Blog Posts

Stop wasting time managing inventory when you could be automating. With PULSE third party logistics (3PL), you’re able to leverage our RFID inventory management technology with material provided by your current suppliers.   

What is PULSE? 

PULSE is a fulfillment solution that takes the guesswork out of inventory management. Combining RFID technology and multi-bin functionality, PULSE closely monitors your inventory to ensure you always have the right parts where you need them, when you need them. 

The system uses replenishment triggers (such as a bin or card depending on the product) and a kiosk to allow for 24/7 monitoring. Each trigger has two matching RFID tags, which are linked to the inventory. The PULSE kiosk reads the RFID tags and a notification is sent that an order needs to be placed. With our PULSE 3PL offering, you can use this technology to better manage supplies from any vendor. 

How does PULSE 3PL work? 

Managing supplies with PULSE 3PL technology is simple and efficient. We simply tag the product with RFID tags and the patented kiosk reads those tags when the product is used.   Those demand signals and replenishment needs are captured instantaneously. You can even set up customized replenishment notification schedules with various delivery methods. The signal can be a .csv, .xml or a .txt file sent via email. This can be set as a summarized or individual notification to multiple entities and also provides historical tracking. 

This signal can be sent internally or directly to a third party supplier of the particular product. Endries records this in data, but we do not own or maintain stock levels of the product. That responsibility remains with the supplier of that item. 

Who is using PULSE 3PL?

PULSE 3PL is a useful tool for any OEM and can be applied to a variety of supplies. Among our customers, we’ve seen multiple successful applications. We’ve had customers start by using PULSE 3PL for just two items and then grow their usage to managing over 25 products. We’ve also seen customers dive right in, averaging over 80 scans per day, and seeing increased efficiency, decreased clutter and leaner inventory. 

Want to learn more about how PULSE 3PL can make your life easier? Let’s talk!

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In manufacturing, there are some tasks that are just better without the aid of technology and instead require nitty-gritty, get-your-hands-dirty type work. But, when it comes to supply chain management, technology can help eliminate logistical headaches and free up time for what’s truly important. Embracing supply chain technology is no longer just a way to get ahead, but a necessity in order to keep up with demands.

From simply having a warehouse logistics system to more elaborate solutions, supply chain technology has a multitude of uses and benefits. For example, RFID tags can be leveraged to more precisely track inventory. This technology can be used in conjunction with other concepts such as multi-bin or Kanban systems to minimize excessive stock. Our PULSE solution is an example of this.  

At the end of the day, the most important consideration is that any supply chain technology you leverage is providing efficiencies. Here are three benefits of embracing technology:  

  1. More Information, More Visibility

Technologies like RFID and web portals allow for more real-time information and heightened visibility. With this comes a greater understanding of what is needed and when. It allows suppliers to better understand our customers and work proactively. As a manufacturer, this means you’ll always have the right parts before you need them (say goodbye to the panic of rushed orders) and you won’t have to stock excessive amounts of inventory. Today, supply chain technology allows suppliers and customers alike to get information faster and make informed decisions quicker, which is always good for business.

  1. Less Stock on Your Shelf

Leveraging these technologies also helps minimize the amount of inventory in the supply chain to benefit both manufacturers and suppliers. By using data to have a better understanding of demand, suppliers like us can better anticipate needs and make sure customers have the right parts at the right moment. This reduces both the amount of inventory you have to carry on your shelf and the likelihood of stockouts. Supply chain technology also allows suppliers to expend less energy on the busy work of manual inventory management, freeing up time to spend on value-added services with higher impact.

  1. Competitive Efficiencies

Having up-to-date, more accurate information helps to better compare sources and ultimately deliver lower total cost of ownership to manufacturers. By knowing exactly where inventory is, even overseas, you can avoid unexpected rush expenses. Overall, involving technology streamlines the entire supply chain, making it more efficient and competitive across the board.

Want to learn more about how we use technology to benefit our customers? Let’s talk!

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Every original equipment manufacturer (OEM) has found themselves in the process of selecting a supplier at some point in time. Some struggle to find the right match, and find themselves in this position more often, while others are lucky enough to form a great partnership and go decades without making a switch. Either way, if you do find yourself in this position, how do you know where to start? How do you make sure you make the right choice in the end?

Start with the Basics

First, identify what you’re looking for in an OEM supplier. As you’re mapping out the quotes you’ve been given, remember choosing a supplier should be more than a numbers decision. Saving a few bucks on a certain part may not be worth it if the supplier fails to measure up in other areas. Total cost of ownership is a more important measure. This includes competitive pricing, quality, transactions and relationship.  

Strive for balance between price and quality, as you often get what you pay for. Quality products are a must. However, when quality is largely equal, how does that help you make your decision? You’ll likely find yourself narrowing down your options to a few suppliers that all have similar prices and a promise for quality. If that’s the case, then consider another very important factor: the people.

Consider the Commitment

Your OEM supplier should be looked at as a partner and an asset to your team. However, that will only be the case if you factor in the people when making your decision. When evaluating potential suitors, consider the culture. Do they operate under certain procedures or beliefs? What level of service do they strive for? You’ll want to make sure these elements align with your own beliefs and expectations.

Be on the lookout for any added features or expertise a new supplier can offer. Only a select few suppliers can do vendor management well. If this is important to you, make sure the supplier you choose is seasoned in this area.

Get to Know the People

Once you have it narrowed down to a few options, go out and kick the tires. Visit each OEM supplier and get to know some of the people there. Get a feel for what kind of relationship you might be able to build, even early on. In order to have a healthy supplier relationship, you’ll need to place a high level of trust in those you are working with.

Being able to peek behind the curtain will also allow you to gauge just how well the supplier will be able to deliver on their promises. For instance, they may have a fancy presentation to wow in the boardroom and still be lacking the expertise and resources to deliver. You need a supplier that is focused on helping you win on the production floor, not just in the office.

Pick a Partner

The right OEM supplier is one that you know can deliver quality parts to the right place, at the right time, all the time. At Endries, we have a tried and true process that allows us to deliver on this. Our focus is on both products and people. While quality products are vital, it’s even more important to us that we build the right relationships. Our account managers will feel like an extension of your procurement team, which is how it should be. Ultimately, people do business with people — not businesses. So, give us a chance to learn about your unique business needs and spend some time learning about us. It will be time well invested.

Want to know more about what Endries has to offer? Let’s talk!

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Due to their relatively small size and under-the-radar reputation, the importance of fasteners is often overlooked. But, if you’re thinking of fasteners last when designing a product, your whole project may fall apart — literally.

  1. Fasteners have a wide range of applications.

Fasteners are essential to almost every industry. From healthcare to lawn and garden, it’s hard to think of many industries that don’t rely on nuts, bolts and screws in some form or fashion. However, regardless of the industry you serve, it’s critical to understand the importance of fasteners and why they shouldn’t be left for last.

  1. Fasteners should function flawlessly.

If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, right? Part of the reason that fasteners aren’t always top of mind is because they are designed for function. The right fastener for the job should function seamlessly and therefore does not call attention to itself. For the end user of a product, the fasteners used should fade into the background because they allow the product to serve its purpose without fail. However, this can only happen when the fasteners are well-thought-out in the design and assembly phases.

  1. Small fastener malfunctions can cause major trouble.

It’s when a fastener is poorly chosen or malfunctions that it enters the mind of the consumer. Unsightly problems like rust are irritating enough, but serious malfunctions can be a major cause for concern. For example, natural gas valves for a residential water heater are secured by several small screws. If these screws are chosen incorrectly, they could break and result in a disastrous gas leak. You wouldn’t want to be the consumer who has to deal with this malfunction. But, you also don’t want to be the one responsible for designing and manufacturing a faulty product.

Or maybe, while building a new bridge, the fasteners used are not equipped to handle the weight and weathering. These fasteners will not hold up, causing the bridge to become unsafe over time. You wouldn’t want to put drivers in harm’s way, not to mention the logistical inconveniences and economic burden of having to repair or build a new bridge.

  1. Fasteners need to be chosen carefully.

There are many elements to consider when choosing a fastener. The hardness of the material, the corrosive atmosphere, and the finish are all important considerations. Another that many people may not realize is that fasteners have elasticity, and choosing the right amount of tensile strength is essential to proper functioning. Once you have determined these factors, you can work with a supplier to find the perfect fastener that meets your specifications.

  1. Your fastener supplier is your friend.

When selecting a fastener, quality is key. Choose a supplier that has fasteners that meet your specifications, and that has standards and test results to prove the quality behind their product. Afterall, in order to produce quality products yourself, you’ll need quality fasteners.

Clearly, the importance of fasteners supersedes their size. This is why we advise you to thoroughly vet out any fastener supplier you consider working with, including us. We invite you to come out and “kick the tires” before making any commitments, so that you can experience the service, engineering and quality we have to offer. We want you to have the piece of mind that your fasteners are the right fit for your project, and with PULSE, they will be there when you need them. We encourage you to consider fasteners earlier in the designing and engineering process and then find a supplier you can trust to deliver.

Interested in learning more about fastener quality and how PULSE can make fastener management easier? Let’s talk!

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When original equipment manufacturer (OEM) production floors are operating in harmony, they truly are a thing of beauty. Everyone and everything coming, going and working together to get quality product out the door and into customers’ hands on time. At the same time, OEM plants are akin to fragile ecosystems where even small changes might disrupt the rhythm, and worse, the production schedule. That’s enough to send shivers down even the most seasoned operator’s spine. It’s also the reason why many manufacturers have reservations about making a supplier change.

But, the most successful plants operate under a cycle of evaluation, action and reflection. Not to be satisfied with mere harmony, the leaders of these plants seek efficiencies and seize opportunities for growth. It can be uncomfortable moving from the known to the unknown, but sometimes change is required in order to improve. If the path to achieving your growth goals includes introducing a new supplier, you’re going to need a solid plan, the right partner and the right mindset in order to avoid potential risks and make the transition seamless. With an experienced partner to help you weather the storm AND maintain your sanity, you can manage a supplier change painlessly. That’s what we call harmonious disruption.

Maintaining Knowledge

As the people in a company change, one of the greatest hurdles is maintaining tribal knowledge. “In many industries, a good deal of the knowledge about products, processes and customers is not written down — it is in the workers’ heads.” This is tribal knowledge. In our industry, this type of information only comes with experience gained through years of digging into the nitty-gritty of manufacturing. The concept encompasses not only the knowledge held by employees, but everyone who touches the company, including suppliers. Often times, this knowledge includes details not everyone thinks of, from usage patterns across seasons to minute differences between seemingly similar products.

At Endries, we know that carrying on this tribal knowledge seamlessly is important when making a supplier change. With each new customer, we carefully examine the product samples we are provided to determine any discrepancies between the print and description information. Like tribal knowledge, engineering changes are not always documented, and we want to ensure that your new products are a perfect match from the start. Incorrect products only lead to extended timelines and frustration, therefore we eliminate that potential headache with our initial assessment. We also want to ensure that past issues aren’t recreated, so we get the discussion started early with interviews and on-site analysis.

Monitoring the Supply Chain

When switching from one supplier to another, continual pipeline analysis is one of the keys to a smooth transition. The more visibility you have into the pipeline, the more seamless the transition. One of the best ways to get a feel for a new supplier relationship is to monitor everything from usage and daily run rate to customer and supplier stock differences.

In order to avoid potential road bumps in the process of a supplier change, we maintain visibility and adjust accordingly. Shortages, for example, can be forecast through careful pipeline monitoring. By being able to foresee potential shortages long before they occur, we are able to plan ahead. There are many adjustments that can be made to solve for this type of problem, such as switching from an import to a domestic product. However, it is the visibility into the pipeline that allows these adjustments to be made before the problem truly arises.

Harmonizing the People, Process and Program

There are many moving parts that must work together in order to achieve a successful transition. These moving parts can be summed up into the 3 P’s: People, Process and Program. These components must work together uninterrupted, as cogs in the same machine, in order for a supplier change to run smoothly. If these elements are not in harmony, then there will be issues.

However, when all of these elements are aligned, it makes for a smooth supplier change. A harmonized transition eliminates potential heartburn by keeping everything in control. At Endries, we have a lot of experience making this leap and have developed a process that delivers on all three fronts. Our knowledgeable employees, as well as our software program, are well prepared to handle even the largest transitions. If you make the decision to move to PULSE, an inventory management solution, you can be confident the transition will improve your production, not interrupt it.

Are you thinking about making the switch? Let’s talk!

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Most manufacturers deem major changes on the production floor to be “avoid at all cost” scenarios. But, in this industry, change is often inevitable and may even be necessary for growth. Nevertheless, managing change can be tricky. Change in manufacturing can mean many things — from change in people, to change in products, to change in technology. When you do encounter these disruptions, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Change in People

Unfortunately, turnover is bound to happen. “The negative effects of high staff turnover include productivity losses, increased talent acquisition costs, and a significant impact on financial performance. Consequently, staff turnover can be a major problem for manufacturers, putting their business at risk.” Of course, creating a work environment that is supportive to employees can help to reduce turnover. However, no matter how great your work environment is, employees are bound to leave and your best weapon against this is planning ahead.

One way to plan ahead is to frame hiring around your business forecast. Keeping recruitment ongoing and heightening it ahead of peak times will help to ensure you aren’t left in a tight spot should you experience a sudden increase in turnover. Another way to ensure you are prepared for turnover is to implement cross-training. Cross-training can not only make your production floor more flexible and efficient, but can also lead to heightened employee satisfaction.

If you do find yourself in a pinch, keep the financial pressure off by having already established a budget for overtime. It may be necessary during employee shortages in order to keep your production floor fully staffed. The positive side-effects of overtime also include boosted morale and higher levels of employee retention.

Change in Products

When the need for new products arises and they begin flowing in, preparation is paramount. Having a scalable business model is key to managing this change. Having to rely on manual inventory tracking and contacting employees to find out how much inventory you have will only slow you down. Managing the production floor this way is not only time consuming, but also prone to human error. Instead, consider automation and other efficient technologies to minimize manual involvement during product changes.

Change in Technology

Manufacturers face a number of technological challenges unique to their industry. Changes in technology may not always be welcome, and may even be heartburn-inducing. However, some of these changes can be helpful in the long run. Automation, for example, can save time and increase your efficiency on the production floor once implemented. While the initial thought of making this change might cause some stress, the long-term benefits make it worthwhile.

In this fast-moving industry, it’s easy to feel like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get the work done AND plan ahead for change. But, sometimes a change in technology is exactly what you need in order to save time during your weekly routine, freeing up time to train employees and plan for new products. With PULSE, an inventory management solution, you can minimize the time you spend planning your current inventory and instead spend more time planning for change. With PULSE, all you have to do is drop your empty storage bins into the kiosk, and Endries does the rest.

Are you interested in making your life easier with an automated inventory management system? Let’s talk.

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Does it ever feel like there is not enough time in the work day to get everything done? Automating your inventory management system can help you do just that. Automation improves efficiency, saves time and helps you prioritize your workflow. Not to mention a whole host of other benefits, but today we will stick to five reasons why you should automate your inventory management system.

  1. Save time

Think about all the times you have recounted your inventory. With automated inventory management, you’ll save hours of manual entry. There are plenty of companies out there who decide not to automate inventory management because of the time it will take — don’t let this be you! In the long run, automation will actually save you time.

  1. Hit the nail on the head

Want to take the guesswork out of managing your inventory? Automation helps reduce human error. Manual entry of inventory opens the door to underselling or overselling. You can also view data in real time and generate reports to help you improve your processes.

  1. Stay ahead of the curve

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it, right? Wrong. Automated systems are prepared for change, including growth within your company. If you are simply keeping up with the status quo, your company will never rise above the competition.

  1. Raise the bar of expectation

Who doesn’t want greater efficiency? Manually entering and tracking inventory is quite the task, and the labor it takes is costly. Automation streamlines these tasks and completes them in a more efficient and effective manner, which leaves you time to invest in the things you really want to be doing.

  1. Grow your company

With automation, your inventory practices can grow with your company. With growth comes an increasingly complicated inventory system, which is where a tool can be so beneficial. Having a scalable system will help ensure a smooth transition. Automating now can help mitigate any issues in the future that may arise. Why get to the problem later if you can stop it in its tracks?

If automating sounds right up your alley, PULSE is the inventory management system you need. PULSE is a solution that takes the guesswork out of product inventory management and solves the demand for more accurate forecasting. The beauty of PULSE is its ability to increase efficiencies and profits, while making work life easier and more enjoyable. With 24/7 demand recognition, it reads, analyzes and shares valuable data to keep your crew operating at peak performance.

Are you ready to make your job easier? Let’s talk about PULSE.

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