January 03, 2024 | Supply Chain Software
If constant disruptions describe your typical day in supply chain operations, you’re not alone. Many organizations still rely on disjointed tools and manual efforts that invite frustration rather than fuel strategic progress.
At the same time, patching legacy systems is no longer sufficient to meet intensifying customer expectations and market volatility. Supply chain leaders must aim higher to transform their supply chain execution tools through purposeful technology adoption.
The first step lies in truly understanding what supply chain execution software enables, why it holds the key to driving much-needed change and how to select systems poised to deliver success long-term.
Supply chain execution software encompasses the distribution, warehouse, transportation and inventory management systems powering logistics operations. The strongest solutions move beyond basic visibility to provide pinpoint inventory tracking, order monitoring, dynamic routing, yard management and analytics. Rather than operating in silos, modules integrate for end-to-end optimization based on real-world constraints.
By coordinating the people, assets and activities driving product flow, supply chain execution software aims to significantly boost throughput, productivity and service levels. Leaders gain the ability to orchestrate daily logistics smarter and faster based on real-time priorities. Rather than reacting to constant change and volatility, you can seize control through supply chain execution capabilities purpose-built for your environment.
Core supply chain execution software should provide robust, configurable inventory and warehouse management tools. This includes seamless integrations with supply chain partners to enable inventory visibility and optimization across networks. Leaders gain the ability to set and adjust a variety of inventory policies and controls to balance service level tradeoffs. Alerts also trigger when stock falls to defined thresholds so teams can take appropriate actions.
Rather than coordinating activities manually in silos, supply chain execution software synchronizes warehouse workflows holistically based on priorities.
End-to-end logistics visibility is a pivotal capability for supply chain execution solutions. Supply chain managers should have access to integrated visibility spanning inventory, orders, shipments, vehicles and other supply chain events. This requires connecting related data feeds, sensors and systems together on an ongoing basis.
Modern supply chain software platforms can then analyze the aggregated data to provide role-based visibility and configurable metrics aligned to business goals. Alerts and exceptions further focus user attention on addressing issues proactively.
While visibility provides crucial inputs, control tower capabilities enable supply chain leaders to act on insights decisively. Control towers leverage optimization algorithms and machine learning to assess alternative scenarios and impacts in real time. Leaders can adjust policies, resources, routes and workflows to adapt to constraints and volatility through “what-if” analysis.
Control towers aim to provide recommendations, end-to-end visibility and collaboration features for driving agile decision making across integrated supply chain networks.
Manual paperwork, disjointed tracking, limited visibility and reactionary decisions prevent supply chains from innovating and thriving. Supply chain execution software delivers five essential capabilities for upgrading logistics maturity:
1. Optimized workflows to maximize productivity and throughput
2. Enhanced scalability and speed when onboarding new facilities or regions
3. Real-time inventory visibility driving proactive decisions and issue resolution
4. Unified data and analytics illuminating hidden improvement opportunities
5. Adaptability in coordinating priorities amidst constant change
Together these strengths enable you to deliver customer orders profitably, create capacity amidst constraints, pivot faster to meet evolving market needs and structure data-driven business cases for innovation investment.
With proven ROI on the table, many leaders still struggle identifying and implementing solutions positioned to thrive long-term. Follow these guidelines during your software selection process:
Ensure the system helps you to coordinate and adapt workflows rather than simply tracking people and products end-to-end.
Look for a flexible system that addresses unique constraints across facilities rather than a rigid “one-size-fits-all” option.
Model solution scenarios against live operations data.
Scrutinize how easy it is to integrate the solution with existing IT infrastructure to prevent future issues.
Demand user-friendly options requiring minimal training for frontline workers.
While revamping supply chain execution capabilities requires investment, the journey promises healthier bottom lines, satisfied customers and newfound strategic influence for supply chain leaders bold enough to venture forward. Arm yourself with the right technology partner so you can focus on possibilities rather than problems.