.
Consumers benefit from knowledgeable store staff that is in frequent and familiar contact with manufacturer (vendor) representatives when parts or service are required. Store staff has good knowledge of most product lines offered by the entire range of vendors. They can help the consumer choose from competing products for items most suited to them and offer service support being offered by the store. * As the name suggests, VMI stands for Vendor Managed Inventory. VMI involves a collaborative and continuous inventory supply owned, managed and replenished by the Manufacturer right up to the last stocking point or point of sale to end customer.VMI concept is widely being used by companies both as procurement business model and FG supply chain model too. Industries like retail supermarkets, consumable supplier industry, electronic hardware industry and Automotive Components industries have adopted these strategies effectively to improve their supply chain efficiencies.VMI concept aims to reduce inventory in the pipeline, besides achieving the concept of JIT - Just in time where in the ownership of the inventory lies with the supplier until the time of usage or sale where it gets transferred to the buyer. This model also reduces operational costs of logistics and inventory management for the buyer.
| VMI’s success depends upon several factors. First of the entire concept pre determines the existence of a strategic partnership and alliance between the supplier and the distributor as well as the logistics service partners. On the part of the supplier, an participative approach to...
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