Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is all the rage for all areas of running a business. However, some parts of your business will benefit more than others, particularly when it comes to supply chain management.
Manually managing your supply chain requires an obscene amount of coordination. And even if you handle it brilliantly, mistakes are bound to happen. That’s where supply chain management ERP software can be a lifesaver.
The fundamental goal of supply chain management software is to optimize the processes in your supply chain to generate more profit and reduce costs. Ideally, you should be able to reduce lead times and increase customer service levels.
If that doesn’t convince you right off the bat, read on to see why the right ERP can revolutionize your supply chain!
What is Supply Chain Management Software?
Supply chain management software (SCMS) is a comprehensive category of software that helps companies manage the steps in the supply chain cycle, from procuring raw materials to delivering finished products to customers.
Supply chain management is essential for any company because it involves designing and monitoring how a business brings its products to market via the supply chain. At the most basic level, a supply chain is the process of moving goods from one location to another to satisfy customer demand. This process includes procurement, production, storage, and distribution.
Keeping track of all the moving parts involved in a company’s supply chain requires a lot of careful attention. That’s why having supply chain management software on hand is critical for companies that rely on their supply chain for fulfillment.
What are the Benefits of Supply Chain Management Software?
SCMS helps to improve the efficiency of managing a company’s supply chain. It provides visibility into what is happening in each part of the company’s operation. Additionally, SCMS can identify where delays occur and automate tasks that employees previously had to handle manually.
Here are three of the most popular benefits that SCMS offers businesses.
- Save company money by reducing costs: The automation that SCMS brings to the table means fewer employees waste their time on grunt work. This way, you can create a smaller team that only works in the parts of the business that need human oversight or the human touch.
- Improve customer satisfaction: Businesses that constantly flub one part or another of their supply chain will lose the trust of their customers. Consistency and transparency are both hugely important when it comes to making happy, repeat customers.
- Minimize risk of inaccuracies: Another way of annoying customers is having an inaccurate warehouse. Nothing is worse than making a sale only to discover you can’t make good. You also decrease waste by always having a bead on your current inventory.
All these factors combine to mean increased profits for your business, along with less labor overall.
What are the Components of a Successful SCM Tool?
Like most things, all SCM software is not created equal. However, this can work in your favor.
While a few functionalities are stock and standard, you can find more niche functions in specific software platforms. These will depend on your company’s size, what industry you work in, and what your supply chain looks like.
You can shop around and find the program that best fits your needs without paying for anything extra.
These are some examples of features of SCM software:
- Managing transportation networks
- Production planning and scheduling
- Warehousing operations
- Order processing
- Customer service
- Inventory management
Things to Think About
You’ll want to consider other things as you choose an SCM tool.
You want to find a system that needs the least number of drastic changes to your current system. No matter how valuable a tool is, if it’s a total overhaul from your current system, there’s going to be a rough transition.
Another thing to have in the back of your mind when you’re browsing SCM software is its scalability. Hopefully, your business won’t stay the same size forever, so you want to choose with an eye to the future. Maybe you don’t need a feature now, but how easy will it be to add it on when you do?
How to Integrate your ERP System with the SCM Tool in 5 Steps
Unless your ERP has an integrated SCM like Odoo, you’re going to have to combine the two. The most significant benefit of an ERP is the control and visibility of all parts of the company it provides. So not having your supply chain managed in the same place defeats the purpose.
The five steps to integration are:
- Develop an integration plan
- Test the functionality
- Set up the data flow
- Configure security
- Maintain the data flow
The integration plan should cover all aspects of integrating an ERP system with an SCM tool. It should include information about what needs to be integrated, how it can be integrated, and who is responsible for each step.
Planning ahead and carefully testing each step of the way will ensure your system doesn’t go down at any point.
Of course, the easiest thing to do is simply choose an ERP that has supply chain functionality so you can skip the headache of trying to integrate two separate systems.
There has never been a better time to get software for supply chain management! The wide selection can be intimidating, but you’ll see increases in productivity, customer satisfaction, and profits in the long run. So really, what are you waiting for?
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