5 Key Aspects of Intelligent Supply Chain Management
Developing supply chain management that improves efficiency and profitability is a common difficulty for hundreds of thousands of companies. Many of the inherent problems come in the form of difficult communication, prediction failures, and lack of demand management, although these easily visible problems barely scratch the surface.
Few companies are able to switch from the day-to-day tactical fight that supply chain management involves to getting ahead of the curve.
But before we delve into how to get ahead, we’ll give a brief overview of what exactly supply chain management is.
What is Supply Chain Management?
Supply chain management integrates a number of elements, including operations management, logistics, procurement, and IT. By integrating these various elements, companies are able to manage the flow of their products and services, from the raw materials to the finished product, though the pipeline, and to their end client.
When a company is able to properly design, plan, implement, execute, control, and monitor their supply chain through interlinked systems, they can create value, increase their competitiveness, and attain more leverage.
Key Aspects of Supply Chain Management
- Demand Management
- Communication Management
- Partner Integration
- Prediction Analytics
The above key aspects of supply chain management are beyond the rather simplified approach of daily supply-and-demand tactics. They are targeted at improving standard approaches of supply chain management to get ahead of the curve.
1. Demand Management
Demand management isn’t solely about filling orders, it is about understanding and anticipating your clients needs based on prior analytics. Anticipating demands and understanding needs allows for better stocking while offering added value for the customers.
2. Communication Management
Communication in the supply chain system isn’t about pouring communication on top of the process, since that would be superfluous and slow everything down. Instead, it is about managing communications in an effective way that keeps all needed members informed without delaying the process. Proper communication management enables a company to be more agile and prepared for changes to the pipeline and market demands. Properly managed communication can also empower companies to release new products more effectively.
One example of intelligent communication management is the creation of a supplier-feedback loop. This feedback process, when executed properly and regularly, can ferret out business viability issues further down the pipeline, uncover supplier challenges, and identify new opportunities for growth and improvement.
3. Partner Integration
By integrating systems with suppliers and vendors you can more accurately predict fulfillment times, bring products to market more quickly, and possibly offer more competitive pricing to the end client. Despite having different and closed networks, companies can integrate their supply chain systems via open internet protocols, single-information networks, and collaborative tools.
4. Prediction Analytics
While supply chain management has always been a battle of slower fulfillment times versus predictive guesswork, new analytics have enabled us to intelligently predict fulfillment based on historical trends and market growth projections.
With a well-oiled supply chain management system, companies, especially those that have experienced organic growth, can better leverage their size to improve their profitability. These savings can be used to fuel added growth through more competitive pricing, or to grow the company. Leverage is a concept that needs to be re-evaluated regularly, based on growth patterns.
How to Get Results
You’ve already taken the first step by researching the topic. Next, give us a call or send us an email. Together, we can plan the right hardware and software implementation to step up your supply chain management efficiency.