Endries, based in Brillion, Wis., distributes fasteners and related production supplies to original equipment manufacturers throughout North America, Europe and Asia. The products that the company distributes are critical to the production of many types of equipment. In addition, Endries typically supplies a high number of stock-keeping units to each customer, thereby increasing the complexity of the process for monitoring those items' inventory levels.
One common solution for Endries and other distributors of fasteners and related components, according to the company, has been to send a supplier's representative to a customer's facility to scan bins whenever the quantity of parts stored within those bins drops to a predetermined level, and to then create an order. Such a representative must be on site at the customer's facility, however, in order to process any reorders. Many times, it is not cost-effective for a customer to have the representative on site on a daily basis, or even multiple times per week. Additionally, any time that the representative is not at the customer's site, the supplier lacks visibility into that customer's demand.
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