During a crisis or challenging economic circumstances, there is an explosive proliferation of information about what to do and what effects the crisis may have.
Much of this information is speculation and unfounded rumour, and even the official information is broadly targeted and irrelevant for some. Thus, having accurate information in a crisis is a valuable commodity, and the current COVID-19 situation is no exception.
Unleashed Software, an inventory management system designed for manufacturers, is continuing to provide accurate, relevant, and up to date information for manufacturers. Danielle Dadello, country manager for Unleashed Software, explains how Unleashed is supporting manufacturers now.
“At the moment if you’re a customer of Unleashed we’re providing the visibility of how much stock they have on hand, whether or not there’s a slowdown in the supply of goods to them, and what their important products are that may sell, what makes them the most money in the business, and their most important customers.”
Basin decisions during times of heightened uncertainty on data can ensure a business continues to function, and potentially even thrive during a tightening of supply chains.
“The business might have a gut feeling of who their high value customers are that they need to keep serving to keep the business open but we really show how much sales they would normally be getting through, how much they’re currently getting through, and where they should focus their efforts,” said Dadello. “To protect their brand they want to make sure that they have the right amount of stock reserved for their high value customers and be able to work with them in the right way to keep them happy.”
Unleashed’s core function is giving businesses insights into their operations. Starting at purchasing and inventory, Unleashed’s dashboards and reports can guide businesses in their operations.
“If you don’t know how much stock you have on hand or which ones are becoming low, what products are getting you the most bang for your buck, then it’s really difficult to get a handle on where you should focus your energy on in the business,” said Dadello.
Unleashed is continuing to develop tools for its users to give them analytical insights into the health of their business and areas for improvement.
“We have loads and loads of reports that are going to help you identify what’s your best-selling product, who are your best customers, your low and high stock levels, and also your lead times for normal supplies.
“Those lead times may be skewed at the moment, as things are slowing down a little bit, but our software can tell you what purchase orders you have placed that you’re not going to get in time, and working with your suppliers.”
Currently emerging from its Beta phase is Unleashed’s new Business Intelligence module, which will allow for further advancements in supply, production, and sales forecasting.
“Having a BI tool will allow you to dig in and forecast on where you should be spending your energy in the business,” said Dadello.
While conditions are different for each business, so far flexibility is key, and Dadello outlines how Unleashed can help in this respect.
“We are seeing a mixture of people who quickly want to get into inventory management because they’re not able to cope with demand and some of them that have reduced sales to customers and there are some that would love to get going but have not been able to get the supplies that they need.”
As a platform that enables businesses to quickly and easily adapt to these conditions, Unleashed can be a key competitive advantage as supply chains reroute.
“We’ve seen a trend with customers needing to source from other suppliers and that is an option during this time but it is important to keep lines of communication open with your suppliers and understand who they are and what they can give you and when they foresee that they can give you supplies,” said Dadello.
The final piece of the puzzle is ensuring that staff and customers are able to stick with the business as working and purchasing patterns change. As a cloud-based platform, Unleashed can incorporate the rise of working from home, both internally and with customers. Unleashed’s B2B online store enables customers to connect with manufacturing businesses easily, without having to deal with phone calls and emails.
“One of the things that have come out of this is being online is key to business success and you can see the difference in customers that simply don’t have anything online that can be readily available if you need to work from home when staff isolate,” said Dadello. “Having that online presence is key to business success, but also something like a B2B allows you to open up more channels, more sales channels.”
Besides the particular products and services and Unleashed offers, Dadello notes that at times of uncertainty there is value in businesses coming.
“Not only are we giving visibility on where they should focus and what customers, production, where their products are but we want to help them in terms of recommendations on cash flow, what other businesses are doing to support themselves through this time,” she said.
“We want to create that community feeling as well as providing a technology stack that is going to help their business perform.”