Examples of SCM software I discuss in this article will help you make better business decision, as companies strive to achieve the greatest revenue product quality and customer satisfaction.
The endgame is to deliver products in the Right Quantities, to the Right Locations, at the Right Times.
In its simplest form, Supply Chain Management Software is a digital solution. Its task is to help decision-makers coordinate flows of goods and services.
Unlike traditional supply chain management methods, this software could unite all key players. This means effective communication between Suppliers, Manufacturers, Transporters, Warehouses, Retailers, and Customers.
But how does such a software excel at bringing results to companies?
Truth told – the possibilities are endless, and still expanding. I will explain the rationale behind this software. Then, I’ll be taking you through a host of next-generation innovations.
The importance of SCM software
An effective supply chain is necessary for the survival of the business. That’s why companies now pay special attention to benefits of SCM software.
According to AMR, the SCM Software as a Service (SaaS) market will magnify to 9.4 billion. Custom software is an equally important growth area.
The sought-after outcome by companies is to minimise costs. All the while, they must ensure the required level of customer service. This requires careful consideration of several parameters and data to achieve this goal. This is particularly when processing up to thousands of Stock Keeping Units (SKUs).
There’s a difference in the cost of maintaining a 90% predetermined service level, as opposed to 99%.
When customising a stock supply system, the customer outlined their desired service level. This was the case for different product categories. I found that companies need to place greater emphasis on servicing ‘AA’ items. These are high revenue-generating or in-demand goods. For these items, service levels should meet 99%. This is as opposed to low-revenue and low-demand products.
At the end of the day, the desired result is to minimise capital tie-up in stock and the cost of ordering goods. Meanwhile, they must ensure enough inventory to service daily customer demand.
In all, SCM software can realise a variety of outcomes for businesses. The greatest merit is automation. In the case of a vast majority of Stock-Keeping Units (SKUs), automation is an ideal solution. In some scenarios, that can apply to 80% of all items!
Types of products available
Think of any name in software, and chances are, that company provides it. SCMS providers include the SoftwareHut, E2open, IBM Watson, Oracle E-Business Suite, and SAP.
Examples of SCM Software In-Action
By having an insight into the future, you can have a valuable stake in it.
Example: Demand Forecasting Solution
A predictive analytics-powered solution entails designing reliable and clearly-presented demand forecasts for management. As such, this product would be critical for planning activity.
This software also excels in providing early-warnings. Notable examples include unusual demand patterns or sudden demand spikes.
Supply Network Planning
Evaluating one’s performance is difficult, despite the digital age.
Example: Supplier Management
Management can gain insight into supplier behaviour through historical qualitative and quantitative analysis. The software would then assess times, dates, delivery quantities, and temperatures. These relevant metrics can also affect the optimal replenishment quantities.
Users can execute supplier performance analysis and their effects on the ‘bigger picture’. Management can then determine specific activity contributing to or interrupting the supply chain.
Supply gluts can be a logistical nightmare, accumulating warehousing and/or disposal expenditure.
Example: Lean Inventory Tools
Through digitalisation, management can calculate possible obstacles to attaining profitability. It provides early insight into high inventory levels, allowing for prompt action. This in-turn helps mitigate poor delivery performance, low yield, and excessive waste.
With interdependent components, a lack of proper synchronisation renders segments vulnerable and exposed.
Example: Scheduling Solutions
A range of automation can help update and optimise schedules among links in the supply chain. This includes batching management and comprehensive sequencing of execution schedules. This ensures cost-effective planning and desired service levels.
Sourcing, Procurement, Inventory, and Supplier Management
Manual processes are breeding grounds of human error, misused time, amongst other misfortunes.
Example: Order Processing Tools
At its core, this eliminates the need for manual order placement. Using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), managers can automate time-consuming ordering process features.
Example: ERP System Add-On
This alternative shies away from developing from-scratch Supply Chain Management. Instead, users can enable Power Apps and Software Query Language (SQL). This would then combine with Microsoft Dynamics.
For example, a PowerApp that’s operational alongside Microsoft Dynamics. Such a system also has the potential to utilise Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Likewise, this could count stock items using a mobile device camera. Furthermore, it would advise on reorders of related goods through demand analysis.
The organisation and handling in the supply chain can determine product quality outcome. Performance thus affects company performance and reputation.
Example: Specialised Freight Handling
SCM can verify the goods’ condition throughout the supply chain journey. For instance, this software can prove perishable food items travelled in refrigerated conditions.
Example: Shipping Status Tools
This software ensures logistical efficiency by providing alerts and real-time updates. The result is resource utilisation and cost reduction.
Supply Chain Review
Understanding the bigger picture could empower management to undertake crucial SCM decisions.
Example: Supply Chain Analytics and Reports
Managers can view the supply chain in its entirety. This way they enjoy an unprecedented insight into even the most extensive processes. Information displays through the likes of reports, charts, and dashboards. Authorised users such as customers can also enjoy full process visibility.
Endless Potential of SCM Solutions
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
Or so the saying goes.
Each element within a supply chain has the potential to affect its counterpart. In this case, digitisation is the key to a flawless supply chain. Through intertwining and strengthening links with SCM software, this expression may no-longer apply. At least, not in most cases, as the risks of breaking the entire system will disappear.
Through automation and instant analytics, managers can now make real-time decisions. This safeguards their desired level of service and curtails any runaway expenditures.
With this said, I hope that through your understanding of SCM, you’ll gain a scope of the possibilities. Finally, you can now understand which questions to ask your next software provider.
The key to your success is in digitisation. And with SCM, that success will deliver on-time, on-budget, and on-point.