Explaining the Four Parts of Supply Chain Management

A successful supply chain requires a close management of several important features:  the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) used to automate transactions, vendors and suppliers, warehouse operations, and logistics and shipping.  The success or ineffectiveness of any of these major operations can impact sales orders, purchasing, shipping and receiving, and more, much like ripples on a pond.  Using a powerful software solution, such as Epicor® ERP with Supply Chain Management (SCM) functionality can make it easier to organize and manage all of these important operations.

  1. EDI Technology:  Using EDI technology makes it easier to track both individual materials and finished products from cradle to grave, which may be required by regulatory agencies depending on what you manufacture.  You can also share data faster, improve order accuracy, make sure items are shipped properly, among other automations by using EDI.  Adding automation saves time and improves data accuracy which you can use to further optimize supply chain and other critical business operations.
  2. Vendors and Suppliers:  Even small manufacturers may use many suppliers to provide the materials needed to deliver finished goods to customers.  Maintaining good documentation about each of your suppliers will make procurement faster and enable you to track trends in product needs.  Knowing your best suppliers can also ensure you are using the highest quality materials and getting them at the best prices.
  3. Warehouse Operations:  You can use GPS and digital mapping data in your warehouse so you always know where your materials are located.  Line workers will be able to find materials faster and keep the line running longer when replenishment materials are located in the right place.  Your team can also pick and ship more effectively when the finished goods are strategically located in the warehouse.
  4. Logistics and Shipping:  Getting the right products to the right customers at the right time can be more efficient and accurate with SCM technology.  You can track your finished goods right off the factory floor, within the warehouse, and on the way to your customer.  Reduce the chance for back-orders and returns, which can cost valuable time and add to operational costs.

There is no doubt that manufacturers have a complicated operation to manage day-to-day.  However, the right software solution, such as Epicor ERP with SCM functionality, can add automation, consistency, and improve customer satisfaction.  Contact ComTec Solutions for more information about Epicor ERP and SCM software options.

By Joel Shenton, ERP Project Manager at ComTec Solutions, an Epicor Authorized Partner with offices in New York and Connecticut

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