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Welcome to the Datalliance VMI Newsletter.

Our Spotlight article below focuses on the increasing interest for training within the growing Datalliance VMI community. The ongoing delivery of new Datalliance platform capabilities combined with customer VMI programs that are expanding and becoming more sophisticated has resulted in increased requests for training. Datalliance has responded to this request with a comprehensive training approach including: Open Training Sessions, Reporting and Analytics Webinars, Sponsored Training, and Custom On-site Training. See the article below and contact us if you have interest in any of these training areas.

We are proud to announce the availability of the latest release of the Datalliance VMI platform with a number of important new capabilities. Enhancements in this release include important new capabilities for product life-cycle management and assortment management as well as a number of new ways for VMI planners to better personalize their user experience for maximum daily productivity. New capabilities are available for immediate use by Datalliance customers and their trading partners at no cost, and with no need to install or upgrade software. Please see the article below for more details on our new release.

And finally, I’d like to ask you for your help in shaping the 2016 VMI Forum.  Please take a minute to think about topics that are important to you and your VMI team and click on the following link to suggest sessions you would like to see in 2016. FORUM SESSION SUGGESTIONS.  Be sure to mark your calendar to attend next year’s Forum, scheduled for May 9-11, 2016. We’ll provide more information over the coming months.

Please feel free to contact me at chall@datalliance.com. Visit www.datalliance.com for more information on Datallance and Vendor Managed Inventory.

- Carl HallCEO & President, Datalliance

Growing and Enhancing the VMI Talent Base
With the steady growth of the Datalliance VMI community, more companies expanding their VMI programs, and on-going introduction of new Datalliance platform capabilities, we have seen increasing requests for training.  Going beyond the start-up training Datalliance has always delivered, companies are asking for more opportunities for training of new people and for updating the skills of their current team.  Datalliance is responding in a number of ways to expand the range of training opportunities.  For instance:

  • Open training sessions.  These are classes held at Datalliance and open to VMI program managers and planners from any Datalliance customer.  The topics covered mirror the standard on-site training and have variations for consumer/retail and industrial/wholesale environments. Visit www.datalliance.com/training for class descriptions, dates and fees. 
  • Reporting and Analytics webinar series. Currently in pilot with a focus on industrial/wholesale industries, this series of interactive webinars will cover key inventory management concepts and metrics, how to use standard Datalliance reports to address common issues, and how to use Datalliance reports to prepare and run effective customer performance reviews.  Watch for more on this valuable resource.
  • Sponsored trainingA new concept we’re testing now, this is an approach where we work with a group of companies in a common industry to do customized training – usually on a range of traditional and new Datalliance capabilities that are especially valuable in that industry.  Our first such event was a very successful 2-day training session for companies in the heavy duty truck parts aftermarket run in mid-September.
  • Custom on-site training.  With this option, we work with you to outline and deliver a customized training class for your entire team.  Your session can focus on exactly the VMI concepts and Datalliance capabilities that are most important to you.  This is an excellent way to further increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your VMI program after you have been using Datalliance for a year or two – or even for ten years!     

Take advantage of all these ways to maintain and expand your VMI team’s skills.  Or suggest something special you would like to do.  Just contact your Customer Care representative to discuss how we might help address your particular needs.

Walgreens and SC Johnson:
Doing VMI the Right Way


11/19/2015; 2:00 PM EST
This webinar will feature two powerhouse industry leaders, Walgreens and SC Johnson, who will share their perspectives on VMI and discuss best practices that have led to a win-win for both trading partners.
How a Focus on Returns can Increase Sales

10/20/2015; 2:00 PM EST
Attend this brief and informative webinar, geared towards the plumbing industry, to learn how a collaborative replenishment process can simultaneously reduce returns and increase sell-through.

 

On September 25, the newest release of Datalliance VMI became available to all users. Enhancements in this release include important new capabilities for product life-cycle management and assortment management as well as a number of new ways for VMI planners to better personalize their user experience for maximum daily productivity. Highlights include:

  • A new ‘master item’ capability which can be used to establish and manage families of related items for replenishment planning purposes. This powerful new capability greatly streamlines product life cycle management in a number of situations.  Two primary uses are for:
    • Evolving items with a series of superseding item numbers such as vehicle parts that go through design changes over time while continuing to be interchangeable
    • Rotating items that are replenished in cycles, such as consumer packaged goods that have different variations of ‘base/bonus’ promotional packages (e.g. toothpaste with free toothbrush, toothpaste with free floss, etc.)

This capability combines inventory positions and demand for all items in a family to influence replenishment planning for the currently shipping item. Graphical visualization of the information being used is provided to the planner for easy understanding and confirmation. 

  • Enhanced assortment management that makes it much easier to maintain the details of product assortments within the Datalliance application. This capability is especially important for retail products such as apparel where assortments are a critical factor in replenishment planning.
  • Numerous other functional and ease-of-use enhancements that primarily provide planners with added flexibility in setting alert tolerances, fine-tuning calculations like days of supply (DOS), and adding non-typical information in a self-service manner.

As with every release, a number of general technical and performance enhancements are also included to further support overall system scalability, reliability and availability.

Join the Datalliance Blog:
We are excited to announce or new Blog located at www.datalliance.com/blog.  If you want to stay on the cutting edge of Vendor Managed Inventory we encourage you to sign up today.  We already have a great library of content with topics like, Selecting a VMI Provider, Returns, Requirements for a Successful VMI Partnership and more. You won't want to miss what we come up with next.

Operations:
Over the summer the Operations group worked closely with auditors to successfully complete an SSAE16 SOC2 Type 1 report. This report establishes that Datalliance has policies and controls in place appropriate for a service organization based on criteria put forth by the AICPA. This certification focuses on the following attributes:

  • Security
  • Availability
  • Processing integrity
  • Confidentiality
  • Privacy

Our customers place tremendous trust in us, and we continue to commit ourselves to ensuring the Datalliance System is accessible and secure.

Customer Care:
As a long time user of Salesforce, Datalliance recently sent our Customer Care Manager Keith Hahn to the annual Salesforce conference, Dreamforce.  During that trip it occurred to him there were similarities between Dreamforce and Datalliance's own VMI Forum held every year.  Besides being a 150,000 attendee difference, both conferences goal is to provide users with a better understanding of how the system can work for you.  Take a minute to visit the new Datalliance Blog and read Keith's piece "No Better Place to Learn Than a User Forum."

 Baldor Electric Launches Vendor Managed Inventory Program Using Datalliance VMI Platform

Hoffman Enclosures, Inc., Ilsco, and Legrand Continue Respective Growth with Datalliance Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI)

Bumble Bee Seafoods, Ocean Spray and Sun Products all Complete Move to Datalliance Vendor Managed Inventory

Watch our quick introduction Video: