Expert Advice for High-Growth Businesses

6 Parts You Need to Rock a Complete End-to-End Supply Chain

Christiane Soto
Marketing Manager - SMB

Effective supply chain management (SCM) can be a significant competitive differentiator for most small-to-medium businesses (SMBs). If managed correctly, your supply chain processes can boost customer satisfaction, reduce operating costs, and improve your company’s financial position. But what functionality does an “effective supply chain” need to support to provide all these benefits? It all comes down to six things.

1.Product Design Support

No one will dispute that innovation is central to growth and is a priority for most SMBs today.  However, profitable innovation requires synergy across many different departments. If there is no alignment between strategy and execution, innovation (and the products/services it spawns) dies on the vine. The right SCM Cloud provides organizational alignment and complete visibility into the strategic, financial, and product data needed to invest in the components to create the most profitable products. That is not all. Having end-to-end visibility across the entire supply chain means that products get to market faster at acceptable levels of cost and risk. Couple this with the tools needed to monitor market acceptance will improve future decision-making so you can continuously improve innovation and profitability.

2. Order Management 

Speed is the ultimate competitive advantage. So capturing and fulfilling orders better than the competition is essential to boosting customer lifetime value (CLV). To do so requires the ability to accurately track potential issues and act proactively before the supply chain is impacted. As your company grows across borders and time zones, this becomes much more difficult. Why? Because your customers do not care about your logistical issues. They expect to be able to order from anywhere, at any time and track their orders (from beginning to end)—so it’s no longer just your employees who have to know where things are.

3.  Planning

Supply chain planning relies on two things―the ability to calculate demand and to accurately balance it against available supply. If you are using a variety of different solutions across the supply chain that don’t share data and don’t communicate with each other, what should be simple calculations become estimates (at best). And estimates are just guesses filled with errors. With the right integrated SCM Cloud, you can plan at the speed of demand, swiftly adapting to changing needs thanks to real-time visibility into your key performance indicators (KPIs) and performance analytics.

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4.  Procurement

One of the primary roles of procurement is to obtain goods and services in response to internal needs. Therefore, controlling procurement cost is a critical challenge for growing companies. In fact, 74 percent of those in charge of procurement say that cost reduction is their main priority, making it a great place for your growing company to start the push towards great value and profitability. But with so many variables in risk, cost, regulatory compliance, and sustainability it can be tough to measure procurement costs accurately and manage risk. The right procurement cloud provides the automation, analytics, and social collaboration to streamline the source-to-pay process, control costs, and increase cash flow.

5.  Manufacturing

To optimize the manufacturing process, you need:

  1. complete, accurate, and up-to-date data on supply and demand

  2. the ability to manage master data and work orders

  3. an understanding of the real cost of your overall operations.

But this can be all but impossible when those operations are managed in siloed systems, linked together by manual processes. Data can be hard to locate and even harder to trust. When manufacturing systems are not integrated to planning systems (and the majority are not), there is no visibility. The right SCM Cloud has full integration between planning and manufacturing for accurate data sharing, and it will be able to support the new technologies that are revolutionizing manufacturing, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain.

6.  Delivery

Logistics managers face many challenges, including new market entrants, workforce recruitment and retention issues, demanding customers, increasingly complex regulatory demands, and the impact of emerging technologies (i.e. drone delivery, self-driving vehicles). Moving your transportation and global trade management to the cloud provides improved efficiency, lower costs, and no more compliance issues. It is one of the simplest ways to manage one of the most complicated aspects of your growing business. And with a single data model, you can see all your important transportation and trade information at any time, from any device.

To learn how SMBs are moving supply chain to the cloud, read our new ebook.



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