Fastenal Managed Inventory 101
April 13, 2022
By Blue Print Editorial Team
By Blue Print Editorial Team
In recent years, Fastenal has introduced a lot of technology – and terminology – to the market. Behind the acronyms, brands, and sub-brands is a simple, coherent vision. Here’s a quick look at the different elements and how they work together to provide an end-to-end inventory solution.
FMI stands for “Fastenal Managed Inventory,” a core service we’ve offered for decades (and have built our business to support). Today, this service is enhanced with technologies to simplify inventory replenishment and to monitor, control, and track the products you need to run your business. These solutions fall under three concepts.
We execute a consistent service schedule to manually check and refill your inventory, using mobility technology to simplify replenishment and illuminate product details and locations. This data flows to our internal systems and to user-facing applications like FAST360° and the Product Locator.
A lineup of bin devices with embedded technology that allows us to monitor your inventory remotely for a more proactive and lean supply chain. A good fit for production needs as well as faster-turning MRO parts. Current technologies include RFID, infrared, and scale.
The differentiator here is the ability to control and track the product, whether it’s a consumable item or a returnable asset. The benefits: 24/7 access, reduced consumption/loss, and visibility to how spend is being allocated in your business.
A DIGITAL SIGHTLINE
These solutions don’t just scan, store, and supply products. They provide a sightline to your inventory and usage – where the product is, how much is on hand, and how fast it’s turning. By shifting the paradigm from “discovering and reacting” to “monitoring and planning,” we’re able to manage a more reliable and efficient supply chain for your business.
ILLUMINATING YOUR INVENTORY
All of that said, this is YOUR data, and another layer of value is derived by presenting it to you in practical and powerful ways.
Log in to Fastenal.com to see how inventory is positioned across your facilities, to search for and locate specific parts, and to view current inventory levels of items stored in FASTBin or FASTVend devices. You can also analyze your Fastenal spend and track cost savings through your Fastenal program.
A touchscreen tool that lets end users on the shop floor search for a specific product need and pinpoint its location in your facilities, whether it’s in a FASTVend or FASTBin device or it’s managed through a FASTStock program and stored in a non-technological shelf, bin, drawer, or cabinet.
A cloud control center/reporting tool for FASTVend devices. Set flexible access controls (who can use what, and how much) and analyze how products are being used in your business (who, what, where, when, and why).
The data doesn’t end at your eyes; it can power other applications. For example, when you combine FMI Technology with a Fastenal eProcurement solution, you pull robust line-item detail into your system and fully automate the procure-to-pay process – from quote, to invoice, to payment, to receiving. FASTVend extends that data story all the way to the point of use, automatically connecting each dispensed item to a job number, GL code, and/or other cost center data.
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Are you looking to bring your class-c inventory out of the dark and into a more transparent and controlled environment? Fastenal is ready to craft a solution that fits your unique business needs.
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