Determining what to make requires sophisticated systems that that take into account customer needs, supplier capabilities and production capacity. Demand Planning & Forecasting systems allow companies to use the best available information to make intelligent decisions regarding production plans. Production Planning & Scheduling: For complex operations, it is a major effort to plan production given capital equipment, constraints and customer expectations.
Production Planning & Scheduling systems optimize the use of an organization's capital equipment, reduce work in progress, shorten lead times and make them more predictable, and reduce overall operating expenses. Warehouse & Inventory Management: No longer can simple databases track the locations of products within the distribution network - today's real-time enterprises require much more sophisticated capabilities.
Warehouse & Inventory Management applications allow an organization to not only identify the location and quantity of products, but provide network planning, multi-tiered supplier visibility and vendor-managed inventory (VMI) functionality as well. Transportation Management: Delivering a finished product to the end customer can be one of the most costly and complicated links in the supply chain.
Transportation Management solutions allow a company to make intelligent decisions that maximize transportation capacity utilization, create least cost shipment plans, optimize routes, incorporate expediting, and take into account various transportation modes, e. g. air, sea, and ground. Collaborative Planning, Replenishment, & Forecasting: Getting the most out of your supply chain is an exercise in coordination among a host of players - some of which reside within your organization and others who don't.
Collaborative Planning, Replenishment & Forecasting (CPFR) systems enable trading partners to maximize efficiencies through the alignment of cross-enterprise planning and execution processes - bringing the benefits of SCM systems to all players in the supply chain. Product Lifecycle Management: Engineering and design functions rely on effective collaboration in order to exceed time-to-market goals. Product Lifecycle Management solutions allow your organization to synchronize the activities of all contributors to the design cycle, in order to work through product releases, enhancements and extensions as quickly as possible.
Process: It includes all internal functions, logistics, distribution, sourcing, customer service, sales, manufacturing and accounting. It includes external companies. The series flows backward--from delivering each customer order each order as demanded back through the performance of suppliers to provide needed finished products, components, parts and assemblies. Focusing on sourcing the least cost producer of goods, focusing on factories locations and creating centralized inventories to ensure goods are delivered on demand. Determine whether to switch from push or pull based to a combination of both.
The customer service department needs to have open source systems where they can respond to questions from customers. They need to have functional expertise and skills. They need both a tactical view for everyday business and a strategic vision of where and how their function fits in the supply chain and how to make it better. Technology: Supply chain management is sometimes define, or incorrectly defined, in terms of technology. Process can be defined as technology, with an overemphasis on hardware and software, and not on the purpose of the process.
Investing in technology to forecast the inventory or the safety stock needed for regular business and uncertain times plays a huge role in managing inventory costs, ultimately in pricing of the goods. Inventory visibility improves customer service, decreases costs of sales, increases return on assets and performance metrics. Finally technology helps to evaluate the company inventory levels and inventory turnover rate to make sure that goods are available. Software like SAP can be integrated within the system. SAP is very efficient and effective and can simplify the procedures.
With the above measures in place, the corporation will remain competitive among its rivals. Supply chain success involves process, people and technology. It enables all participants to know what is required. This in turn provides agility to handle exceptions and to adapt to changes. Having those three elements is important to having metrics, ones that are useful across the organization. All three working together in the company provides coordinated, unified effort to use supply chain management as a driving force in customer satisfaction and in having competitive advantage, with service and productivity.