How To Optimize Supply Chain Management In The Digital Age

Supply and demand is a concept practically as old as money itself. The idea of supply chain management is also not new.

Many traditional enterprises dealing in the manufacturing and delivery of products might be surprised to learn, however, just how valuable SaaS can be to good supply chain management. 

This is especially true right now, as COVID-19 ravages the world, disrupting tried and tested supply chain models.

In this article, we’ll explore what supply chain management is, its core components and how it can be optimized in the digital age.

What is supply chain management 

Supply chain management is defined by CIO as, “sourcing the raw materials or components an enterprise needs to create a product or service and deliver that product or service to customers.” 

However, for a company to do this successfully and keep the supply chain moving through good times and bad times, they must: 

  • Have the proper digital software in place
  • A solid business continuity plan for times of crisis
  • Keep all components of the supply chain stable  
(source: JYLER)

Supply chain management in a nutshell

The ultimate goal of supply chain management is to minimize, streamline, and make the supply chain operate seamlessly through all processes of the company. 

With that in mind, employees must be able to see where the product or service is within the actual supply chain process and be able to play their part when the time comes. This is where supply chain software comes in.

Supply chain management is designed around the principles of supply and demand; so your organization only wants to move enough raw materials to keep the customer supplied, keeping costs down for everyone involved.

This ensures that inventory does not balloon or sit in storage areas and warehouses for extended periods of time.

The anatomy of successful supply chain management                    

First off, companies mustn’t feel overwhelmed at the prospect of setting up a successful supply chain. They must implement a plan that will work for their particular industry and internal processes. 

A strategic overview should outline goals, strategy and tactics and all three elements should work in harmony with one another. 

1. Preparation

Enterprises need to ensure the details of their supply and demand are researched and planned from the beginning.     

2. Suppliers

How and from where do you source the elements you need to make the product you’re selling? 

3. Manufacturing

This is an essential step in the supply chain process, actually making your products out of the raw materials provided by suppliers.

4. Logistics

This is the delivery component; how your organization gets its products into the hands of its customers. 

5. Returns

Companies must incorporate a returns policy that is seamless and easy for customers to implement. 

6. Support

These are all the enabling processes that make your supply chain management go smoothly.

How to optimize your supply chain management, digitally

Supply chain management software, like Sage or SAP, is only as effective as its handlers. 

Now, more than ever, as remote working takes over from office-based operations, enterprises need to focus on streamlining employee productivity. One way to do this is through using technology like WalkMe Workstation.

Specifically designed to be used on Windows and MAC computers, as well as in the Cloud, the workstation enhances the user experience of enterprise applications. This accelerates employee capability, optimizing the supply chain management process. 

If you’re familiar with WalkMe’s Digital Adoption Platform, which overlays any digital platform to provide in-app guidance, Workstation goes one step further to deliver the same value but right from the user’s desktop.

There are five key optimizing features: Search, Notifications Onboarding, Shootouts, and Shuttles. 

The search function helps employees to zero in on essential search keywords rapidly, eliminating valuable time spent on hunting through data. Employers can communicate significant updates instantly and push notifications directly to employee desktops. 

Workstation offers a centralized hub for supply chain management professionals, keeping all human parts of the process connected, guided and monitored. 

Conclusion

This article has defined what a supply chain is and how to manage a supply chain so it works from beginning to end efficiently throughout the company. 

I hope I’ve also been able to give you a really valuable tip as to how digital technology and SaaS can optimize your supply chain by sharing the details of WalkMe Workstation. 

In today’s world of remote working, isolation and lockdown, it’s essential that even the most traditional enterprises take the bull by the horns when it comes to digital transformation, adopting tools that will improve productivity and enable their business to thrive. 

Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.