When running a business or organization, managing that intricate network known as the supply chain can be cumbersome and confusing. Knowing the fluctuations in prices and demand could give you an advantage, but you might not be able to do that with obsolete or underpowered software. That’s when you implement a supply chain management system.
Today, we’re going to look at these systems more closely, so you can learn what they are and why they are essential to your business.
What is Supply Chain Management (SCM)?
If you are running a business, warehouse, or distribution center, you are most likely aware of supply chain management (SCM); but you might only know one side of it. Supply chain management is more than the flow of goods to and from a business. It also includes processes and services that are needed to manufacture resources into products.
There are five parts of SCM that work together:
- Sources (raw materials and/or services)
- Return system (for unwanted or defective items)
Furthermore, SCM assists businesses, distribution centers, warehouses, and manufacturers in streamlining the processes so that every part of the supply chain can gain a competitive edge. In other words, supply chain management is what keeps your company from dealing with recalls—and away from lawsuits.
What is Supply Chain Management Software?
Looking at the supply chain, there is no denying that it is complex. Business and facilities labor in tandem to ensure that the products are ready for the consumer. Managing every single facet of that intricate network is next to impossible without help. You can select a supply chain management software or system to simplify tasks.
There are many kinds of software and systems out there, each offering a broad range of functions to plan out and fulfill every step of production. Another benefit of SCM software? The platform is often accessible throughout the supply chain, including:
This keeps everyone synchronized along the way. Whether you are selling services or products, using supply chain management software allows for better oversight along the entire supply chain. That way, you can reduce the overall cost while increasing customer satisfaction.
SCM Systems vs ERP Solutions
Wondering how SCM systems and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software compare? The main contrasting point is this: ERP systems are internally focused on combining administrative and back office tasks, whereas supply chain management software handles information about raw materials and items from external suppliers.
While you can purchase SCM and ERP software solutions separately, the better strategy is to get an ERP suite that includes supply chain capabilities. An example is SAP Business One, which was designed for small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The integrated SCM capabilities of SAP B1, partnered with manufacturing, warehouse, accounting, and customer relationship management modules, give you the advantage you need to get ahead.
Common Supply Chain Management Software Capabilities
What can you expect to find in traditional SCM software or the SCM module of SAP Business One? Here are some of the typical features and capabilities to expect:
Supply Chain Planning
- Scenario-based planning
- Supply forecasting
- Resource optimization
- Custom alerts and notifications to users along the supply chain
- Supply network coordination
- Capacity estimates
- In-depth cost analysis
- Expense logs and reports
- Supply market assessments
- Raw material sourcing
Orders and Sales
- Pricing configurations
- Product descriptions
- Fulfillment optimization
- Order tracking
- Return services
- Demand forecasting
- Customer analytics
- Sales and operation strategies
- Future inventory stock optimization
- Promotion and price tracking
Warehouse & Inventory Management
- Warehouse function automation
- Asset management
- Price forecasting
- Future inventory planning
- Monitoring stock in all warehouses within the supply network
- Inventory tracking with serial numbers, barcodes, and RFID
- Shipping and handling
- Labor management
- Shipping performance optimization
- Route planning
- Communication throughout delivery channels
Why Use SCM Software?
The last thing any business or organization wants is for the supply chain to be disrupted. There are some instances where it can’t be helped, but more often than not, planning for the future can prevent delays and keep your business moving. Supply chain management software generates valuable insight that helps you prepare for such situations.
For example, SAP Business One has real-time analytics that show the status of the entire supply chain throughout the day. You can then forecast what will happen and adapt.
After all, there is more to the supply chain than getting the order delivered on time. You want everything to be done correctly throughout the entire process, because that is a sure sign of productivity, efficiency, and reliability. Your business will run more smoothly when you start utilizing SCM software—and your customers will be much more satisfied.
Looking for Supply Chain Management Software?
What is supply chain management software? It’s an indispensable system that optimizes the entire supply chain, giving companies an advantage. If you ever wondered how you can decrease downtime, improve responsiveness, and increase customer satisfaction, you now have an answer. WiSys has SCM solutions, including SAP Business One, to upgrade your business. If you are ready to transform your supply chain and optimize your business, contact WiSys today.