Essential Elements for a Successful Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) System

  • Strong Collaborative Relationship And Communication With Your Vendor
    1. Establishing a strong partnership and open communication channels between your organization and the vendor is vital. Trust and cooperation are crucial for a successful vendor managed inventory system. Here at Field, we want to become an extension of you team. We ensure that we are with you every step of the way. From Implementation of your VMI system to ensuring you have the correct parts when you need them, you have constant access with the Field team. 

  • Have Options, Not A One Size Fits All Or A Cookie Cutter Approach
    1. The best VMI suppliers do not believe in a uniform system for each customer. Processes are different across different industries, and what works for a customer at one plant may not be the right fit at another location. The best systems are the ones that are tailored to meet the customer’s needs. When designing a new VMI system, we consider the number of parts in the system, inventory, quality requirements, material handling, and storage, ensuring that our customers have a system in place that is right for them.

  • Data Driven
    1. Sharing critical data seamlessly between your systems and the vendors systems should be a continuous stream. This includes sales data, inventory levels, and forecasting information. When you partner with Field, you will be a part of regular business reviews to stay on top of your systems metrics. We use software and tools to optimize inventory levels, taking into account factors like lead times, seasons, and demand variability.
  • Reps That Go Beyond Material Handlers And Have Training And Development In Place
    1. Train your team and the vendors team on the VMI system and its processes to ensure smooth implementation and operation. With Field, you know that you will be taken care of by your VMI Our philosophy is simple: we hire enthusiastic team members and provide them with effective training, information, tools, regular feedback, coaching and rewards. Then we get our of their way so they can perform their jobs.

  • Accurate Forecasting- Ensuring You Have Enough Parts, All While Not Having Too Much Inventory
    1. Utilize data analysis, historical sales data, and market trends to predict demand accurately. The proactive, engineering-based management of our vendor-managed inventory program means you’ll always have appropriate stocking levels – including vendor-managed inventory fasteners – based on your business conditions and needs. Data-driven above all else, we’ll perform a root cause analysis on any shortage that occurs and provide you with data that can help your organization accurately forecast.

  • Performance Metrics
    1. Establish KPI’s to measure the success of the Vendor managed inventory system. When partnering with Field, we will agree upon performance metrics and a reporting system to regularly review performance with you and your team. This ensures we are continuously improving your system to provide you with the most efficient system in place.

  • Technology / Innovation
    1. Technology streamlines the entire VMI process, from order generation to delivery scheduling. This efficiency leads to reduced lead times and lower operational costs. Innovation is also a large part of a successful VMI Field takes pride in innovation so much so, that we have an innovation center located in our headquarters to test and prove out new technology.

  • Flexibility
    1. Be prepared to adapt to changing market conditions and customer preferences. A successful vendor managed inventory system should be agile and responsive. Field’s proactive continuous improvement process means we always look to improve the program before failures occur, reducing your downtime. From prep to just-in-time restocking, Field is more than just parts. We’re your partner, with the systems, passion, people, experience, and inventory to support your changing needs.

  • Continuous Improvement
    1. Since vendor-managed inventory systems are actively managed, the supplier can spend time collaborating with the buyer on cost reductions projects and other proactive initiatives. This open communication between your team and Field leads to a long-lasting, positive relationship that is focused on quality and lowering your total cost of ownership year after year.


By focusing on these elements, you can ensure a successful vendor managed inventory system.

To learn more about how Field can help you with your VMI system, contact us today.