Smooth supply chain management is foundational to any successful business. Effective supply-chain execution impacts everything from distribution efficiency, to the quality of your products, to the very relationship you have with your trading partners.
The supply chain is an integral part of your business activity, and it’s gone through major changes as modern technology has transformed workflows to create greater efficiency.
Digitized supply chain management has completely changed the face of business by creating increased visibility into processes and allowing for accountability and tracking along the way. Today, the end-goal of supply chain management is to create situational awareness within the system. Each step of the process should be driven by context, allowing you to make the best possible decision quickly.
By digitizing your supply chain, you increase efficiency, reduce operational cost and ultimately improve the experience of your trading partners – all these improvements should lead to exponential revenue growth.
Understanding the Basics of Supply Chain
Most businesses use a standardized process to deliver products to customers. Here’s the process in a nutshell – Companies analyze buyer demand and materials are ordered to satisfy the predicted demand. When done correctly, there should be very little gap between the prediction and the actual sales.
Traditional workflows lack insight into the supply chain, and the mishaps that are bound to happen can grow into big, expensive problems.
While forecasting isn’t exactly a science, thanks to advancements in technology, predictions are getting more accurate every day. Digitizing your supply chain goes a long way towards the goal of accurate prediction.
EDI is the Perfect Supply Chain Solution
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is a way to electronically exchange information, business documents, and other data between business partners. There are a multitude of benefits to using EDI, including increased communication between vendors and business partners and enhanced privacy protection.
EDI is standard among companies as a method to keep supply chains running smoothly, many companies even require all their vendors to use EDI.
Electronic data exchange is not only better for the environment but it’s also faster and cheaper than sending documents manually. EDI even speeds up business cycles and gets ordered fulfilled quicker, meaning you get paid faster. Consistent operations only happen with a digitized supply chain.
Implement a Lean, Mean Warehouse Management Solution (WMS)
It can be difficult to find a cost-effective warehouse management system, but the truth is many WMS’s have a bunch of features you don’t need, resulting in a hefty price tag.
Look for a simple interface with only the features you need to digitize your supply chain; this gets you all the functionality you need at a price that makes sense. BOLD Van developed a Distribution Enablement System (DES) to meet the demand for leaner warehouse management software that integrates with existing ERP’s (or other business systems), is easy to use, and is easy on the budget.
Integration is Vital
It might sound complex but integrating your digital supply chain systems will make your life a whole lot easier. Your EDI should integrate seamlessly with your ERP or other business systems, ideally via API. This type of integration increases functionality exponentially and allows for your business to grow and scale.
If your supply chain is going to be nimble and produce business results, integration is worth the cost. Just be sure you don’t get gauged by an EDI provider that slams you with hidden fees. In fact, EDI-in-the-cloud should save you money.
The Foundation for Transformation
The “supply chain ecosystem” is a phrase we hear a lot when talking about digitizing. This is referring to the holistic transformation that has to happen in an organization to fully digitize an entire supply chain. Thankfully, you don’t have to do all of the work at one time, and software in the cloud has made these processes smoother than ever.
Implementing an EDI solution is a great initial step to digitizing your supply chain while also providing major business benefit. Essentially, with a minimal cost, you’ll step into the world if digital supply chain management and recoup your investment in business growth.
If that’s not enough, the Stanford Global Supply Chain Management Forum states that most companies saved at least 40% in processing costs for electronic versus manual documents.
If you’re ready to start digitizing your supply chain, improve processes, and save money schedule a demo with us today.