What is a supply chain management system?

In a nutshell, a supply chain management system is the software your company employs to manage the flow of goods, data, and resources associated with any product or service you sell, from raw material procurement to final delivery.

A supply chain is a network of organisations and facilities collaborating to turn raw materials into finished, customer-ready goods. Therefore, a supply chain management system is a multi-organisational solution that oversees these activities from start to finish.

While there are several types of supply chain management software, each focusing on a specific function, there are also comprehensive supply chain management systems that assist businesses in managing several supply chain processes, including:

  • Procurement
  • Planning
  • Product creation
  • Order completion
  • Order tracking
  • Order management

These tasks are not limited to in-house teams since the supply chain management system is accessible throughout the supply chain, including all stakeholders like:

  • Suppliers
  • Manufacturers
  • Wholesalers
  • Transporters
  • Logistics managers
  • Retailers

This ensures everyone can see the product as it moves through the manufacturing process. Subsequently, companies that gain better control over these processes can speed up delivery, improve the customer experience, and reduce supply chain costs.

In addition, supply chain management systems are available in many ERP systems.

A modern supply chain management strategy

In addition to being faster, the modern supply chain must be agile. Historically, customer-brand relationships were relatively straightforward and one-way. However, customers can now interact with and purchase from businesses in various ways, in-store and online. They also expect personalisation at every step.

These expectations are growing beyond the realm of marketing and into the realm of production. Customers expect targeted advertising and the ability to control their checkout options, delivery timelines, and pickup locations. As a result, brands that can meet these demands will be rewarded with repeat purchases and ongoing loyalty. A rigid supply chain management system that can’t conform to these expectations will fail to keep up. Prioritising fluidity can also help businesses work around common issues that could slow production, like sourcing and regulatory compliance. The ability to change parameters as needed is critical, and newer SCM technologies enable this.

The daily fluctuations of today’s enterprise environment can make on-premises legacy systems difficult to adjust. For example, if an unexpected sourcing issue arises, a custom-coded application may not have the bandwidth to modify parameters and adapt accordingly. On the other hand, a cloud-based supply chain management system can enable quick changes. This is because the cloud is naturally more adaptable to change and is not constrained by the restrictions imposed by traditional in-house solutions. In addition, the cloud is a better deployment option for new and innovative technologies changing the supply chain management system landscape.

However, migrating and retrofitting your existing systems to the cloud can be time-consuming and costly. So, instead of a full-scale migration, many businesses are embracing supply chain management systems that allow them to leverage their existing assets while incorporating elements of cloud-based supply chain management systems to meet their current and future needs.

It has always been critical for businesses to have real-time access to their supply chain. However, increasing customer demands and regulatory requirements have transformed traceability from a desirable feature to a requirement. Fortunately, this function can be enabled by intelligent supply chain management systems, and the most effective ones integrate those tools directly into your supply chain process.

Cutting-edge supply chain management systems operate as end-to-end, cloud-based product suites that uncover every aspect of the supply chain, resulting in 100% visibility that leaves nothing hidden or to chance. As a result, companies implementing these technologies are better positioned to meet customer demands, shorten product lifecycles, and remain agile in market fluctuations.

Contact Winfreight to find out more

For more information about our supply chain management systems, visit Winfreight today. Alternatively, get in touch with a representative from Winfreight today.