Supply chain management has traditionally been an incredibly niche area of business operations. Logistics firms were needed, and large numbers of additional staff were required every time a large order came in. The increase in eCommerce and online sales and current cloud technology has enabled a new way of doing things, and a modern, strategically managed supply chain must be able to improve your business rather than causing increased business risk and financial losses.
Electronically managed supply chains
The Cloud and available software allow any business to be able to have sector-specific and the most suitable online packages to manage their supply chain specifics. The entire supply chain, from ordering supplies to the distribution of finished products, can and must be done electronically. Modern business solutions such as software as a service (SaaS) and the current logistics and supply chain infrastructure available means that businesses of all sizes can do this, and it will prove an efficient means of controlling, managing, and reporting on your supply chain.
Integrated and holistic
As soon as one component of the supply chain has gone online and is managed electronically, as a strategic decision, you need the rest of your supply chain processes to follow. Then they need to be able to communicate with one another to ensure a seamless flow of goods and services across the business. Your supply chain must be integrated. Your suppliers must be able to know what your production schedule is and what you need when. Rather than having to constantly manually communicate these needs, they can be related directly across your online channels in the cloud, so to speak.
Improved tracking and easier product identification throughout the supply chain is a strategic response to issues such as counterfeiting and theft and will enhance efficiencies. The better those supplies, products, and inventory are recorded and labeled, the easier it will be to track and record them. Authentication, date coder, and bar-coding machines need to be able to be read throughout the supply chain and especially at the distribution points.
The most important aspect of a strategic response to supply chain management is the speed at which it functions. Customer and client needs change constantly, and as such, the supply chain processes need to be responsive and immediate. Small producers who do not hold large quantities of raw materials or stock need a fast turnaround for orders, and needs need to be communicated in real-time. In fact, current developments in artificial intelligence and automated responses will mean that all of the above can be anticipated and planned for.
As long as the business supply chain is electronic and data is stored and recorded, big data and the access to analytics through cloud computing make the anticipation and strategic planning around supply chains a much simpler process.
If your business is going to compete, you need to be using the best technology and the best methodologies, a tight, professionally managed integrated supply chain is essential in these efforts. The tips in this article will ensure that your business supply chain functions as a means to grow and develop your business.
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