About DSI Cloud Inventory
Cloud Inventory® is a cloud-based SaaS platform built to help companies digitize supply chains and optimize their inventories. Cloud Inventory uses a unique, four-pillar approach to transform businesses through productivity, compliance, inventory optimization, and revenue generation.
A unique player in its industry, Cloud Inventory has achieved a period of sustained and successful growth since 2018 under the watch of President and CEO Mark Goode, who was kind enough to join us for an interview about their leading software solution.
Tell us about the history of Cloud Inventory.
Mark Goode: Our cloud-based and on-premise inventory management solutions offer real-time, end-to-end visibility at every touchpoint in the supply chain, from the warehouse to the field. Our robust solutions help clients increase productivity, compliance, inventory optimization, and revenue generation.
Founded in Kansas City, Missouri, more than 40 years ago, our global team has the supply chain expertise to deliver solutions that solve today’s business challenges by providing true inventory control and visibility.
We proudly serve more than 3,000 customers around the world in such industries as: Life Sciences, Telecommunications/Utilities, Energy/Oil & Gas, EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction), Consumer Packaged Goods and Mining.
What prompted DSI to focus on Cloud Inventory?
Mark Goode: Cloud-based solutions help businesses reduce costs while improving efficiency. Utilizing a cloud-based platform enables businesses to track inventory with more accuracy across the supply chain, while avoiding costly human error which saves time and resources. These benefits of a cloud-based system continue to lead many companies to transition to cloud-based inventory management approaches. In addition, Cloud Inventory is adaptable, meaning that DSI can successfully partner with companies in a variety of industries; the low-code platform enables businesses to build apps to fit their industry-specific needs.
Was there any solution like Cloud Inventory available before its launch?
Mark Goode: Cloud Inventory is the only cloud-based, mobile-first inventory platform currently available on the market. It is a comprehensive, unique solution designed to empower businesses to put an equal focus on inventory inside the warehouse and outside the four walls in the field.
For example, Cloud Inventory is currently used by some of our clients to keep track of medical supplies from production through delivery and storage in hospitals and doctor’s offices. This saves valuable time for doctors and nurses to source key materials in what can be life or death situations.
Do you see most businesses adopting cloud solutions for supply chain management?
Mark Goode: Yes. Things were heading in that direction already, and it’s helping businesses get incredible results when it comes to improving overall optimization of inventory, resulting in new-found revenue and productivity.
In my experience, the biggest challenge many businesses face is getting their customers to embrace a move to the cloud, and Cloud Inventory is built to integrate with systems that are already being used. Supply chain solutions that operate in the cloud are more flexible and adaptable allowing for secure access in remote workflows – something that’s proven incredibly vital as businesses work through the COVID-19 pandemic.
What kind of businesses does Cloud Inventory serve?
Mark Goode: Cloud Inventory’s best customers are asset-driven companies with substantial inventory, such as manufacturers, distributors, construction companies, food and beverage vendors, and medical device manufacturers. These are all companies with substantial amounts of materials in the field who benefit from improved visibility and/or last-mile delivery.
What are some common problems that Cloud Inventory solves?
Mark Goode: Cloud Inventory helps businesses improve inventory visibility across their organizations, digitize their paper processes, and optimize execution. A big problem that businesses face is managing paper-based supply chains, which have a tendency to be very slow and fairly inaccurate. A digital supply chain is faster, provides real-time information and is far more accurate. This enables the business to optimize inventory to adapt to growth, providing new value as the business changes.
Can you elaborate on Cloud Inventory’s four value pillars?
Mark Goode: The four value pillars at the heart of Cloud Inventory are productivity, compliance, inventory optimization, and revenue generation. Cloud Inventory works to make companies more productive, optimize their inventories, including materials and tools, reduce risks while improving overall compliance, and achieve all of these goals while driving revenue.
In the digital economy, businesses need to be able to adapt to market changes quickly. A platform that enables change without requiring significant coding allows companies to easily pivot, quickly changing systems or supply chains as necessary for the business. Cloud Inventory apps can be used out of the box or personalized to meet a business’s specific needs, providing the agility needed to create a digital supply chain that can be securely and safely accessed from anywhere.
We work hard to ensure that our products meet all the standards associated with the industries we work with, including complex medical regulations and construction guidelines.
When companies have more efficient supply chains, they generate more revenue. That also limits the need for more inventory in the warehouse than is necessary, which stimulates business’ cash flow. Workers will then spend less time searching for inventory or completing manual processes that are easy to automate, and this improves overall productivity as well.
Tell us about how Cloud Inventory solutions made a company more productive.
Mark Goode: One success story is Aegion, a leader in the sewer, oil, and gas pipelines space. By implementing a solution with Cloud Inventory, Aegion was able to complete invoices in a single day – rather than weeks – and reduced their overall time spent processing daily field tickets by 200%.
TTX, a rail and freight car management service, is another great example. They needed to improve visibility and real-time communication between their warehouses and field teams, many of which needed to be able to work offline. They integrated Cloud Inventory with Oracle SCM Cloud to increase supply chain visibility for over 170,000 railcars, streamlined their enterprise processes, and simplified workflows, which helped them achieve 99+ percent accuracy when it comes to shipments and inventory tracking.
What does providing service at the last mile mean to you?
Mark Goode: The last mile is the final part of the supply chain, and when a company needs to make sure the right product is reaching the right destination at the right time. For many companies who move products, 30% of their overall costs are accrued in the last mile.
Using Cloud Inventory solutions, companies can find out where a specific product is located and its shipping status. Additionally, Cloud Inventory can track if a customer has received it, the condition the item was received in and validate the shipment quantity was accurate. Depending on the company and the customer, this can be anything from packages delivered to consumers, medical equipment being sent to hospitals, or construction supplies making it to the building site on-time.
How does Cloud Inventory work offline, or when field agents have limited connectivity?
Mark Goode: When devices are offline or can’t connect to a cellular or Wi-Fi network, Cloud Inventory allows users to scan, queue, and track work, then sync with the network when a connection becomes available. Though some expect this to become a non-issue when 5G is rolled out worldwide, they are likely misinformed; 5G won’t solve for mobile devices in freight containers or for people working in rural regions with limited service. Furthermore, telecommunications companies often need to be able to work offline, and this necessitates solutions built to function with limited (or no) connectivity.
Can you tell me about how Cloud Inventory makes supply chains more visible and accurate?
Mark Goode: Yes. One great example of this is a company called Womble Co. – which creates highly specialized coating systems for steel pipes. Cloud Inventory helps Womble Co. better track their pipes by implementing a barcode scanning system. Since switching to Cloud Inventory, Womble Co. has coated and tracked an estimated 57,000 miles of pipe without losing even one component. This high-level visibility isn’t available from other platforms on the market.
If a client has a legacy ERP system, can Cloud Inventory’s solution be integrated?
Mark Goode: Cloud Inventory offers a solution that is ERP agnostic and has extensive integration capabilities for legacy systems. By using Cloud Inventory, businesses can deploy a solution that can optimize supply chains regardless of whether their existing backend is cloud-based. Cloud Inventory offers over 1,200 integration points for ERPs and works with businesses to create solutions that address inventory issues across all legacy systems. Cloud Inventory can seamlessly integrate with platforms like Oracle NetSuite, extending the capabilities of the existing implementation through mobile-friendly solutions to supply chain issues.
Why do customers choose Cloud Inventory solutions when they already have legacy systems in place?
Mark Goode: Typically, a business chooses to implement Cloud Inventorysolutions to add functionality and fill in gaps across their ERPs. They use Cloud Inventory to improve overall productivity and compliance, as well as to create better user experiences for customers and employees alike. Cloud Inventory makes it easy to deliver broad, far-reaching solutions that address a wide range of inventory issues. Optimizing inventory also results in increased revenue generation, an attractive by-product of moving to DSI Cloud Inventory solutions.