Published February 17, 2004
Volume 12, Number 2

SupplySolution Right Sizes Inventories for Manufacturers and Their Suppliers
Company helps manufacturers, distributors, and their customers keep the right number of products on the shelf
Supply Solution
Edward Molkenbuhr, president and CEO of Supply Solution, leads a
company that plays a key role in their clients' inventory management.

By George Walsh
Special to NETWORK

For manufacturers of goods, staying on par with the demand for products is critical. Build too many, and they don’t sell. Build too few and you’ve missed out on sales opportunities. In the case of warehouses who directly fulfill orders made by customers, a similar situation arises. Too many products left unsold on the shelf simply gather dust, and having too few of a product that’s in demand, once again, can eat into profits. SupplySolution, as its name suggests, has an answer that will keep the supply chain for various products rolling along without waste or shortages—in short, making sure that those who need goods get them when they are needed.

“We provide order fulfillment services to specific industries including automotive and the health industries,” says Ed Molkembuhr, president and CEO of SupplySolution Inc. “We have software and an Internet-based service. Our clients include very large companies including a lot of automotive and parts suppliers and manufacturers like General Motors, Daimler Chrysler, and Bosch. We go in and we extract their inventory information and our software makes it visible to their suppliers. So, instead of them sending orders to their suppliers, their suppliers look at what their inventory levels are and then create a minimum and maximum level. The supplier fulfills their needs to keep things within that range. It’s an automatic replenishment service that goes all the way to billing.”

SupplySolution Inc. at 4637 Chabot Drive focuses on improving the direct material fulfillment process to efficiently connect buyers with all of their suppliers. According to the company, more than 700 of its customers realize 30%-70% inventory reductions, lowered administrative costs, improved manufacturing efficiency, and the reduction of premium shipping and part shortages.

SupplySolution categorizes itself as a “software services” company. They don’t actually sell the application used to serve their customers, but provide Internet-based supply chain services and support. “It saves a lot of headaches for IT staffs,” Molkembuhr says. “It’s very difficult for IT departments to connect to all of their vendors and still retain security.”

The company’s Pleasanton location in Hacienda was chosen for a number of reasons. “It’s a natural place to get people who are from the Northern part of Alameda and central Contra Costa counties, as well as people coming from Piedmont or even Tracey. I think that the logistics of this location are good if you’re dealing with the development world and you want to be able draw from different skill sets.”

The company, founded in 1998, currently has 100 employees, with U.S. headquarters located in Santa Barbara CA, and European headquarters in Stuttgart Germany. In Pleasanton, the company employs around 40 people, with other offices in Detroit, Chicago, and Melbourne Australia. “Because manufacturing is international, we try our best to be close to our customers,” Molkembuhr says.


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