About DSI® Cloud Inventory®
DSI® Cloud Inventory® is DSI’s flagship product – a cloud-based tool built to help companies digitize supply chains and optimize their inventories. It uses a unique, four-pillar approach to transform businesses through optimization, compliance, revenue generation, and productivity.
A unique player in its industry, Cloud Inventory has helped Data Systems International achieve a period of sustained and successful growth since 2018 under the watch of CEO Mark Goode, who was kind enough to join us for an interview about their leading software solution.
How long has DSI® Cloud Inventory® been around?
DSI was founded in Kansas City, Missouri in 1979. We have always provided companies with solutions to make their supply chains more efficient and optimize inventory. In recent years, we have focused on mobile-first, cloud-based inventory solutions.
Why did DSI inventory management software transition to the cloud?
With Cloud Inventory, DSI worked to get in front of the industry trends and moved to the cloud to reduce costs and increase efficiencies. Cloud Inventory solutions are based on a low-code platform, which allows customers to seamlessly move to the cloud with the ability to evolve their solutions as needs change.
Is there anything else like Cloud Inventory available in the inventory management market?
Our solution is comprehensive and unique in managing inventory both inside and outside the four walls of the warehouse, because it is critical that organizations have visibility into inventory, wherever it resides. For example, tracking medical supplies from production all the way to storage in hospitals can make a difference in life-or-death scenarios, and Cloud Inventory tracks inventory accurately from the warehouse to the sales representative’s trunk stock, to the hospital’s inventory consignment locations.
Do you see the future of supply chain management as fully cloud enabled?
Yes, it is already headed in that direction and makes all the difference when it comes to inventory optimization and productivity. While there is clear value in transitioning to a cloud-based inventory management approach, it is important to find value during that transition process, and our solution can be adopted and implemented quickly with systems already in place. Because the Cloud Inventory platform can be integrated with existing systems, transitioning to a cloud-based approach does not have to mean time-intensive and costly overhauls. Cloud-enabled supply chains also allow for flexibility and quick changes, which we’ve already seen companies experience during the era of COVID-19.
What kinds of companies does Cloud Inventory’s platform provide solutions for?
Any type of company that has inventory. We partner with manufacturing, distribution, construction, food/beverage, and medical device companies, to name just a few. These are companies with materials out in the field, and Cloud Inventory focuses on improving every aspect of the supply chain.
What is one of the most common problems that Cloud Inventory solves?
Cloud Inventory goes beyond digitizing paper processes; it empowers organizations to achieve inventory control without boundaries. Paper-based supply chain management is ineffective and inaccurate; our Cloud Inventory solution digitizes that supply chain data for quicker access to key data and unrivaled accuracy. It also provides the ability to continually optimize inventory as you look to improve your business and can adapt with any organization’s growth.
Tell us about Cloud Inventory’s four value pillars.
Cloud Inventory’s four pillars are productivity, compliance, inventory optimization, and revenue generation. We developed Cloud Inventory specifically to manage inventory in the digital economy.
Our low-code platform and library of applications allow you to use our applications out of the box or develop applications so that you can meet your changing business requirements as they occur. Inventory Optimization means that all of your supply chain data gets digitized and entered into our Cloud Inventory system of record, ensuring accuracy and accessibility to that information quickly at all times.
Productivity occurs as a result of optimizing inventory so that workers are less burdened with manually entering data or wasting time tracking down supplies in the warehouse or the field. Compliance refers to meeting certain standards of any given industry, whether it be for medical devices or precise construction parameters for building supplies, etc. And finally, revenue generation means making your supply chain so efficient that you are enabled to generate revenue at every step of the way.
Do you have a quantifiable example of how DSI’s Cloud Inventory has increased productivity for a company?
One example is Aegion, which specializes in sewer, gas, and oil pipelines. After Aegion implemented Cloud Inventory, the result was a vastly improved invoicing process; from what used to take weeks now takes a single day. Aegion also tracked a 200 percent reduction in time for its daily field tickets.
A second example is a company called TTX, which provides railcars and freight car management services. The company needed visibility between warehouses, small field warehouses, and teams in the field who often were offline, needing better real-time communication. After integrating Cloud Inventory with their existing Oracle SCM Cloud software, TTX increased visibility for a high-value pool of 170,000 railcars while in the field and improved productivity by streamlining enterprise processes and removing unnecessary steps, which achieved 99+ percent accuracy in tracking inventory and shipments.
How does your solution work in “offline” or “remote” areas?
Cloud Inventory ensures inventory accuracy when offline by scanning images of inventory, queuing up and tracking the work that takes place, and updating and synchronizing that supply information when Wi-Fi or cell phone reception is available again. There is a fallacy that 5G will save the world, that we will always be connected. In business, this isn’t the case. 5G doesn’t address the fact that I might be in a steel freight container or a rural part of the country where there isn’t connectivity. One company we’ve provided a solution for is MAREK, an interior construction company based in Houston, TX. Their workers use tools of any given size across a variety of work sites. Previously, they used a manual system to check out their tools, and were not able to track the location of their tools in real time. What Cloud Inventory allowed MAREK’s workers to do was have the capability to check out tools for themselves rather than get tools assigned to them, ensuring self-sufficiency in the field. Cloud Inventory also allowed them to track where any given tool was at any given time through applications on iPhones.
Can you give us an idea of the degree to which Cloud Inventory provides visibility and accuracy?
Our Cloud Inventory solution is used by a Houston, TX-based company called Womble Co., which provides specialty coating systems for steel pipes. Cloud Inventory allowed the company to begin tracking its pipes through simple barcode scans, and now Womble has coated and tracked more than 57,000 miles of pipe – enough to wrap around the earth twice – using Cloud Inventory’s platform, without losing a single piece. This accuracy is derived from the high level of visibility that our product provides for customers at all times.
How does Cloud Inventory work with a client’s ERP?
Cloud Inventory provides an ERP agnostic solution with extensive integration for legacy systems. This allows organizations to deploy a future-proof solution to optimize and improve the management of inventory, regardless of their backend ERP system, be it in the cloud or not. Cloud Inventory provides over 1,200 standard points of integration to various ERPs and frequently works with organizations that have more than one ERP that are looking for inventory visibility that will span all of their legacy solutions. It is usually a seamless process that integrates with ERP platforms like Oracle’s NetSuite software, where the Cloud Inventory platform extends the capabilities of NetSuite implementation, or other ERPs with robust, mobile-first solutions that can solve a company’s most difficult supply chain challenges.
Which products/solutions do Cloud Inventory customers typically prefer, and why?
Customers look to Cloud Inventory to fill the gaps and lack of functionality that their ERPs provide. They need to streamline those interactions and help increase productivity and compliance to provide a consumer-grade user experience. Cloud Inventory provides broad solutions that address inadequacies of multiple systems and ERPs.
- Cloud Inventory digitizes supply chain data.
- Cloud Inventory’s four pillars are inventory optimization, compliance, revenue generation, and productivity.
- There are no other mobile-first, cloud-based supply chain solutions like Cloud Inventory. Mark Goode has led Cloud Inventory through a successful growth period since 2018.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.