Vendor Managed Inventory – Predictable Supply in an Unpredictable World

Vendor Managed Inventory – Predictable Supply in an Unpredictable World

In our previous blog, we highlighted MarathonLS’ commitment to transitioning to U.S. manufacturing, which will result in: enhanced quality, shorter lead-times, and overall product consistency and reliability. A recurring and concerning theme for our customers over the last few years was the instability of global supply chain. External threats such as economic volatility, trade wars, labor shortages and transportation and logistical interruptions has created much uncertainty for our Pharma and Biotech customers. Marathon understands that our customers cannot risk any disruptions to their critical research and development by not having access to the vital lab supplies that they require.

At Marathon, we strive to be the best possible partner for our customers which is why we have coupled our transition to US Manufacturing with the introduction of Marathon Pacer, your lab operation’s procurement partner.

What is Marathon Pacer?

As an organization within MarathonLS, Marathon Pacer is a strategic inventory management and lab operations program developed to provide our clients predictable supply in an unpredictable world. The Marathon Pacer team strives to develop strategic partnerships with laboratory operations professionals who share our vision for operational excellence and an uninterrupted supply chain.

Program Capabilities

Pacer is based on a Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) model where a Marathon specialist organizes, orders, and replenishes stock, while analyzing and reacting to usage trends to ensure optimal productivity within your lab.  It is a personalized service designed to ensure your lab does not skip a step in its race towards innovation.

The Pacer Process

Pacer is broken up into three phases; reset, optimize, and keep pace.

Upon initial engagement with Pacer, a Marathon specialist- Pacer Coordinator- will clear out discontinued and expired products and organize stock rooms and points of use. All products are then counted and tallied. The Pacer Coordinator collaborates with end users to see what products need to be replenished and which are not currently in use.

Based on data-driven trends, minimum and maximum inventory levels will be set using just in time (JIT) inventory management, so stockrooms are optimally stocked. Minimum and maximum levels will be agreed upon and refined over time based on your lab’s actual use.

The Pacer Coordinator continues to provide weekly inventory counts and will purchase and replenish on your behalf of both Marathon and non-Marathon products based on the set par levels. They will not only coordinate with lab end users on items that need to be added and removed from the common stock list, but also hold regular, unobtrusive meetings with department heads to anticipate usage and any evolving factors which may impact demand.

The diagram below outlines this process.

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Pacer Deliverables

Pacer does not stop inside the walls of your lab. When signing on for Pacer, you will also receive proper reporting to analyze the work and its success within your lab.  After 90 days onsite, you will receive an Operational Analysis Report detailing initial findings, risk mitigation, benefits and values, challenges and opportunities, our recommendations, a space analysis that includes a floor plan presenting where products can be found, and much more. This will also include appendices detailing historical inventory usage trends by item number.

The Bottom Line

MarathonLS is committed to providing predicable supply and in an unpredictable world as our goal is to eliminate the need for your lab managers and end users to spend time on inventory management activities. You will no longer have to navigate through crowded and disorganized storerooms so you can focus on core competencies and have in-stock products ready to be used without the fear of running out.

On the Horizon…

As Pacer grows and improves, we hope to develop it into a flawless, automated process and expand outside of the Boson area. Pacer coupled with our transition to US manufacturing will ensure a steady, reliable supply chain.

Is your lab ready for Pacer? Contact us today to learn more.


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