Securing greater operational efficiencies is an age-old battle for supply chain and logistics companies. After all, it offers long-term cost control and productivity gains that will benefit the consumer as well as the business. However, for many of these organisations, accuracy is becoming an important characteristic and one that can also lead to significant advantages within the supply chain.
Accuracy is at the heart of good supply chain management. It overcomes the impossible task of matching supply and demand. At present, supply chain companies carrying too much inventory face a severe strain on storage capacity, a high price to pay in today’s landscape of limited and costly warehouse space, and lost revenue from perishable or unsaleable goods. Of course, those with too little stock can be equally disadvantaged as they risk damage to their reputation and customer complaints if they fail to meet demand, as well as pressure on their bottom line.
To prevent issues caused by misjudged inventory levels and ensure customers are kept happy, businesses can employ technology to successfully navigate stock flow. One key way to achieve this is by employing solutions such as order management systems (OMS) that will blur the boundaries between different aspects of the supply chain and allow clearer visibility of potential inventory issues. Achieving unification of the supply chain means that stock levels can be tracked and monitored, and valuable data shared throughout the chain. This approach will enable businesses to use data insights to precisely predict future demand and evaluate supply as stock levels fluctuate.
Using technology to achieve perfection
Another way supply chain companies can improve accuracy is by working towards performance metrics, such as Perfect Order Rates. This measure describes how many orders are completed without incident, allowing companies to fully evaluate the productivity of their system. By using this data to identify where improvements can be made, businesses can achieve higher levels of accuracy, enhance customer satisfaction and better monitor costs.
Equipping workers with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems will also help to secure further transparency by employing barcode scanners, to digitise data entry, and voice-enabled technology, to improve the quality and speed of warehouse picking. When implemented well, these tools can reduce inaccuracies and errors, as well as increase accountability – resulting in healthier profit margins.
Although cost savings will be secured in the long-run when aiming for accurate operations, supply chain companies deploying the latest technologies and mobile solutions can also immediately enjoy significant improvements. Harnessing real-time and accurate data from partners, and using this information to deliver a demand-driven and responsive supply network is a key benefit of this improvement process. Overall, this process will allow businesses to offer improved flexibility in response to customer demand and will enable them to sharpen their competitive edge.
Supply chain companies are beginning to shift their focus towards accuracy, and it’s easy to see why. This task has been facilitated by technologies that can reduce siloes, increase data sharing and deliver transparency – advantages that can be used to spot potential errors before they’ve even occurred. Championing accuracy as a fulcrum for speed and efficiency within the supply chain is the obvious way forward.
By Rob DeStefano, Senior Industry Product Marketing Manager, Ivanti Supply Chain
Robert DeStefano is a Senior Industry Product Marketing Manager at Ivanti Supply Chain. He has more than 18 years of experience helping businesses understand the value of mobile technology solutions when it comes to boosting worker productivity and enforcing mobile security.