Supply Chain has never been industry specific; our whole ecosystem is influenced by it!
A very innocent and simple example of supply chain management is mother feeding milk to her child. It involves detailed planning, beginning from procurement of milk (inventory), improvising as per the taste of the child (customization), deciding the mode of feeding (transportation) and finally reaching the child either in a feeding bottle or in a child friendly glass or bottle (last mile route optimization). The goal is child (customer) should be happy with the minimum cost involved.
Supply Chain Management essentially is a fleet of work necessary for processing an order from the moment it has been generated till the time it reaches the final destination. The work that comes under its gamut are inventory management, procurement of raw material, warehouse management, coordinating with the logistics department, fleet management and finally ensuring it reaches the final destination on time. Earlier, all this was manually accomplished and a logbook was managed by individual departments. It used to be isolated work involving repetition of entries, missing data, lacked proper coordination with the logistics department and many times failure in timely delivery of the goods. This majorly affected small businesses with less manpower to maintain data.
Technological Advancement in Supply Chain System
Supply Chain Management is a system comprising several smaller operations as receiving orders, locating stocks, if required manufacturing, reaching out to customers, logistics and delivery. To understand it in a better way, let us see how automation of departments is transforming logistics and altering profile with better RoI. Today, supply chain leaders are not intimated by multichannel sales order, they are ready to take up an order and deliver on time for better customer relation. Let’s see how…
• Inventory Management: With eCommerce on a roll, orders can generate from any quarter. An automated system instantly shares information on how much time will be needed to deliver the consignment and checks on its availability.
• Warehouse Management: With RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) locating nearest stock of SKUs for quick delivery is achievable.
• Tracking of Consignment: With Shipment Tracking Systems, both retailer and the customer are informed about the movement and the exact location. This regular sharing of information, keeps customers at peace and rests their fears, concerning timely delivery of goods.
• Route Optimization: Since there is a continuous exchange of information, Shipment Tracking System can conveniently identify diversion or delays ahead. This helps in advance planning, identifying alternative routes, coordinating with drivers, finding new routes and avoiding delays in delivery of consignment.
• Cargo and Fleet Management: Information is power and can save both time and money. With availability of data related with cargo movement, it is convenient to manage fleet.
• Saves Money: Unnecessary expenditure on logistics and transportation saves a lot of money.
Advantages in Logistics Management
In supply chain, logistics was always the weakest link as there was no way to track, monitor reasons for delay, hidden costs, about additional stops and driver behavior. An automated system brings data on a single dashboard, and it is updated instantly. There is no waiting as in case of manual entry. By embedding technology into supply chain management, a business can experience improved return on investment and can have control over the most challenging aspect – tracking transportation. Now it is not a challenge to make a judicious decision related with choice of transportation for last mile connectivity.
All this helps in building customer confidence as they are able to track their consignment with continuous updates through SMS. They know exactly how much time it is going to take. Supply Chain automation has opened avenues for eCommerce and has given a new direction to economy.