Why choose supply chain management ERP software? ERP software links data throughout the company, whereas SCM systems focus on the activities that directly impact your supply chain. Not only that, but today’s ERP solutions include many of the features of a stand-alone SCM software. And for growing small and mid-size businesses, simplicity is usually better – the less you have to manage overall, the better.
In the last 2 years, small to mid-size distributors and producers have prioritized building a resilient supply chain. We witnessed numerous changes during COVID-19, including a rise in demand and product shortages. These events prompted firms to become more flexible and broaden their supplier networks to not rely on a few suppliers to fulfill orders.
How are other distributors and producers making it work? According to research, ERP software is a significant element of the strategy — searches for ERP software have increased 278% compared to the first quarter of 2020!
What is Supply Chain Management ERP Software?
Supply chain management ERP software is concerned with the operations and relationships necessary to predict, plan, execute, and monitor the product movement through the supply chain, starting with raw components and ending with delivering the completed product to customers. This covers demand planning, sourcing, production, delivery, and logistics.
Although dedicated SCM ERP software can manage data produced by these procedures, it is not always worth it for smaller firms. Supply chain management, or SCM, is a functional area of your company that comes with the most modern ERP systems.
What are the problems that supply chain management faces?
These are the three key areas in which supply chain management may face difficulties:
1. Forecasting and Demand Planning:
The goal of forecasting is to estimate future demand for a product or service. This data is then utilized in conjunction with supply plans to guarantee that the required quantity of product is available. Inaccurate forecasts can lead to lost sales, over-and-under stocking, and stock-outs.
2. Sourcing Products and Materials:
The sourcing of products and materials can be a complex process. It involves finding the right supplier who can meet your specific requirements while also supplying you with enough volume at the right price. It is essential to understand what is available in the market and supply chain and identify your supply base.
3. Managing the Production Process:
The production process is another area that can prove challenging for supply chain managers, as it includes coordination of all functions needed to produce a product or deliver a service. This will consist of scheduling work orders, processing inventory transactions, performing quality checks, etc.
ERP software role in Supply Chain Management
Let’s look at some of the roles that ERP software can perform in your SCM workflow now. It’s important to understand these elements to choose a system that provides the features you need.
Demand and Planning:
One of the main supply chain processes is forecasting and demand planning, which can be done separately or in tandem. In either case, supply chain managers need an ERP that provides this functionality so they have a detailed view of all relevant data – from sales forecasts to supply levels to production plans.
Supply Base Management
Another vital supply chain process is managing your supply base by identifying potential suppliers for each product you sell based on quality standards, pricing negotiations required, lead times needed, etc. An updated list should be available at any time with complete information about supplier contact details and other relevant data (such as delivery schedules).
One supply chain process where you can expect strong support from your ERP software is production scheduling. This includes creating and managing work orders, tracking inventory levels, scheduling resources, and generating reports.
Supply chain management ERP software can also be used to manage supplier information, including contact details and product specifications. It is common to have access to complete purchase orders through this system.
Manufacturing Execution System (MES)
Many ERP systems are expanding their functionality by integrating MES modules with supply chain management features so you can improve visibility within your manufacturing process. This includes tracking goods in/out of the facility or production status updates from each work cell or machine operator.
The benefits of using an integrated shipping module should not need much explanation – it’s always better to have supply chain management features in the same system as shipping functions. This will allow better visibility over shipments, automatic tracking updates, and more accurate inventory counts between systems.
The Advantages of Using ERP Software in a Supply Chain Management Plan
In terms of providing you with critical information on Supply Chain Management, the Enterprise Resource Planning system may be beneficial. It aids in monitoring from A to Z of the business functions. This can help your firm operate more efficiently. It helps to maximize the worth of your services for consumers. Businesses can plan their strategies and implement them to increase revenue. The following are ten advantages of ERP software in supply chain management:
Managing Demand and Procurement Efficiently:
EPM provides the ability to connect customers and suppliers for more-effective collaboration, resulting in increased sales. When orders have received The automation of demand planning with ERP allows you to create demand and the program schedules it. Team members can view real-time usage statistics for their production resources and better organize manufacturing projects and product delivery. Warehouse inventory management, transportation of materials, and other supply chain activities may be automated or optimized to enhance efficiency to cut costs and boost profits.
Complete Visibility of Process Flow:
One of the most crucial selling points for any ERP system is that it provides complete access to all operations in the business, allowing for improved traceability. It’s done by making the data for each process available to users. It results in faster completion of activities, allowing timeliness and tracking accuracy. The user-friendly design makes it simple to follow the process flows.
Supply chain ERP modules-update in real-time, so users know exactly what is happening with their orders at all times. This includes shipping, procurement, production, inventory levels, and financials. You can also see the status of an order or shipment. Having this level of detail means that you can manage your supply chains far more effectively by being proactive rather than reactive.
Reduced Cycle Times for Planning and Execution:
Shortened cycle times are essential to success in today’s business world; they’re necessary to better customer service while maximizing profits. An ERP system supports faster decision-making and helps reduce the elapsed time from when an idea is conceived until it’s actually implemented. That may include supply chain planning, production scheduling, and quality control. This allows your supply chain management to be more effective at all levels while also reducing costs across the board.
Integration of Functions:
An ERP system provides a single source for supply chain operations. There is no duplication of effort or wasted searching through multiple databases when you need information from several areas to complete a process. In addition, an integrated supply base increases opportunities for flexibility where collaboration with suppliers can reduce costs and improve productivity throughout the supply network. You have access to current inventory status and forecasts that allow you to manage demand-supply relationships better. The integration may occur between different departments such as finance, sales, and warehouse/distribution without relying on external software.
Reduced Waste and Improved Efficiency:
When you connect a supply chain ERP Software module to your warehouse management system, inventory accuracy and waste reduction improve. A lower number of safety stocks is required, and customer service levels will also improve since stock shortages have been alleviated. The variety of metrics presented allows you to evaluate your performance and make adjustments as needed. The process is streamlined, resulting in a more efficient supply chain with fewer resources to achieve the same or superior outcomes.
Seamless Integration with External Systems:
Most ERP systems offer interface integration with other software packages to share data between them. That allows you to have a more global view of your business and its operations instead of just looking at things from a supply chain perspective. Many supply chains are now global, so it’s essential to have all the data you need readily available to make effective supply chain decisions that consider other factors such as exchange rates or trade barriers.
Almost all ERP systems now can be used in a cloud-based environment. This provides many advantages such as scalability, which means that the system can grow or shrink as needed, and faster implementation times. There are fewer expenses associated with maintaining the software, and you always have access to the most recent version. Furthermore, data is safer when it’s on the cloud.
Supply Chain Management ERP solutions help to ensure that your data is secure. Protecting the confidentiality and integrity of information in a supply chain management context requires strong security measures, especially when protecting intellectual property or other commercially sensitive data from being compromised by unauthorized personnel who have access to the system through authorized users. An adequately designed ERP supply chain module allows you to set permissions for individual users. So they only see the information they need to see at any given time, reducing instances of fraud or error due to simply knowing too much about things.
Better supplier relationships:
A Supply chain Management software module allows you better to manage your supplier relationships and existing supply base. The result is greater collaboration, allowing for identifying new procedures and the improvement of existing ones, which leads to more significant cost savings throughout the supply network. In addition, working together with suppliers on an equal footing helps build trust between them, leading to even greater efficiencies in production where all players have shared responsibility for quality control from the start until it ends at customer delivery.
Supply chain management ERP software can provide your business with a competitive edge by optimizing the flow of materials and improving supply chain visibility. By reducing inventory costs and manufacturing cycle times, you can improve your profitability while delighting customers with superior service levels. Don’t fall behind the pack when it comes to supply chain management; go with ERP software immediately!