A Closer Look at Vendor Managed Inventory

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Having too little or too much inventory can be a challenge for your company resulting in loss of valuable space, products, and sales. Vendor Managed Inventory can help improve performance.

What is Vendor Managed Inventory?

VMI, or Vendor Managed Inventory, is an inventory replenishment arrangement through which Austin Hardware either monitors your inventory or receives stock information from you. The goal of VMI is to turn inventory 12 times per year and maintain appropriate stock levels for all parts.

Austin Hardware uses a state-of-the-art forecasting tool with 18 different models, which analyze your parts and quantities. We conduct full inventory usage analysis quarterly to make sure all products are performing and make stock level changes if necessary.

Accurate, Money Saving Results

With VMI, you are not just getting a supplier, you are getting a partner who understands your needs and offers an accurate control of inventory stock levels for parts.

We’ve been using the VMI program for several years and it’s been great. The product is here for our use as we need it without tying up money to have it sitting in our inventory. We pay for it as we use it, and it can be adjusted anytime according to our current demand.

“It also saves us on shipping fees. Instead of having multiple charges I can do an upload once a week and they’ll ship everything together. It saves us time from checking items to see if we need them, to knowing that they will be replenished as we use them. The VMI program has been an asset to us, having the product here and saving money and down time.”

-J.S., Indiana

 Become an Austin Partner

Is your business currently struggling with maintaining and managing inventory? With over 55 years in business, Austin Hardware is committed to helping you solve issues of quality, price, availability, application, and more. The Austin Advantage may be exactly what your company needs.

Read more about Vendor Managed Inventory and its benefits in this original Austin Hardware white paper.

Be sure to check out our supply of locks, latches, fasteners, and hardware from over 970 manufacturers on our website.


Opportunities for Innovation

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In today’s digital world, it’s never been easier for a company to share ideas and get noticed by potential customers. But keeping that attention and translating it into business is much more difficult. Your company needs to innovate to stand out from the crowd. Here are a few ideas on ways to encourage innovation.

Shared Vision

Innovative ideas about how to do the work come from empowered teams who understand why, or the vision for the work. Vision is more than a statement, it is the inspiration behind your brand. Leaders can help their teams be proactive and understand the big picture by sharing the company’s history, values, lessons learned, and future direction.

Change of Pace

Breaking out of your workplace routine can help jump-start creative energy. Consider inviting people from different departments to provide a fresh perspective. Customer input and reviews can also be a source of innovative ideas. Even something as simple as stepping away from your computer for a minute or two can help you stay fresh. We already know it’s not healthy for your eyes to focus at a screen all day, but breaking up your screen-staring routine for even a couple of minutes can give you a mental boost and keep your creative energy high.

Flexible Workday

Some people are at their most creative and energetic in the morning. Others get more energy later in the day. Try to structure your day so that you do the right tasks at the right time. Tasks that require more energy and focus should be scheduled for when you’re at your peak. If you need time to plan or strategize, try turning all your devices on mute for 30 minutes.

Ongoing Learning

Whether you attend a class, take on a stretch assignment, or read, expanding your knowledge and skills is a path to new ideas. Think about learning opportunities that align with your role, industry, and interests and write down a few learning goals. For example, you might want to learn how to use video to better connect with customers or learn how to adopt an agile approach to projects.

At Austin Hardware, we strive to build a work environment where innovation thrives. Ideas like our Vendor Managed Inventory service help us deliver a superior customer experience, and partnerships with the best hardware manufacturers enable us to stock parts our customers need, and deliver them fast. We are always looking for input, ideas, and opportunities to help our customers better serve their customers. How do you fuel innovation?

Reduce Inventory Expense with Austin’s Vendor Managed Inventory Program

VMI Vendor Managed Inventory Program

Do you want to streamline purchasing and stocking processes and ensure the right hardware inventory is on hand when you need it? Austin’s Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) Program is the first of its kind for lock and latch hardware and is designed to improve parts availability and reduce expense.

How does it work?

We will provide you with user-friendly software that automates virtually every step of your ordering, purchasing, stocking, and managing processes. Plus, we will evaluate your processes and customize the program to work with the inventory systems you already have in place. The VMI program saves you both time and money by reducing the time-consuming tasks and costly paperwork associated with purchasing, invoicing, expediting, and other inventory-related tasks.

Vendor Managed Inventory provides you with the following services:

  • Customized Quality Programs: Our employees will help you create a customized, quality program that meets your unique manufacturing needs.
  • Engineering Services: Our technical specialists will work with you to create customized hardware solutions.
  • On-site Personnel: Our employees can take care of tracking, reordering, and replenishing critical components, allowing you to focus on your core competencies.
  • Consigned Inventory: This will ease any budgeting and cash flow issues by generating billing only for inventory you actually use, while still providing you with on-site, immediate access to the program parts you need.
  • Point of Use Bin Stocking: This provides real-time electronic tracking and automatic restocking to help you maintain your hardware inventories at the precise level and location that you specify on your manufacturing floor.
  • Barcode Scans & Custom Labels: We will provide you with a scanner and barcode labels to automate your inventory tracking and management of program needs.
  • Kitting: We can sort, pack and deliver your hardware components in convenient kits.
  • Summary Billing: With fewer invoices to process and checks to cut, you will save hours of time and effort for your accounting staff.
  • Electronic Data Interchange (EDI): Our VMI software will automate the exchange of all electronic documents such as orders, invoices, shipping notices, etc.

We seek to give all of our customers a competitive edge in their markets, and VMI is just one of the ways we do that. If you’d like to learn more about Vendor Managed Inventory, or if you need help locating a part from one of our over 970 vendors, contact us today.