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Supply Chain Management

23 Aug

Depending on the type of product or service you provide, Supply Chain Management can be a complex job.  There are few companies that are lucky enough to be self-sufficient.  Most businesses rely on suppliers and outsourcing for at least part of their business, producing a delicate supply chain which can quickly fall apart if something disturbs any piece of it.  Supply Chain Management Software (SCMS) is designed to make monitoring and managing supply chain transactions easier.

There are several things that SCMS can handle, including:

  • Customer requirement forecasting
  • Purchase order processing
  • Inventory tracking
  • Warehouse management
  • Delivery tracking
  • Supplier management

While there are lots of vendors in the SCMS industry, there are a handful of key players that own the majority of the market share.  They include:

JDA

JDA offers Supply Chain Management Software for a huge range of industries, including grocery stores, aerospace and defence companies, pharmaceuticals, and the hospitality industry.  They offer a one-stop solution that covers supply chain management, transportation, and retail.  Their software is aimed at major enterprises.

SAP

SAP is a company that specialises in providing software for businesses.  Their Supply Chain Management solution aims to “transform your linear supply chain into a responsive network”.  It covers supply and demand planning, logistics, fulfilment, and delivery tracking.  SAP offers a range of solutions that will cater to most sizes of business.  They also offer SAP events where people can learn more about their products.

Intelex

Intelex have been producing business software for 20 years, and service hundreds of major businesses.  Their SCM software makes it easy to track supplier performance, evaluate and rate different suppliers, produce performance reports, and follow up on issues.

3PL

3PL Warehouse Manager is an enterprise-level supply chain management application aimed at the logistics market.  It offers automated reporting, EDI, and barcode scanning.  This software makes billing, logistics and tracking a breeze.

Accuware

Accuware’s ProActive Inventory Manager is a web-based inventory solution which has been built to run on Microsoft ASP.net and Microsoft SQL server.  This software is available in two forms – a self-hosted version, and a SAAS version hosted on ProActive’s servers.  ProActive Inventory Manager has a standard, inexpensive version for small and medium sized businesses, and a more sophisticated enterprise version.

Choosing Supply Chain Management Software

It’s important that you find the right supply chain management software early in your business’ life.  Investing in the wrong version can cause costly mistakes which could damage your reputation.  Deploying new software, and transferring over your existing inventory and orders can be a struggle.

Before you invest in any SCMS, consider attending a few industry events.  Whether you choose to attend SAP events and JDA events, and shop around in that fashion, or go to one of the major logistics conferences is up to you.  Consider taking up some free trials, and spending a weekend or two running test orders through different systems until you find one that you and your employees like to use.

Amy Fowler writes on technology, this post was written in conjunction with UK & Ireland SAP User Group, organisers of SAP events. For more information on their SAP events, click here.

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One response to “Supply Chain Management

  1. Nancy Beckman

    August 30, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Vendor management is so important, especially in today’s global economy. Companies are responsible for the actions of their vendors, so you need a SCM system that keeps tabs on everyone at all times.

     

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