ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 24
Where's Your Inventory?
can pay off
By Jennie Phipps
fficiency, flexibility and accountability are cornerstones
of good warehousing. Achieving these standards while
controlling costs is the challenge faced by nearly every
manufacturing member of the ILMA. Many of them have
found answers, but they've done it in different ways. Here's
a sampling of how ILMA manufacturers are handling the logistics of getting products from the factory to the customer.
"We run a just-about-in-time inventory," said Kyle Enslow,
purchasing and information technology (IT) manager for
QualiChem in Salem, Virginia.
QualiChem, which makes water treatment and metalworking chemicals for the aerospace, medical and automotive
industries, runs on a four-day schedule. "Four days from the
time of the order to shipping order," Enslow said.
"We utilize our suppliers. We negotiate and sign contracts
with our suppliers to supply raw materials within a two- to
three-day time period. Materials go directly to the plant.
We have a large plant that houses raw materials and finished
After the products are manufactured, they are moved directly to distributors. "Ninety-nine percent of our products
we sell immediately to a distributor that warehouses products and then sells them to end users," Enslow said.
This doubles the amount of manufacturing that QualiChem is able to do, he estimates. "Because we don't carry
nearly as much inventory as we would if we didn't have these
relationships, we are able to utilize our space for manufacturing, which is our primary business."
The key to this kind of operation is a robust enterprise
resource planning system, or ERP, that is customized to
monitor inventory closely. "We run a report daily that shows
us basically what we need to purchase in order to manufacture for the next two or three days," Enslow explained.
The company relies on a Datacor ERP product called
Chempax, which is business management software for the
chemical industry. QualiChem purchased the basic software
15 years ago and has been steadily updating and customizing it. The software provides a complete package - it tracks
purchasing, manufacturing, distribution and billing.
| COMPOUNDINGS | ILMA.ORG
Does QualiChem ever consider doing things differently?
Not at this point, Enslow said. "If we had to warehouse, we
would have container upon container loads. Some larger
companies might want that control, but this works best to
us. Anytime we can use someone else's warehouse and someone else's money, it is a good thing."
QualiChem does utilize barcoding for location but has
rejected radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. "We're
just not large. There is no reason to track when products
move from one end of the plant to the other," Enslow said.
And robots, the next big thing in logistics, aren't coming
to QualiChem anytime soon, either. "Everything is done
with fork trucks. We aren't even considering anything else. If
our business were 100 times bigger than it is, we might. But
right now, two men and a truck is fine," Enslow said.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ILMA Compoundings March 2018
LETTER FROM THE CEO
WHAT’S COMING UP
In the Know
IS A JOINT VENTURE THE ANSWER?
WHERE’S YOUR INVENTORY?
SPEAKING YOUR LANGUAGE
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - Cover1
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - Cover2
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 1
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 2
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - LETTER FROM THE CEO
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - INSIDE ILMA
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 5
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 6
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 7
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 8
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 9
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - WHAT’S COMING UP
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 11
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - INDUSTRY RUNDOWN
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - In the Know
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - International Insight
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 15
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 16
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 17
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - Market Report
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 19
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - IS A JOINT VENTURE THE ANSWER?
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 21
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 22
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 23
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - WHERE’S YOUR INVENTORY?
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 25
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 26
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 27
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 28
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 29
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - SPEAKING YOUR LANGUAGE
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 31
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 32
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 33
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - BUSINESS HUB
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 35
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - COUNSEL COMPOUND
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 37
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 38
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - WASHINGTON LANDSCAPE
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - Member Connections
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 41
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - Cross Connections
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 43
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - PORTRAIT
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - Cover3
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - Cover4