5 Essential Supply Chain Management Tools

10/7/19 10:30 AM

Without utilizing proper tools for your supply chain, it becomes rather difficult to ensure that you are eradicating the margin of error within your organization. As companies such as Amazon are continuing to raise the bar, it is important that smaller companies step up their game in terms of efficiency and optimization within their overall operation.

5 Essential Supply Chain Management ToolsAny simple mistake could cost a business thousands of dollars and ultimately enable their competitors to get ahead. Fortunately, there are tools and techniques that can be implemented into your supply chain that can ensure that you reduce errors and cost while also optimizing the entire supply chain. Within this blog, we are going to discuss the four essential supply chain management tools that can be utilized to aid your organization. 

Four Essential Supply Chain Management Tools

Utilizing these tools within an organization are key when attempting to boost operational efficiency. The four essential supply chain management tools within an organization include the following: 

  • Alerts and Updates - One of the increasingly popular supply chain management tools includes the shipping status tool. Shipping status tools include update and real-time alerts that provide timely information on any shipping activities within their organization. Larger companies have high-volume supply chains with many various different types of cargo being shipped to customer around the country or around the world. While these factors will allow for growth, they also leave your supply chain vulnerable to more errors. Real-time visibility and updates will keep you updated as soon as the shipment leaves the facility. This allows you or other stakeholders to ultimately take action before small issues can become substantially larger. Furthermore, these alerts can be seen on a mobile device and alert you the second that it happens. Utilizing this tool will always keep you informed and up-to-date on your supply chain at all times. 
  • Order Processing Tools - Order processing tools are also an extremely important tool for any supply chain. SCM software prices the tools that are needed to ensure that this task is made easier and more efficient. An order processing tool supports all functions across order processing such as sales order processing, order management, order fulfillment, billing, and order to cash. These supply chain optimization tools can automate the activities involved in order processing using EDI and other various similar technologies to capture order data. 
  • Lean Inventory Tools - Lean inventory tools have become rather prominent within modern manufacturing. Lean production is a concept that has been utilized regularly since the 1940s, with Toyota being the creator of it and Henry Ford’s JIT being a factor as well. This idea is that companies create only what is needed at the moment and is determined by current and projected customer demand. Before lean manufacturing, companies would have warehouses with large amounts of inventory and surpluses of goods. This ultimately results in massive inefficiencies, wasted time, and wasted effort. Lean inventory tools have completely changed this form of production and have made it much more efficient. 
  • Demand Forecasting - Using analytics, today’s SCM software is capable of processing huge amount of supply chain data in a fraction of the time it would take a team of analysts. Not only does analytics provide insight into past practices, but it can also create forecasts to predict future demand. Based on trends from the past, using supply chain forecasting tools aid with anticipating customer demand. This will provide essential information to make crucial decisions pertaining to production planning, labor management, and supply relations in order to meet demand. 

Understanding and utilizing these tools within your supply chain can allow you to step up your game against competitors and ultimately take your supply chain to the next level. One of the most prominent softwares that enable you to utilize these tools is PlanetTogether’s Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software. Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software enables individuals to be able to have insight into their overall supply chain process and locate areas that are in need of efficiency optimization. It provides a visual representation of your production process and manipulate areas that are falling behind. Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software is an absolute necessity for manufacturing facilities that are seeking to maintain a competitive edge within their industry and ensure that they continue to optimize production. 

Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software 

Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software has become a must for modern-day manufacturing operations due to customer demand for increased product mix and fast delivery combined with downward cost pressures. APS can be quickly integrated with a ERP/MRP software to fill gaps where these system lack planning and scheduling flexibility and accuracy. Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) helps planners save time while providing greater agility in updating ever-changing priorities, production schedules, and inventory plans.

  • Create optimized schedules balancing production efficiency and delivery performance
  • Maximize output on bottleneck resources to increase revenue
  • Synchronize supply with demand to reduce inventories
  • Provide company-wide visibility to capacity
  • Enable scenario data-driven decision making

Implementation of Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software will take your manufacturing operations to the next level of production efficiency, taking advantage of the operational data you already have in your ERP.

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