A supply chain is the network of trading partners companies work with to ensure their brand products reach their customers like producers, suppliers, warehouse lessors, logistics service providers, owners of distribution centers, and retailers. They specialize in providing services ranging from acquiring materials for the corporations to delivering their final products to customers. This enables them to accelerate their production cycles and minimize their operating costs to improve profit margins.
Integrated Supply Chain Solutions – What problems do companies face in optimizing supply chains?
Companies generally need to optimize their supply chain operations to meet their customers’ demands and expectations. It helps them to outperform their competitors and go on to dominate the market. However, the issues these enterprises face to trying to accomplish their primary objectives are:
- Rising fuel and labor costs to procure essential raw materials,
- Lack of proper inventory control leading to unnecessary material wastage,
- Reluctance to participate in common risk-taking and profit-sharing among the trading partners,
- Inability to maintain proper quality control during the manufacture of the final products, and
- Poor coordination, communications, and cohesion between trading partners.
They even have to deal with the complexities of selling brand products across multiply sales channels. In this situation, these enterprises consider using cloud-based integrated supply chain solutions to digitalize supply chain operations.
Integrated supply chain refers to an enterprise resource planning (ERP) management approach to streamline supply chain operations. The process involves these companies using suitable EDI-ERP compatible software solutions to maintain complete control of all supply chain activities. They are material procurement, production, quality control, finance, marketing, packaging, distribution, and final product delivery. Their trading partners then have to upgrade their IT infrastructure to integrate the software solutions into their systems. Then, there can be seamless data connectivity throughout the entire supply chain.
How do these solutions resolve issues?
The implementation of cloud-based integrated supply chain solutions allows companies to overcome issues affecting their multiple sales channels by:
- Synchronizing order and inventory status to match customers’ demands,
- Optimizing inventory leads to prevent overstocking and stock-outs.
- Ensuring end-to-end visibility on product availability and resource allocation, and order fulfillment,
- Adjusting customer order processing with warehouse management via EDI,
- Generating weekly, monthly, or yearly customer sales report summaries to improve planning, and
- Measuring overall, sale channel-wise and product-wise profitability for better decision-making.
The advantages of operating cloud-based integrated supply chain software solutions for companies are as follows:
- Promotes better collaboration between the trading partners constituting their supply chain,
- Improves decision making by ensuring greater data visibility across the multiple sale channels,
- Boost sales and revenue by exceeding customers’ expectations on order fulfillment, and
- Enhances overall operational efficiency within the supply chain
Installing and operating cloud-based integrated supply chain solutions allows companies to gain a competitive edge in the market. However, the service provider they select to provide and manage these solutions should have a good reputation in the market. This corporate vendor’s solutions should be compatible with the enterprise’s IT infrastructure and meet their requirements. Above all, the price structure of this service provider should be within the corporations’ budgetary allocations.