Digital transformation is no longer a luxury in supply chains – it is a must to ensure that your supply chain operates and scales efficiently to meet your customers’ business goals and keep rising costs at bay.
In other words, how you’ve done business in the past may fall wayside to how you must do business in the future in order to stay competitive.
Technology has evolved to help manufacturers, retailers, and suppliers participate in the globalization of modern supply chains, while improving transparency and insight throughout the entire process, from sourcing materials to warehousing and transporting to customers. Intelligence that these tech enabled supply chain solutions offer bring multiple opportunities for improved collaboration, system optimization, significant cost savings, and reallocation of resources to better serve your customers.
Embracing technology also makes sense in the e-commerce environment, where seamless integration of the online transaction process with your backend inventory is a crucial aspect to ensuring your tech enabled supply chain keeps customers happy.
With the new generations of supply chain technology available, we’ve identified 6 key elements that any end-to-end tech enabled supply chain solution should absolutely include:
- Optimization Tool For Routing And Network Design: With rising costs and the organic growth in size and complexity of modern supply chains, intelligent routing and network design is required to make key decisions in transport mode selection, optimal route selection, and choosing the right carriers for each shipment. Optimization tools can help you make the most efficient and cost-effective choices to maximize the most efficient use of your transportation network, cutting delivery times, costs, and indecision.
- Warehouse Management Systems (WMS): WMS software helps manage processes that allow you to control and oversee warehouse operations for your products from the time they arrive at the warehouse until they ship out again. This advanced technology helps you design the warehouse for optimized inventory allocation that maximizes storage space, and helps you customize different workflow processes such as receiving and storage, picking and packing, and inventory tracking so goods can be quickly found when they need to be moved. Reporting features give you a detailed look into how your warehouse is operating so you can easily identify key performance indicators and areas for improvement.
- Transportation Management System (TMS): A quality TMS gives you end-to-end visibility into every aspect of the transport process. Use the TMS load optimization function to intelligently arrange packages and pallets on vehicles to use carrier space more efficiently. Once your goods leave the warehouse, advanced track and trace functionality enables you to see your freight’s precise location at any given time, and sends instant notifications to alert your system of any shipping delays along the way. Real-time business intelligence covering every aspect of loading, transport, and delivery allows for ongoing system improvement and cost optimization from within your tech enabled supply chain.
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP): ERPs help you stay competitive by integrating material planning, transactions, and many other critical functions into one cohesive system that improves collaboration and eliminates system fragmentation. With the ability to manage multiple vendors, track inventory and orders, and coordinate resources from several vendors in different locations, ERPs give you a competitive advantage to meet your product demand with a streamlined, optimized system that reduces costs.
- Freight Audit and Payment module (FA&P): This important tech enabled supply chain element eliminates confusion over processing countless carrier invoices that are all tied to different contracts and rates. FA&P modules increase profitability by reducing the inefficiencies and time spent manually validating shipments, reviewing terms and conditions, calculating costs, and processing payments. You also get better visibility into costs to help you make informed business decisions.
- Reporting and Key Performance Indicator (KPI) tool: Modern companies run on data, but the most successful companies understand which data to focus on to mitigate risks, optimize systems, and develop tactical strategies. Data improves visibility into your supply chain, and gives sharper insights into your unique key performance indicators, whether you focus on service, product, or operational efficiencies. A reporting and KPI tool within your supply chain solution can offer real-time information on how the various parts of your system are performing, giving you a solid foundation for business growth and system optimization.
One of the most important aspects of any tech enabled supply chain is that each of these capabilities integrate seamlessly to provide you with one, easy-to-use solution. Real-time intelligence should be available right at your fingertips from every aspect of your supply chain, giving you complete inventory, delivery, and information control when you need it.
You need visibility to manage your supply chain, because if you can’t see it, you can’t fix it.
If you’re interested in learning how Cedric Millar can significantly transform your current supply chain into a more sustainable, flexible model, we’d love to chat with you. Just contact us at 1-888-998-1009 or via email at email@example.com anytime for a no-obligation discussion.