November 28, 2023 | Supply Chain Software
It’s clear that supply chains today face unprecedented disruptions -- from natural disasters to geopolitical conflicts. However, the right supply chain management tools can enable resilience even amidst volatility.
As businesses equip themselves with solutions to navigate uncertainty, they seek systems that not only optimize current processes but also rapidly adapt to the challenges of tomorrow.
This article unravels five essential features to look for in supply chain technology that drive this needed agility, efficiency and resilience. From AI-enabled intelligent automation to cloud-based analytics to end-to-end visibility, we outline functionalities that allow your supply chain to excel despite turbulences. These technologies pave the way for strategic, insightful planning while error-proofing tactical execution. Equipped with these supply chain management capabilities, enterprises can accelerate their digital transformation.
As automation handles repetitive tasks, teams elevate their focus on innovation and strategy. External disruptions turn into catalysts for positive transformation rather than inhibitors of progress.
Leading supply chain tools seamlessly blend AI and robotic process automation (RPA) to revolutionize operational efficiency. By handling repetitive tasks, automation liberates procurement teams to focus on high-value strategic initiatives. This drives fundamental shifts in procurement's role.
A supply chain management tool’s RPA capabilities helps organizations optimize processes and realize major cost savings via improved accuracy, faster operations, near-zero errors and reduced labor needs.
For procurement, RPA smoothly automates transactional source-to-pay processes and simple bidding by applying system controls and defined rules. This brings sizable efficiency and cost benefits.
As per Everest Group research, RPA cuts procurement costs by 35-65% for onshore and 10-30% for offshore delivery operations.
In conjunction with AI, automation enables procurement's vital transformation from tactical roles toward driving enterprise strategy through value engineering, total cost modeling, risk management and supplier innovations. This future depends on freeing resources through next-gen supply chain automation to refocus efforts on high-ROI activities.
Also Read: Top Trends in Supply Chain Sustainability
Robust analytics ties internal data on spend, contracts, and supplier relationships with external supplier databases. This delivers procurement teams the on-demand visibility needed to guide decisions. Leading supply chain management tools provide actionable analytics including:
Dynamic reporting on spend, suppliers, contract compliance, and other metrics empowers independent analysis.
Forecast likely spend and pricing scenarios considering internal needs and external market forces.
Instant graphical views of key procurement KPIs enable real-time performance monitoring and decisive optimization.
Identify and mitigate supplier, price, geographic, and supply chain risks while detecting and countering vulnerabilities.
Analyze copious amounts of data to identify trends that offer meaningful insights. Procurement can better understand spending, supplier performance and external pricing trends.
Analytical tool that presents data according to different criteria. Procurement can examine spend information by supplier, geography and category.
With the right supply chain analytics, procurement gains comprehensive, timely insights to better manage costs, compliance, and resilience. Analytical capabilities raise procurement's strategic influence through data-driven strategy support and risk management.
Cloud-based supply chain software delivers flexibility, performance and security without integration headaches. Forget old SaaS models that exposed vendors' vulnerabilities. True cloud computing advances SaaS for robust, enterprise-grade capabilities.
Best-in-class supply chain management tools leverage world-class cloud infrastructure. Businesses get on-demand scalability to manage growing supply chain complexity, with regional data restrictions easily configured. Such tools are generally cloud-native, multi-tenant solutions that far surpass on-premise systems in value and accessibility without VPN bottlenecks. Moreover, sensitive data remains secure within the platform, eliminating emailed report leaks. Finally, suppliers can seamlessly collaborate in one portal from RFx to invoice, fostering partnerships.
A supply chain management tool can help with inventory and warehouse management in several ways:
These tools can provide real-time tracking of inventory levels across the supply chain. This gives managers better insight into what products are in stock, where they are located, and how long existing inventory will last.
The analytics and forecasting capabilities in the supply chain management tool can help plan and optimize inventory to match demand. This reduces carrying costs from excess inventory while minimizing stockouts.
Inventory and purchase order management can be automated based on preset reorder points. This ensures that components and products are reordered on time.
Supply chain management tools can create digital warehouse maps showing storage locations and layouts. This helps optimize space and placement strategies to improve picking and replenishment.
Tools improve the coordination of inbound and outbound shipments to facilitate efficient cross-docking, reducing the need for putting away and picking.
They can integrate with barcode scanners, sensors and IoT devices to automatically track goods through receiving, put-away, replenishment and shipping. This provides accurate, real-time inventory visibility.
Best-in-class supply chain management tools offer end-to-end, real-time visibility. Real-time access to critical information about the location, origin and destination of goods equips organizations to optimize their operations. The ability to detect and address disruptions promptly ensures an agile and resilient supply chain. Here’s how an advanced supply chain management tool offers visibility:
xSuch tools can scan large data sets to pinpoint potential problems in the supply chain. It calculates the business impact of these issues, empowering companies to prioritize alert types and develop strategies to mitigate anomalies.
These tools provide AI recommendations for data-driven actions to weigh business outcomes and inform strategic direction. The system considers context and histories to model potential impacts.
Cutting-edge supply chain management tools fuse automation, analytics and visibility to optimize efficiency, empower strategy, and future-proof resilience. With AI handling repetitive work, teams focus on innovation for continued success despite volatility. Robust analytics and modeling enable proactive planning and acceleration. Leading-edge solutions turn external disruptions into catalysts for growth by transforming technology from an enabler of function to an engine of adaptable strategies and operations necessary to drive continuous results.
Build supply chain resilience with GEP’s AI-first solutions.