6 Key Features of Supply Chain Management Software

Jan, 2021 - by CMI

6 Key Features of Supply Chain Management Software

Supply chain management (SCM) software is a robust piece of technology. It is rich in different features, all aimed at enhancing operations from the very beginning to the end, from the point of origin of your product or service to its delivery to your customers.  It's a powerful organizational tool without which modern business supply chain management wouldn't be possible. Firstly, it enables companies to track their operations in real-time. Moreover, it allows for far greater efficiency due to the automation of processes. Finally, it leads to improved supply chain management that significantly impacts the company's overall functioning, resource usage, customer experience, and ultimately, profit. This article will deal with six key features of supply chain management software necessary for leading a company to its successful future. 

  1. Inventory management

This tool immensely improves how a company can track and manage available raw materials, components necessary for production, stocked finished goods, and spare parts. Consequently, it allows a company to eliminate or minimize waste and excess, freeing up valuable space, thus, minimizing related storage costs.

The issue of unused inventory lying around is easily solved with an SCM system, as it can be tagged using Barcode, RFID, and QR code based systems. So, the centralized SCM system allows tracking the position, location, and status of inventory in real-time. Moreover, the company can check the inventory quantity, track damaged or missing items, all using a mobile phone or a tablet, thanks to the QR code-based system.

With all that information available instantaneously, companies can optimize procurement by making the right decisions to meet the demand for goods.

  1. Order management

Operation managers, accounting, and other departments should have an integrated system for procurement. Also, they should be able to track orders, expenses, and billings. This is where supply chain management software steps in. It connects everyone, allowing for easier billing and order management. Furthermore, it organizes and catalogs items, products, or services. 

Due to the fact that it helps companies generate and track sales orders more efficiently, SCM software can dramatically speed up the execution of the complete order-to-delivery cycle. It automates purchase processes that entail generating and tracking orders, scheduling deliveries, pricing, and creating product configurations.

  1. Planning and forecasting

Another one of the key features of supply chain management software is planning and forecasting. It means that an SCM system anticipates customer demand, and based on its forecast, plans procurement and production processes. This feature helps eliminate the purchasing of unnecessary raw materials and accumulating excess finished goods. As a result, storage and production costs decrease. 

What is more, supply chain planning is critical for the company's success. The way your business builds products or services for the customers plays a vital role in its success. Demand forecasting provides valuable analytical data that your business can use to improve the way you build and deliver products or services to clients. This is possible because SCM systems can map customer orders from previous periods. 

  1. Product manufacturing

Similar to planning and forecasting, supply chain management system can help a company manufacture its products better. Mapping customer demand with the current manufacturing process closes any existing gaps. The software can create orders, monitor the manufacturing process, and charge customers from one centralized location. With the customers' location and preferences in (digital) mind, the SCM system can configure the process to meet all the specific needs. Ultimately, the entire manufacturing and delivery processes become more customer-oriented. 

A broader software solution encompassing supply chain management tools that can be of tremendous help to the company's success and boosting customer satisfaction is CRM. And there are different ways CRM can be useful to you. As its name suggests, it is a Customer Relationship Management software aimed at improving your business's customer experience. It connects everyone in the company allowing them immediate access to all customer information, including previous orders, leading to greater efficacy and efficiency.

  1. Logistics

As companies grow, their supply chains become increasingly more complicated, and help with logistics is imperative. Therefore, an SCM system is an absolute necessity for coordinating transportation channels and numerous warehouses. Also, it will allow companies to improve their delivery performance. As a result, they will increase their customer satisfaction significantly. Moreover, the company will allow for complete visibility of how their products are stored and distributed. The number of facilities and partners included in the organization becomes irrelevant for the unimpeded functioning. 

  1. Return management

An SCM system helps accelerate and simplify the inspection and handling of damaged or faulty goods, both on the business's buy and sell sides. It also automates the processing of refund and insurance claims with suppliers and distributors.

The importance of supply chain management software

There are various types of supply chain management software. Some are independent applications or programs, while others are a part of a more extensive solution. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) are two of the broader supply chain management solutions. 

The software ensures a continuous flow of stock, so there are no unnecessary interruptions in deliveries. This also makes sure that the production process is uninterrupted indefinitely. Moreover, it allows for maintaining good relationships with suppliers. As we have seen, the software allows for reduced costs in the procurement process and chooses the optimal supplier. In other words, it enables companies to procure the best quality stock at the lowest possible price. With the monitored production, procurement, and demand, excess, and waste are eliminated or minimized, and storage costs decrease. All that combined gives companies the possibility to reduce their prices.

All in all, the right solution will maximize cost-efficiency, boost productivity, and increase your company's bottom line. It will help your business achieve and maintain a competitive edge due to enhanced operations from the beginning to the end. With a wide range of robust features of supply chain management software that integrates different modules and applications, companies can significantly improve their supply chain management.