On September 22nd, Syncron held a seminar on Optimizing Dealer Inventory in Chicago, Illinois. This seminar focused primarily on the common challenges faced by companies when implementing a RIM program. Two of Syncron’s dealer inventory management experts, Erik Lindholm and Henrik Lenerius, provided a detailed analysis of best practices for implementing RIM and overall dealer challenges.

Thousands of OEMs use RIM solutions to support best-in-class forecasting, replenishment planning and optimization across large dealer networks. The seminar focused on the dealer and how implementing a dealer inventory management program may bring challenges, but how it is important for the efficiency and effectiveness of the supply network as a whole.

Erik Lindholm, Pre-sales Director at Syncron, presented on Dealer Challenges. While touching on many topics, the focus of his presentation was that a RIM program is highly rewarding for both the end-customers, the OEM and the dealer. Amongst other things, Lindholm pointed to some of the most common issues that dealers are facing that are not using a RIM planning tool today:

  • DMS systems not giving the appropriate system support for inventory management
  • Parts managers often lacking proper IM competence
  • Lacking bandwidth to manage thousands of parts
  • Spending too much time on ordering and planning parameters

Lindholm discussed how the dealer is normally left to plan based on local information only, not leveraging the global information that would be available in a RIM program. Not having access to global data, or a tool to facilitate for the OEM to support the dealer, makes it very challenging to plan parts for which there is insufficient historical information – such as new product introductions. Overall, dealers who do end up using a RIM system and accepting and overcoming the challenges will:

  • Be able to achieve higher parts availability for end-customers
  • Reduce investment in stock
  • Free up their time through more efficient planning process to focus on their customers
  • Appreciate the attention and the interest in their service and inventory from the OEM

Henrik Lenerius, Director of Professional Services (Americas) at Syncron, presented on Best practices for Implementing a RIM Program. The main takeaway from Lenerius’ presentation was that adoption rate is key to a successful RIM program, and that the importance of change management and systems integration should not be underestimated. He came to this conclusion, focusing on five key elements to success:

  • Know why you are implementing RIM
  • Build the “story of RIM” to promote the program to both dealers and internal stakeholders
  • Certify a few DMS providers – append dealer data with OEM master data
  • Run a pilot to test both solution, but also the dealer deployment approach
  • Build the “roll-out factory” and execute with efficiency

Lenerius talked about the importance to identify objectives and KPIs for the program upfront, and to establish the starting KPI measurements to be able to build success stories from pilot dealers. He additionally spoke about the virtue of simplicity of the systems integration and the need to not treat each dealer deployment as an individual systems implementation project, but to build templates, automate system setup, and roll-out the solution to groups or “waves” of dealers at a time to gain efficiencies. The overall focus was to achieve a high adoption rate through focusing on building “the story of RIM”, promoting all the benefits to the dealers to ensure buy-in, and an urge in the dealer community to be on the RIM program.

Shannon Montoya, Manager – Retail Parts Availability for Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), presented on DTNA’s Implementation & Rollout approach, including how to achieve high dealer adoption rates and how training have been key to their successful RIM program.

These presentations were informative and important to the delegates who attended and many questions to the presenters based on their collective experiences from RIM programs were asked. Not only the presenters, but also many of Syncron’s existing customers that have already implemented RIM chipped in with valuable learnings.

Stay tuned for videos of all of the presentations from the seminar including Montoya’s DTNA presentation.