Supply chain management software: The choice of progressive companies

The global pandemic, labour shortages and rising freight rates forced companies to rethink their supply chain management approaches in 2021. Supply chain management (SCM) rose to the top as a way to cure at least some of these woes. Here are five ways the solutions offered by SCM can help companies negotiate the challenges they face today and in the years ahead. 

By BEUMER Group

1. SCM can manage the flow of goods, data and finances from raw material to final delivery

SCM encompasses enterprise resource planning (ERP), warehouse management (WMS), transportation management (TMS), global trade management (GTM), procurement and other applications. Working independently or together, these solutions help companies manage and automate their end-to-end supply chain activities.

Better solutions provide better visibility

Supply chain visibility—that ability to see where anything is at any time and from anywhere—is the end game for companies. They especially want to have that visibility early enough to take action if situations change. For example, a company may have received alerts that its imported cargo was entering a particularly busy ocean port on a certain day, but by the time it received that information it was already too late to back it up and move it somewhere else.

2. Investment in SCM can help mitigate customer frustration

Big investment funds are pumping money into logistics technology at a rapid pace, the Wall Street Journal reports. Supply chain delays and disruptions, delivery delays and product shortages have directly affected end customers. Nearly 87 percent of Americans say that they were negatively affected by supply chain  disruptions, according to an Oracle survey from September 2021, so investors are spending big on supply chain technology to help alleviate the frustration felt by everyone in the logistics equation.

3. SCM gives organisations a better view of their suppliers

About 50 percent of organisations have visibility into 90 percent of their tier one suppliers, but those percentages drop significantly for tier two, tier three and beyond. This means many companies out there are flying blind. Software providers are honing their solutions, adding new features and marketing them to an audience of shippers that are hungry to invest in and adopt solutions that give them a better view of who they are working with.

It is estimated that by 2025 at least half of supply chain operations will have a dedicated risk management function filled with the people, processes and technologies needed to effectively run their end-to-end supply chains and maintain competitiveness in their respective industries.

4. Stability in a disruptive environment

Some industries have suffered major disruptions and losses during the pandemic, but the SCM sector has largely remained strong and stable.

Software that incorporates predictive analytics, real-time data, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and other advanced technologies are in particularly high demand right now.

Companies need software that integrates with the rest of their business operations and offers visibility into all aspects of the business—be it transportation, warehousing, procurement or another function.

Companies are realising the importance of being analytical about what’s going on in the world, predicting what’s going to happen next and aligning themselves accordingly

Real time data helps with on-the-fly decision making

Companies need access to real-time data that can not only be used to make accurate predictions, but also factors in more than just basic data points and numbers. Organisations want to be able to incorporate voice calls, e-mails, purchase histories and other metrics into their data banks and use them for good decision-making.

5. SCM can help companies ditch the paper trail

Some companies are working to ditch their manual, spreadsheet and paper-based approaches to supply chain management in favour of more automated, technology-based systems. Vendors are answering the call and coming up with solutions that integrate well with other applications and that support a more centralised data management approach. New technology is being adopted with the goal of automating previously paper-based processes.

Companies once reluctant to adopt technology and automate processes—and that perhaps didn’t want to be seen as “taking away” jobs from individuals— are now changing course and moving in a more automated direction.

Conclusion

As supply chains grow ever more sophisticated, businesses need a solution for managing them. Meanwhile, manual tracking and management have become less efficient and prone to errors.

SCM software helps businesses overcome these kinds of issues with automation and easier access to data, improving customer retention and boosting profits.

From warehouse and supply management to shipping, monitoring, and customer service, SCM software has become a must-have for modern businesses seeking an edge over their competitors.

 

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