Supply chain management has taken a major hit from external factors in recent years.
Any manufacturer worth their salt will tell you the combined effects of Brexit, COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine War have exerted significant pressures on supply chains in particular.
This is hard to dispute, but what if the solution was looking you in the face and the pathway to more stable and efficient supply chains was already within reach?
Because of Industry 4.0, and technological advancements within ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), supply chain management is becoming more efficient than ever before, and could be smartest way to navigate current supply chain challenges.
Here are just some of the ways that investing in ERP could transform your supply chain management processes.
Interconnected supply chain management
For many manufacturers the supply chain is a series of discrete processes, involving manual tasks that take a product from marketing and development to manufacturing and distribution, eventually landing in the hands of the customer.
However, modern ERP software is capable of connecting your business processes, creating a digitized supply chain network that shares data and is transparent to all stakeholders involved.
This interconnectivity means that planning across departments (and companies) can finally be joined up, meaning communications and expectations are always accurate and that logistics are kept up-to-date and visible to all.
These improved supply chain management systems are proving more resilient and more flexible than the outdated processes that preceded them.
Supply chain analytics
One of the key developments with Industry 4.0 has been the digitization of information and the potential of data analytics that is finally being unlocked.
Now a company can analysis data from all areas of their business and respond effectively.
Rather than relying on gut-feeling, you can take the subjectivity away from decision-making, use hard facts to inform each move you make.
Data can help you anticipate demand and plan effectively. Freeing up working capital that was tied up on shelves due to lack of demand unreliable supply chains.
Ultimately, data analytics can be harnessed to not only respond to supply chain challenges, but to anticipate and avoid them altogether.
Automated supply chains
Many manufacturers will be familiar with supply chain management delays due to human error.
Perhaps your supplier forgot to process a request or said they had done something when the reality was quite different.
ERP software now reduces the chance of human error delaying your business activities.
Instead of manual tasks that can be easily missed, ERP systems automate these processes, sending automatic notifications if a deadline is approaching, and processing order forms and purchase orders at the click of a bottom.
Automated processes means that each step in the supply chain is simplified and optimized, reducing the risk of errors and freeing staff up from the burden of manual tasks that can be handled by your ERP system instead.
Interested in learning how Epicor ERP can make your supply chain management system more efficient? Click here to speak to a CBO consultant.