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Supply Chain Software

It’s 2022, and there is software on the market for every situation—including software that meets the needs of supply chain management (SCM). If there’s anything the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, it’s the need to manage our supply chains carefully.
Supply chains are complicated and delicate. Any disruptions can cause far-reaching consequences for your business and customers. The best supply chain management tool is one that manages the supply chain as a service. Let’s explore the definition of SCM and some additional tools you should consider using.

What Is Supply Chain Management?

At its core, SCM is the process of managing the flow of goods and materials from suppliers to customers. This includes everything from the procurement of raw materials to the delivery of finished products. In other words, it’s the art and science of getting the right product to the right customer at the right time—while minimizing cost and maximizing value.

There are three key elements to successful SCM:

  1. Integration: All parts of the supply chain must work together smoothly and efficiently.
  2. Visibility: You need to be able to see what’s happening at every stage of the process so you can identify potential problems and correct them quickly.
  3. Collaboration: Everyone involved in the supply chain, from suppliers to customers, must be able to work together effectively.

The goal of SCM is to improve the efficiency of the entire process, so goods and materials flow smoothly from supplier to customer with minimal waste and delay. SCM is commonly confused with supply chain logistics, but they’re two different things. You can read our recent post on what supply chain logistics is for a better understanding.

What Is the Best SCM Software?

There are many different SCM software solutions on the market, so it can be difficult to figure out which one is right for your business. To make things easier for yourself, you should choose a tool that covers all of the key elements of good SCM (integration, visibility, and collaboration).

This is where a supply chain service management (SCSM) tool comes in. The idea behind SCSM is that any element of the supply chain outside a single transaction system should be managed as a process. For example, say that you’re facing a late shipment. Traditionally, you would wake up in the morning and use your phone to get important daily updates. You learn about the late shipment and struggle to identify the people responsible for solving the issue and how they should go about fixing it.

With an SCSM tool, all of this would be automated. Your tool would be integrated with your transportation management system, and as soon as it detects a late shipment, it will trigger an incident report with all the relevant information about the issue. The tool will also alert the relevant people about the incident (the logistics and supply chain team in this case), ensuring swift resolution and uninterrupted supply.

In other words, an SCSM tool allows you to generate automated workflows that can be followed to their completion. This reduces the time it takes to identify supply chain problems, which gives your team ample time to resolve any issues. These tools can also spot trends and patterns as time passes, providing you with helpful insights that you can use to prevent common problems in the future.

What Other Supply Chain Software Should I Use?

In addition to an SCSM tool, you should also consider investing in other supply chain solutions such as lean inventory, supplier management, and security tools.

Lean Inventory Tools

Lean production refers to a production methodology that focuses on the minimization of waste. In other words, it’s the art of doing more with less. This philosophy can be applied to inventory management as well–by keeping only the minimum amount of inventory on hand, you can minimize waste and save money.

Lean inventory tools utilize sales data to forecast future demand and keep only the necessary amount of inventory on hand. This not only reduces waste, but also ensures that you always have the right products in stock so you never have to turn away a customer.

Supplier Management Tools

A good supplier is critical to a successful supply chain–after all, they’re the ones supplying you with the raw materials you need to produce your products. Supplier management tools create digital profiles of all your suppliers and rate them on key metrics. This can help you determine which suppliers are the most reliable and cost-effective so that you can focus on building relationships with them.

Security Tools

These tools protect your supply chain-related data. This makes them extremely important in today’s world of cyber crime and online vulnerabilities, so make sure you invest in a good security tool to ensure your supply chain continues running smoothly.

David Blonski

David Blonski

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