The global economy is linked together by the flow of products, information, and finances. For logistics and supply management companies, who operates with operations, planning, and sourcing, a solid management tool means really much. The purpose of such a tool is the maximizing customer value and achieving a sustainable competitive advantage in the most effective ways. It’s all about good transportation, warehousing, inventory, and logistics network design.
Nowadays a lot of businesses turn to the SCM solution. Some are building custom software from scratch, some are selecting the ready-made solution. In general, the following features should be taken into consideration:
- Order and Billing Management
There’s no secret that robust order and billing management is of the utmost concern to the supply chain. The supply chain management software solution should be able to create orders and bill clients from one centralized location, all from within the solution. Flexible order management capabilities are best, as they ensure that the solution can work with your unique order needs and are highly configurable.
Orders are how the business generates profits, so a flexible, built-in order management system is a must-have for any business.
- Logistics and Transportation Tools
Logistics and transportation tools ensure that the company transports materials and goods efficiently, all at the lowest possible cost. Tools of that kind provide the necessary resources to manage fuel costs and various ever-changing state and federal rules and regulations. To reduce overall operational costs and remove any kinks from the supply chain, these capabilities should be included within your chosen supply chain management solution. Dispatch management, appointment scheduling and yard management may all be included as part of the built-in logistics and transportation tools.
Transportation and logistics tools ensure that materials are shipped efficiently and cost-effectively.
- Inventory Management
For a smooth, efficient supply chain, the business must effectively manage inventory. Raw materials and supplies, finished goods and spare or additional parts must be stored properly, in the right quantities at the right time. Inventory management capabilities help optimize inventory levels to ensure that the company never has to deal with overstocking or understocking. Real-time tools let the business owner know where the inventory is at any given moment, and allow to operate it precisely.
Built-in inventory management ensures that the stock levels are optimized.
- Supplier collaboration
The right supplier collaboration tools can make for a very smooth supply chain. These tools allow suppliers, employees and customers to collaborate from disparate locations in real time, ensuring that every key player is involved in problems or issues as they occur. Many supply chain software solutions also provide a self-service portal where suppliers can access relevant information and submit requests, all directly through the company’s supply chain management solution.
Supplier collaboration functions keep suppliers, customers and other key players in the loop. Empowered partners always mean a smoother supply chain.
- Warehouse Management
Warehouse management tools allow to optimize warehouse stock and to increase warehouse accuracy and efficiency. These capabilities allow companies to process orders from multiple sources, ensuring that all needs are fulfilled in a timely, cost-effective manner. Since warehouse operations are an important aspect of your supply chain, choosing a solution that lacks built-in warehouse management solutions could complicate and hinder the overall supply chain process. Yet with warehouse management, the company can oversee receiving, putaway, replenishment and cross-docking.
The warehouse is an important part of overall supply chain. So business need to make sure that the supply chain management software manages all the necessary warehouse processes.
- End-to-End Visibility of Your Supply Chain in Real Time
Complete end-to-end visibility of the supply chain is a must-have capability of any supply chain management software solution. Employees of the company need immediate, real-time access to various aspects of the supply chain to ensure that there are no hiccups, bottlenecks, missing goods or unhappy customers. Real-time capabilities allow the business to react to changes in the supply chain as they arise, as well as access up-to-date analytics that can inform future decisions. This feature is incredibly useful for businesses of any size, though larger businesses must have real-time capabilities to stay afloat.
A supply chain can’t be managed without deep visibility into the end-to-end functions and processes. Real-time capabilities are a must-have for any business.
The optimized supply chain can increase customer satisfaction and vastly improve shop floor operations. Conversely, a poorly functioning supply chain can ruin relationships with suppliers and customers and will cause headaches in every aspect of business.
The key points to put attention to:
- costs effectiveness
- optimum utilization of resources — both the human and inventory
- efficiency and dependability on suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers
- strong planning and the ability to come up with contingency plans
Сhoosing a software that fits isn’t really simple and straightforward. When you’re looking for the suitable solution, then various needs should be taken into consideration. Solar Digital team can make a research of the complexities that your company might be facing, advise you on how to create the lasting and productive supplier relationships, and can build the custom software solution for your business.