Is Your Supply Chain at the Forefront of your Business Model or Hidden in the Back?

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We all have our priorities, our own agenda that we use to succeed.  Business managers tend to focus on specific aspects of operations that they deem the most important in leading the business toward success.  Where does your supply chain rate – at the forefront of business operations or tucked away in the back?

According to “Everybody get on the bus,” posted on by Art van Bodegraven and Kenneth B. Ackerman, it may be wise to consider a corporate model in which supply chain management is at the forefront.  "[T]here seems to be overwhelming consensus that supply chain management is the natural facilitator of corporate sales and operations planning efforts, with enormous impacts on manufacturing, sourcing and procurement, financial performance, and all of the traditional supply chain, logistics, and distribution functions," they write.

Supply chain once played second fiddle to other business functions.  The procurement department, warehouse, and sales teams often maintained their own sets of priorities.  Working independently created delays with data sharing and misinterpretation of data, which caused mistakes and missed opportunities.  Thanks to today’s technology, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and warehouse management system (WMS) software, not only can you integrate each of these important business functions, you can make each of these priorities stronger and more efficient.

ERP brings all of your critical business operations together in a single software solution.  Integrating all of your top priority functions will provide greater control and visibility to individual operations, as well as provide a big-picture of your business as a whole.  Add to that a powerful WMS, and you’ll increase the efficiency of your supply chain even more.  Manage incoming inventory and where it ends up in the warehouse, even during stock rotations and bin transfers.  Optimize productivity by putting items where they belong during light-manufacturing or assembly operations and track items when left-over parts are put back on the shelves.  Tighter control on inventory will ensure that you aren’t replenishing when items aren’t needed.  In addition, efficient pick, pack, and ship operations will boost labor productivity and get your products to customers more efficiently.

If you have put your supply chain on the back burner, it might be time to bring it to the front.  Evaluating how supply chain operations interplay with other core business functions could reveal ways to save money, improve labor productivity, as well as provide unsurpassed customer service.  Contact Appolis for additional information about how the right technology can bring supply chain operations to the forefront of your business model, where it can do the most good.

By Appolis, a Microsoft Dynamics ISV providing Warehouse Management Solutions

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