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8 Common Supply Chain Blind Spots in the Field

Posted by on October 28, 2020 9:10 am

Can you tell immediately if that pallet of bricks or reel of fibre cable made it to the new building complex? Have you ever had a field engineer need to return to a jobsite because they didn’t have the correct parts? Are your operatives wasting time trying to locate inventory/tools/assets in the field when they should be working?

Most supply chain professionals understand the severity of operational blind spots and the impact it has on their business. However, when it comes to blind spots outside of the warehouse, or as they’re more commonly known, field inventory blind spots, these are usually overlooked due to the perceived complexity in resolving them.

Below are 8 common field inventory blind spots that companies with field operations experience. How many resonate with you?

  1. Arriving at a pop-up/rented/temporary warehouse to find it is full or not containing the inventory expected
  2. Not knowing how or when an asset was last used
  3. Having to buy an additional tool to complete a job due to not knowing where the other is
  4. Not knowing how much waste or damage happens on a job
  5. Not being able to account for inventory/assets/tools
  6. Using spreadsheets to track inventory
  7. Not knowing when inventory has arrived on a job site
  8. Field engineers having to return to a job because they didn’t have the correct parts

Not having visibility to inventory in the field can cause multiple problems in the pursuit of keeping customers happy and projects on schedule, and companies incur unbudgeted spend to “replace” inventory and assets they already own. This careless approach to inventory management is felt throughout a company and causes continuous headaches for finance leaders who are constantly having to re-evaluate profit margins due to unforeseen write-offs and additional spend.

If you’re concerned that you’re lacking inventory control outside the warehouse, conducting an audit would be beneficial in helping you understand your field inventory blind spots and developing a plan to eradicate them.

Download our whitepaper “The Warehouse of the Future Has No Walls” for an in-depth look at what field inventory control can mean for your organization. Get it here.

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