Supply chain management is a topic that covers every move of goods from supplier to customer. It can involve acquisition of raw materials, transforming them into finished products, but also a simple case of reselling or rebranding of goods.
In order to manage even a relatively easy supply chain, departments such as logistics, purchasing, finance, and possibly production, marketing and research and development are involved.
As the companies and customer expectations grow, the supply chain needs to be managed with more efficiency, velocity and care for detail. This implies that the first thoughts of the supply chain manager are:
- How to reduce the delivery time to my end customer;
- How to optimize the stock in my warehouse;
- How to trace the shipping and goods effectively;
- How to manage the Quality Control in order to make it fast and efficient.
Being able to address these problems allows the company to gain a competitive advantage in the market and reduce costs of operations and thus increase its profit.
ERP as a tool for supply chain optimization
With the growing access to technology, a lot of answers to the above issues were already thought and tested. The use of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems comes on handy when one needs an integrated view on the whole company with a common database and possibility to analyse the bottle necks in the operational processes.
The use of such systems ensures the compliance with the international and proven business rules and give access to the functionalities such as warehouse management systems or verticalization for the advanced supply chain management. Among most proven functionalities in the sector one can find:
- Bar code reader integration that allows order entry, order fulfillment and even invoice creation using bar code scanners.
- RFID tags integration gives the opportunity to fully automate the warehouse operations reducing to minimum the manual operations on every step of the way.
- Picking and packing list is the additional step to the process wherein, by using bar codes or RFID tags, these guide users to where and what to pick and subsequently how to pack it.
- Material Resource Planning is a module of an ERP that is based on sales order, history of sales and product and suppliers' data such as lead time, help to calculate the needed stock and the time of its arrival. This gives the user the possibility to create purchase requests.
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Adoption of any of the above mentioned functionalities together with a constant improvement of internal sales, purchase and production processes will lead to cost cutting by reducing the stay of goods in the warehouse, reducing the manual operations and allows better tracking of the whole product path.
Take a step further and learn more about NetSuite, the World's Number One Cloud-based business management suite, with strong supply chain management capabilities in this product sheet.