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Supply chain management is one of the core functions of a business. It begins with the sourcing of raw materials, manufacturing of finished products, and then delivering it to the right destination. It also includes building good relations with multiple vendors, creating automatic invoices, removing bottlenecks, and forecasting future trends to work at optimal speed. The following article discusses a 4-step approach to better supply chain management and how ERP software can help do that:
Consider a scenario when you come to know that your most trusted vendor has been charging you more for raw materials than other vendors in the market? Or they are unable to send you raw materials due to a natural calamity or other unavoidable causes? In both scenarios, you will bear a great loss. An ERP software, on the other hand, maintains a list of secondary vendors that you can depend upon in case your primary vendor is unreachable.
Picture a scene where you are manually placing an order with your vendor after your raw materials have depleted. This means that you will have to wait for the materials to reach your factory, only after which you will continue with your manufacturing operations. This is a bad supply chain management practice. An ERP software will automatically place an order for essential raw materials once the level goes below a certain threshold. This will ensure that you receive the raw materials on time and your supply chain continues smoothly.
Creating invoices is a challenging process if done manually. It takes into consideration a lot of factors including but not limited to cash receivable, cash payable, applicable taxes, goods shipped, discounts, etc. ERP software provides the facility of generating automatic invoices in a fast and speedy manner and without human errors.
The best supply chain management practices include removing bottlenecks that harm industrial competitiveness. Bottlenecks can occur at any point in the supply chain due to overstocked inventory, increased customer demand, the introduction of a new product, etc. This leads to the slow down of manufacturing speed, delays delivery, and creates hurdles in the gathering of raw materials. ERP software can help eliminate bottlenecks by improving product flow through accurate demand and forecasting.
Inventory management can be intimidating for an enterprise that has tons of products scattered across hundreds of different geographies. Further, it can be equally daunting to respond and analyse the frequently altering market conditions that influence inventory pricing. This is the reason a number of successful enterprises are increasingly turning to service parts management technology tools for improving their under-optimised supply chain.
Access to the right parts and at the right time is extremely critical for an organisation to boost up-time of the products it sells, think of construction equipment, medical equipment, trains, planes, etc., failing to maximize the up time of such revenue generating assets causes a manufacturer to lose money and customers.
Thus, pricing and inventory management software are witnessing a steep surge in demand to help enterprises enjoy optimum supply chain. Several businesses employ ERP software for effective supply chain visibility. Nevertheless, the burgeoning competition in supply chain is paving way for more advanced tech trends and tools. Here are four upcoming tech-based supply chain predictions:
Compared to other verticals, the supply chain industry has been a bit slow when it comes to embracing the cloud technology. Yes, some enterprises unfortunately still resort to old-school tools such as spreadsheets for service parts management. However, the need for agility is persuading such enterprises to move to cloud and thus, the increase in adoption of cloud technology in the recent years.
Cloud technology enables information sharing that can help with efficient workflows. Furthermore, cloud helps save costs for businesses that lack the necessary resources and budget to maintain on-site enterprise resource planning systems. Thus, supply chain players ought to embrace cloud technology in coming times.
Predictive analytics paves way for real-time decision-making and helps foresee both performance and strategy thus, enabling supply chain intelligence. Though its adoption rate is a bit slow, predictive analytics is expected to turn mainstream especially in the after-sales and supply chain domain. It is deemed to become an integral part of supply chain management, as the dependency on trend analysis and forecasting models shoots up.
Often perceived as a consumer luxury, wearables are fast catching up heat in the B2B segment as well. And as the technology is more inclined towards mobile than tablets/laptops and offers sensory functionalities that other technologies fail to offer, it can be distinctively optimised across supply chain domain. Wearable technology removes the barriers that often accompany handheld devices thus, paving way for seamless and efficient workflows.
Wearables will influence field service processes positively. For manufacturing enterprises, field service expert is the face of the company, who often interacts with customers. The kind of service they offer plays a pivotal role in customer retention/satisfaction and brand image. Businesses especially manufacturing organisations can empower their field service experts with wearable technology to help them respond faster to various customer queries and concerns.
Drones and driverless vehicles are two disruptive tech trends that are expected to take over the role of humans in the supply chain vertical. Going beyond the ‘home delivery’ thing, drones can be useful for several other purposes in the supply chain domain. For instance, they can monitor performance of remote operation facilities and plants delivering real-time information on maintenance and/or upgrades. Driverless automobiles on the other hand can offer safety advantages, as they can greatly reduce traffic related fatalities whilst providing real-time information on vehicle functionalities and deliveries.
Hurdles though still persist. Regulation, cost, functionality and design ought to be improved and well-defined for these predictions to be a reality. Long story short, enterprises who prefer to hold themselves aloof from the disruptive tech trends will be missing out the fun!
The above 4 points indicate how ERP software can help form a better supply chain management system and provide you a competitive edge in the industry. At Sage Software, we make this a reality. We provide world-class ERP software that will put down all your supply chain worries and help you build a company that will stand tall even in times of crisis. To know more about it, SMS SAGE to 56767. You can also write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: All the information, views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and their respective web sources and in no way reflect the principles, views or objectives of Sage Software Solutions (P) Ltd.