No business would exist without the supply chain – it’s the lifeblood of commerce. The many supply chain processes, from raw material sourcing to transportation management, used to be its own self-contained “module.” But, in today’s modern business environment, companies need to understand the entire supply chain from beginning to end, which is called supply chain visibility. How do you achieve supply chain visibility though? That’s where supply chain tracking software comes in (commonly referred to as supply chain management software).
Companies that digitize their supply chain management can optimize their business processes, gain more efficiencies, and reduce costs. Supply chain management software solutions can track inventory, manage warehouse workflows, and integrate with other software platforms, such as existing warehouse management systems (WMS), customer relationship management (CRM) tools, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.
What is Supply Chain Management (SCM) Software?
Supply chain management is an umbrella term that covers all processes that ensure the continued flow of materials or goods from providers and distributors to businesses that need those items, all while avoiding disruptions and maintaining profitability.
Supply chain management software is a computer program that automates and optimizes business processes. Supply chain software can help you streamline your inventory management, procurement, and order fulfillment processes.
SCM software is utilized by both large and small businesses to improve supplier relationships, optimize inventory, increase productivity, and reduce or eliminate downtime. Cloud-based supply chain management solutions deliver robust capabilities and real-time visibility into the entire supply chain, giving companies insight for better business planning, demand planning, and an overview of a product life cycle.
Some of the best cloud-based supply chain management solutions have dashboards, which can display key performance indicators and offer sophisticated analytics. Most supply chain management software is available on a subscription basis at relatively affordable monthly rates, with pricing that varies depending on the features that your business needs.
Supply Chain Management Software Features and Capabilities
Supply chain management software offers several benefits to businesses. It can make it easier for you to track the products on your shelves or in storage, manage orders from suppliers or customers, handle returns and exchanges at the point of sale or for online checkout, conduct audits for compliance with local laws (such as taxes), monitor employee time spent on various tasks related to supply chains (such as ordering), or create dashboards with KPIs so that team members know where they stand concerning performance goals and other metrics.
Supply chain management software can help small businesses do the following: improve supplier relationships, optimize inventory, increase productivity and reduce or eliminate downtime. It allows business owners to manage their inventory from one location and helps them stay organized and more efficient in their daily job functions.
SCM Dashboards and Metrics
Dashboards are becoming increasingly important in supply chain management software, and they can help you measure and track key performance indicators (KPIs). While the value of dashboards may not be immediately obvious—and perhaps even seem like a simple concept—they provide valuable insight into how well your business is doing. They allow you to track metrics that enable you to make better business decisions. For instance, if your sales team spends too much money on advertising but doesn’t see any results from the ads, then the dashboard will show this information so that you can adjust accordingly.
The same applies to other areas of your business, such as production or accounting; by monitoring metrics regularly through a dashboard interface, companies can ensure their operations run smoothly without having to manually manage every aspect themselves.
Benefits of Digitizing Your Supply Chain Management System
Companies that digitize their supply chain management are better able to optimize their business processes, gain more efficiencies, and reduce costs.
The benefits of digitizing your supply chain include (but aren’t limited to) the following:
Reduced Supply Chain Costs:
Digitizing your supply chain management helps you track costs associated with production and distribution, which means you’ll be able to see where costs are being incurred or wasted. This allows you to make changes that will improve efficiency and save money.
Improved Business Processes:
Digitization allows companies who utilize it in the right way to access real-time information about anything related to procurement, manufacturing, marketing, or sales at any time they want while still maintaining a constant eye on costs so they’re not overspending on inventory or raw materials.
Faster Delivery of Materials and Products:
Shippers benefit from more efficient routes to transfer material between facilities or to get finished products to retailers.
Order management allows businesses to keep track of invoices and orders fulfilled without resorting to hard copies. This is especially important for eCommerce retailers without storefronts.
Forecasting and Predictions:
The software uses algorithms for supply chain planning and demand forecasting to meet anticipated customer demand. This allows for inventory optimization and timely replenishment.
Cloud-Based Supply Chain Management Solutions
SCM software is typically a cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) application. Cloud-based solutions are far more scalable and can be used by multiple users without the need to buy additional licenses or implement on-premises infrastructure. This makes it easy to grow your business and expand into new territories, instead of having to purchase additional software licenses.
Cloud-based solutions are also typically easier to use than on-premises solutions because they don’t require any installation or maintenance and they’re accessible from anywhere with an internet connection.
Cloud-based supply chain management solutions deliver robust capabilities and real-time visibility into the entire supply chain. They help improve supplier relationships, optimize inventory, increase productivity, and reduce or eliminate downtime. With a cloud-based solution from SAP, you can easily integrate with your existing technology environment to enable all of these benefits without requiring costly up-front investments.
Research SCM Options
One of the biggest challenges in choosing a supply chain management software is that there are just too many options. If you’re a small business owner or manager, it can be difficult to know if it’s worth investing in a complicated and expensive SCM solution when all you really need is a way to track your inventory and warehousing. However, even if your organization is small, it may be useful to start with something simple like procurement or purchase order processing.
You don’t want to get bogged down in features that aren’t relevant right now; instead, focus on what will help directly improve your company’s efficiency today and tomorrow. The best supply chain management software usually includes a large suite of supply chain and management tools.
And don’t forget: as your business grows over time, SCM solutions can easily be updated with additional functionality without breaking the bank or obtaining new equipment. Don’t be afraid to ask vendors questions about how certain business intelligence capabilities work together – the more information they give upfront will help prevent any surprises down the road.
The Forefront of Supply Chain Management
At its core, supply chain optimization is about efficiency and transparency. It’s also a tool that can help businesses improve their customer service by getting products to customers faster and more reliably. Supply chain management software makes it easier for companies to track their inventory and manage shipments so they know exactly where everything is at all times.
Real Time Intelligence’s eP360 supply chain tracking software helps businesses track and manage their assets, real-time insight, monitoring, and best of all, integration with current ERP software. Contact Real Time Intelligence today!