Supply Chain: As Strong as its Weakest Link

For any business, ensuring that its supply and demands are met accordingly, is of utmost importance. This is doubly true for distributors, as their supply chains are intrinsically intertwined with their immediate performance and long term sustainability. To assure your business maintains and utilizes its supply chains in the most efficient manner, having the insight and purview into every step of any transaction the company undertakes is paramount, and modern ERPs can help in achieving just that.

The utilization of an ERP system can provide the necessary clarity into the on-goings of an organization, as well as providing insights on where to improve one or more process. However, systems must be agile enough to help identify process weaknesses to gives one the ability to address, iterate, and improve their workflows. This system feedback loop is crucial for any organization to maintain momentum in their industry and to stave off competition.

An individual process or system can be optimized for efficiency, but organizations are not built as an individual system. They rely on various systems and processes, such as supply chains that can either enhance or bottleneck their capacity to do business.

These systems and processes rely on one another, and should one perform in a sub-optimal manner, the whole will suffer; a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Wholesale distributors depend on reliable supply chains, while companies in other industries stress about manufacturing their goods, the cost of raw materials and a bevy of other concerns; efficient supply chains for wholesale distributors are cardinal.

Phone calls and handshakes just aren’t the model of efficiency anymore. Thirty years ago, an agreed upon delivery time had a presumed variance range, give or take half an hour. However, present-day business operate at much higher frequencies, as do their customers, not to mention the ever increasing number of businesses and customers, further compounding the emphasis on punctuality.

With business technology and ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems available to businesses of all sizes, businesses can meet the volume and frequency of their customers, even providing them with real-time notifications as workflows progress.

This ability, of course, can expose tiny pinholes to yawning gaps in your company’s supply chain. Perhaps your forecasting algorithms have fallen behind the times; maybe your transportation company doesn’t really have enough vehicles to adequately handle your orders anymore, but doesn’t want to lose your business; or maybe your warehouse hasn’t grown at a coequal pace as the number of customers you supply has, and a physical expansion or new warehouse entirely, is necessary.

Read on to discover four ways that ERPs can help supplement decision making to keep your supply chain functioning at optimal efficiency.

  1. Automated purchasing can allow your business to handle many upfront transactions as possible, through the gathering and organization of customer information and transaction specific details, your business can immensely reduce time lost on the processing of an order.
  2. Prioritize order fulfillment. Order orchestration from warehouse routing to optimization of picking, packing, and shipping are made efficient through an all-encompassing fulfillment process. Paired with real-time transparency to stakeholders including the sales, support, and the upper management teams. Moreover, customers can get real-time updates about the status of their orders in the customer portal or via email notifications.
  3. Warehouse and Inventory management application can provide proper optics on the back end and the front, while breaking down your inventory by bins, lots and more. Once you’ve got everything accounted for, Kloudville’s offering can start directing a repurposing of the facility to give it the most cost-effective layout possible.
  4. Eliminate human error by using an ERP’s intuitive system to track the status and costs of shipping based on predefined rules. This application can easily support real-time shipment tracking as well as integrating with your courier companies to get delivery quotes, print shipping labels and keep tabs on tracking numbers.