Blog Month: September 2023

  • Inventory Management Best Practices for Tech Companies: Knowledgeable Insights by ModusLink

    Inventory Management


    In the rapidly evolving tech industry, maintaining optimal inventory management practices is crucial for sustained growth and competitiveness. This blog delves into industry-leading inventory management best practices.

    Distinguishing Inventory Management from Supply Chain Management:

    While inventory management and supply chain management are closely related, it’s important to recognize that these terms are not interchangeable. They represent distinct facets of the broader logistics and operations landscape.

    Supply Chain Management:

    Supply chain management takes on a comprehensive role in overseeing the entire journey of products, from their origin as raw materials or components through the stages of production, sourcing, and ultimately, final distribution to end customers. It encompasses the strategic planning and coordination of activities that drive the flow of goods and information across the entire supply chain network. This includes optimizing processes, managing supplier relationships, and ensuring timely and efficient delivery to meet customer demand.

    Inventory Management:

    Conversely, inventory management focuses specifically on the products a business holds within its operations. It involves receiving, tracking, and efficiently storing these products. Beyond physical control, inventory management provides essential data and insights that enable informed decision-making in areas such as procurement and stock replenishment. It plays a vital role in maintaining the right quantity of products on hand to meet customer demands while avoiding overstocking or stockouts.

    Supply chain management encompasses the entire product journey, while inventory management hones in on the precise control and data-driven aspects of the products a business maintains.

    1. Demand Forecasting and Predictive Analytics:

    Leveraging advanced demand forecasting and predictive analytics tools empowers large tech companies to anticipate market trends and demand fluctuations accurately. A data-driven approach ensures that inventory levels are optimized, reducing excess stock and minimizing the risk of stock outs.

    2. Dynamic ABC Analysis:

    Introducing a dynamic ABC analysis strategy that categorizes inventory items based on both value and demand volatility allows large tech companies to align their inventory management strategies with changing market dynamics, resulting in optimized stock levels and efficient resource allocation.

    3. JIT Inventory Excellence:

    Just-in-Time (JIT) inventory management methodology, backed by robust supplier relationships, helps large tech companies achieve operational excellence. Seamless coordination with suppliers enables on-time deliveries and efficient production processes while minimizing carrying costs.

    4. Real-time Inventory Visibility with Advanced Technology:

    Cutting-edge inventory management technology provides real-time visibility into inventory levels across multiple locations. These solutions offer large tech companies the tools to monitor stock movement, track trends, and make data-driven decisions, ensuring optimal stock allocation and avoiding disruptions.

    5. Collaborative Supplier Partnerships:

    Recognizing the significance of supplier collaboration, these strategies foster strong partnerships, allowing large tech companies to achieve faster lead times, accurate order fulfillment, and cost-effective procurement. Together, they ensure a responsive supply chain that adapts to changing demand. Managed services can help continually evolve business functions to keep up with ever-changing targets while hitting key stops along the way.

    6. Strategic Safety Stock Management:

    Strategic safety stock management methodologies tailored to the tech industry’s dynamic nature involve analyzing demand variability and market trends to assist large tech companies in maintaining optimal safety stock levels, balancing customer satisfaction and cost-efficiency.

    7. Technology Integration and Process Automation:

    Seamless integration of inventory management technologies enhances accuracy and efficiency. These solutions incorporate automated tracking systems, barcode scanners, and RFID technology to minimize errors, optimize order picking, and streamline warehouse operations.

    8. Continuous Improvement and Performance Metrics:

    Large tech companies benefit from continuous improvement initiatives driven by performance metrics. Analyzing inventory turnover ratios, stock accuracy, and fill rates ensures that inventory management strategies stay aligned with business goals.


    These expertise-driven practices can benefit your business and elevate your inventory management practices. When customers use ModusLink to manage their inventory, we have robust processes in place to ensure world-class inventory management as part of our VMI service. If you’re in search of logistics support, we’re here to assist you.


    OpenAI’S GPT-3

    Information was also provided by OpenAI’S GPT-3 language model.


    Content is the opinion of ModusLink Corporation and is not intended to act as compliance or legal advice.


  • A Long Road Ahead for Procurement Professionals Managing Their Supply Chains

    Supply Chain Management

    In the ever-evolving world of freight and logistics, volatility has become the new normal. Procurement experts face transportation costs, customer demands, and high pressure on global container and air freight rates. 

    Any logistics provider will be well aware of these issues, but it’s possible to overlook how much things have changed in recent years. 

    Consider global container shipping rates. 

    Container rates in late July 2023 reached $1323 per TEU, significantly surpassing the late-2019 rates of $1236.87 before the COVID lockdown (Freightos). 

    Ocean shipping rates will remain high and unpredictable until the end of 2023, compared to pre-pandemic years, so shippers need to adjust and find new ways to succeed. Supply chain optimization software can help companies navigate challenges, streamline operations, and achieve sustainable success. But what does that mean for future strategies in procurement?

    Let’s consider the challenges and define a few strategies to help. Let’s think back on demand forecasting and warehousing management. Let’s rethink everything to figure out what it might be for the future of procurement in light of it all. 

    The Challenges of Freight Procurement for Today’s Shippers 

    Understanding and addressing the unique challenges of today is the first step in crafting a future-proof procurement strategy. The shifting dynamics between carriers and shippers and frequent disruptions have made it increasingly difficult for shippers to navigate the market.

    Ongoing Optimization

    Shippers must optimize their procurement strategies. Handling mini-bids, for example, can be challenging for companies operating with limited data and analytics. The lack of real-time market insights can hinder shippers’ ability to make informed decisions and seize opportunities.

    Advanced Technologies

    The growth of e-commerce has led to increased demand for advanced technologies and functions. However, identifying the right technologies, implementing them, and training staff takes time and effort. Shippers must also contend with the complexities of integrating new technologies into their existing systems.

    Quick Responsiveness

    Volatility means shippers must recover from disruptions quickly and apply lessons learned faster. Achieving this level of agility in fulfillment and manufacturing requires robust processes, effective communication, and a supportive culture. Shippers must be prepared to pivot their strategies in response to market changes and external factors.

    Proactive Risk Mitigation

    Companies should prioritize risk management and mitigation, but developing and implementing mitigation strategies can be complex and challenging. Shippers must assess potential risks across their supply chains, from factory to final mile delivery, and implement mitigation measures.

    CO2 Emissions Regulations

    As McKinsey & Company highlighted, emissions and new regulations will inevitably impact supply chain procurement processes (Kaiser et al.). Shippers must stay informed about regulatory changes, assess their impact, and make necessary adjustments. This requires a proactive approach to compliance and a commitment to sustainability.

    How to Approach and Overcome the Procurement Issues 

    To navigate the volatile freight and logistics industry successfully, shippers must employ targeted strategies that are proactive, agile, and data-driven. Here are some key strategies, along with more detailed explanations:

    Automate Optimization

    Shippers can leverage data analytics and market intelligence tools–core functions at ModusLink–to automate the initiation of optimization efforts. Shippers can make more informed decisions and capitalize on emerging opportunities by harnessing real-time market insights. Predictive analytics can also anticipate market trends and proactively adjust procurement strategies. This approach allows shippers to stay ahead of the curve and respond effectively to changing market conditions.

    Adopt Advanced Technologies

    The adoption of advanced technologies is crucial for supporting e-commerce logistics and fulfillment. Shippers should invest in technologies that enhance supply chain visibility, automation, and efficiency. Integrating technologies related to transportation services and understanding shipping costs can be instrumental in streamlining operations.  

    Logistics providers know these issues but may need to realize how much things have changed lately. Choosing a logistics provider that applies and offers advanced technologies can streamline this process too. Of course, there are some risks to consider. 

    It’s important to carefully select technologies that comply with the company’s specific needs and implement robust integration strategies. This approach can help shippers improve customer service, gain a competitive edge, and effectively manage inventory management.

    Pursue Proactive Risk Mitigation

    Shippers must find and deal with possible risks in their supply chains, from the factory to the final delivery. They should assess and reduce threats to minimize the impact of problems. Shippers can ensure they receive good service and value from their logistics partners by making suppliers accountable for meeting goals. This helps strengthen the supply chain, allowing shippers to handle a changing market better.

    Visualize Network Optimization

    Shippers can use data visualization tools to improve their supply chain performance and reduce costs. They should also evaluate their suppliers to ensure they meet goals and provide good service. This helps build strong relationships and optimize supply chain operations.

    Core Benefits of AddressThose 

    Addressing shippers’ challenges means retooling communication and execution processes to do more with less (Keelvar). That may include using advanced technologies, proactive risk mitigation strategies, and supply chain optimization software or services. Those impacts will help shippers ensure compliance, foster transparency, react to market changes, and achieve sustainable success.

    Create a Better Supply Chain Management Plan With ModusLink

    Logistics disruptions are bound to happen, but the right partner can help you change how your organization deals with them. Planning and optimizing your supply chain to handle these disruptions effectively is essential. Procurement should adapt to the market and manage inventory levels, reducing them strategically when necessary. Luckily, partnering with ModusLink can help your organization achieve these goals. Contact a team member today to begin.

    Works Cited

    Freightos. Freightos Terminal – Global Air and Ocean Market Intelligence, Accessed 16 August 2023.

    Kaiser, Felix, et al. “Managing supply chain risks.” McKinsey, 19 May 2022, Accessed 1 August 2023.

    Keelvar. “Strategies for Sourcing Excellence in a Volatile Supply Chain Market.” Keelvar, Accessed 28 July 2023.


    Content is the opinion of ModusLink Corporation and is not intended to act as compliance or legal advice.





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