Manufacturing and distribution lie at the heart of the global economy. Technology hasn’t just made it possible to build and ship products faster than ever before: In today’s world, speed, efficiency, and transparency are expected to be part of any logistics-related operation.
Whether it’s a locally built product or a complex piece of technology requiring resources from all over the world, it’s essential for any operation that manages the creation and distribution of products to understand and intelligently manage its supply chain. Coordinating raw materials, purchase orders, vendors, warehouse management, and distribution is an intricately complex task that demands accuracy and strategic planning. Supply chain management software makes these tasks possible, streamlining operations while finding opportunities to save on costs and other valuable resources.
This guide will provide you with information on the following topics:
Supply chain management (SCM) software helps manufacturers, logistics providers, distributors, suppliers, and retailers manage the flow of goods and services between locations as efficiently and as cost-effectively as possible. From the acquisition of raw materials to a finished product being delivered to a customer, SCM software makes it possible to plan, control, and execute the processes that make the manufacturing and distribution of finished goods a reality.
Taking a holistic approach to supply chain management, SCM software maximizes cost reduction opportunities in getting products provisioned from the vendor to the customer. Considering every possible strategic or business analysis possibility, SCM software enables organizations throughout the supply chain to make informed decisions about their network optimization, business partnership planning, and product lifecycle management.
|Requisition and approvals management||Automates the collection, approval, and fulfillment of requisitions. Often linked in with purchase order management, employees will be able to begin the process of getting the necessary goods and services to fulfill orders for customers.|
|Purchase order management||Allows you to issue orders for services and products. Tracks all key order info including: the vendor, purchase quantities, item or service purchased, delivery timeframes, payment terms, and costs.|
|Vendor management||Manage all levels of communication with vendors. Measure ship windows times, how quickly documents are submitted, how effective containers are utilized, accuracy of shipments, and double check quantity and quality of received products.|
|Demand planning||Utilize information from a point of sale, ship-to or warehouse data, social data, or the weather to get a better sense of demand. Set performance benchmarks, allocate resources, and optimize targets.|
|Sales forecasting||Anticipate sales levels to aid appropriate production processes. Looks at analytics such as what is in season, historical sales, product launch dates, and more.|
|Warehouse management||Provides powerful tools to design a warehouse’s workflow, control stock, generate bills and reports, and manage yards, docks, and labor.|
|Inventory control||Keeps track of all information about the items that your company builds, buys, stores or sells.|
|Product lifecycle management||Reduce cost on product launch and meet market demands to ensure the profitable years of the product are maximized.|
Supply chain management software simplifies the intricate and complex process of getting products from the supplier processed and to the customer. With SCM software, supply chain providers can gain insight and control over every aspect of the manufacturing and distribution process, including vendor management, demand planning and sales forecasting, inventory and warehouse control, and delivery optimization planning.
|Eliminating delays that cause decreased customer satisfaction||Increased visibility and control over the supply chain makes it possible to identify potential issues with inventory, distribution, and labor. By enabling supply chain providers to proactively respond to changes in real time, SCM software can prevent delays and ensure products are delivered when promised.|
|Identifying the vendors offering the most attractive rates||SCM software’s business intelligence capabilities can identify suppliers that offer the best prices for commodities or transportation.|
|Maintaining just-in-time inventory and reduce warehousing costs||SCM software maximizes warehouse efficiency by making just-in-time inventory management possible, ensuring goods are only received on an as-needed basis. Just-in-time inventory can greatly reduce waste and decrease the cost of unnecessary storage.|
|Avoiding shortages and backorders that contribute to lost business||Comprehensive tools for demand planning and collaboration among multiple suppliers and distributors can prevent shortages and backorders by maintaining an accurate view of product and supply levels.|
|Optimizing warehousing, requiring less space or fewer facilities||SCM software analyzes the movement of materials among warehouses and helps plan for current and future needs, enabling supply chain producers to free up space in warehouses or distribution centers.|
|Providing real-time updates to customers on order provisioning status||Live insights offering transparency throughout the fulfillment process is possible with SCM software, letting customers know the status of their purchase across the supply chain.|
|Utilizing historical data to feed future projections and forecasting||Business intelligence and trend analysis features make it possible to accurately manage and predict demand. SCM software enables supply chain providers to make data-informed decisions about inventory and sales, potentially saving on inventory and warehousing costs and maximizing opportunities for production.|
|Decreased turnaround time||Better supply chain visibility means the location of any given item can be tracked, enabling products to be built, shipped, and delivered as quickly and accurately as possible.|
|Reduced holds on the production line||SCM software helps coordinate and execute production and logistical operations, making it simpler to manage production lines and cut down on holdups or delays.|
The best SCM software for any supply chain partner depends entirely on the scope of your business. Selecting the right SCM software to meet your organization’s needs may depend on its size:
While many SCM software solutions exist, finding the best choice for your operation doesn’t necessarily mean selecting the most popular or most extensive solution. Be sure to take time and carefully assess the different features and capabilities of any SCM software you’re considering.
An example of one piece of popular SCM software is BMI Software, which provides fully integrated supply chain management solutions through the versatile Microsoft Dynamics platform. Available in the cloud or on-premises, BMI Software’s SCM solution is built to improve visibility across the supply chain network, reduce delays, and enhance collaboration among all supply chain partners. Implementing BMI’s SCM software can result in improved customer service and rendition, better forecasting accuracy, faster order fill times and rates, and improved warehouse pick/pack/ship operations.
Here are some of the most common trends SCM software providers have developed solutions for: