How to automate and streamline your supply chain management

Your supply chain is the steps it takes you to get your goods or services from your suppliers to your customers, and includes the network of companies that enable this process.

Supply chain management is an important process for most companies because an efficient and streamlined supply chain will improve the efficiency of the business and will ultimately translate to lower costs and higher profits.

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Companies are recommended to try to acheive a lean supply chain by eliminating unnecessary or ineffective procedures, creating visibility across the chain and integrating processes to allow for the easy exchange of data.

As companies grow and become more complex establishing an efficient supply chain can become an increasingly important focus.

What does a well managed supply chain system look like?

In a well managed supply chain system all systems are fully integrated. This is a system that instantly reports to supply chain partners, communicating automatically with customers detailing what’s in stock and requesting their preference on how they want their orders managed. Automatic replacements are ordered from warehouses throughout the network when required. Orders and accounting details are recorded electronically, and every customer is communicated with and kept up to date about their orders progress. As a result, customers are happy and time and money is saved.

A good supply chain will have the following features:

Collaboration

Software that allows you to interact online with your suppliers and partner and customers virtually and in real-time.

Visibility

Knowing where supplies are throughout the chain is key to avoiding disruptions in your supply chain.

Optimization

Bid analysis, awards, logistics management, inventory management and real-time order management all require optimization.

How can good supply chain management be acheived?

Each company is different and will have unique requirements but supply chain systems have typically evolved over time. As businesses grow, suppliers increase in number and existing systems need to be modified to effectively manage the transactions. As new systems are added companies can end up with 10 or more different stand alone systems that struggle to transfer data to each other.

Trying to set up a bespoke pliable solution that connects all trading partners using inhouse developers would be an expensive proposition. But the development of cloud based platforms means that for the first time companies have cost effective, easy to use tools available to them to help them meet these challenges.

Integrate your supply chain with a platform that is hosted in the cloud

The cloud based pricing model is typically cost effective as it operates on a subscription per user basis. This model means there is little or no capital cost to organisations.

As well as being cost effective to implement, cloud based technology will be much faster to implement. Running systems in the cloud reduces the need for costly servers, maintenance and network costs. Sharing data in the cloud means its users can share data in real time and enjoy extra levels of security.

Look for software that integrates with what you already have

Once systems have been set up there is a risk to overhauling already in place familiar systems in operation within an organization. New programs and procedures require change which can be difficult to implement and can meet with resistance in-house but something needs to be done to make the supply chain more efficient.

When looking for a solution to integrate your supply chain look for a solution that will work with what you already have. Some companies will try to convince you to move everything you do into their system but this isn’t always what is right for your business.

How do other companies optimize supply chain management?

Start by reading our case study looking at how we partnered with Canon to help Scottish Enterprise optimise their supply chain.
Read our case study

How we can help

Claritum is a leading provider of spend management software-as-a-service. The solution streamlines the processes of sourcing, procurement and invoicing to deliver significant, measurable and sustainable cost savings and process efficiencies to leading enterprise and public sector clients.

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An open approach to integration

We don’t insist on our software doing everything or try to replace ‘competitor’ systems
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Sell-side integration

With estimating, production, order processing, warehouse management and logistics systems
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Integration with buy-side

HR systems, eprocurement, ERP, financials such as SAP, Oracle, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft and others
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Integration with ‘middle ware’

Such as Cast Iron, Boomi and others
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Published web services API

This allows third party developers to assess the size/complexity and integrate with Claritum
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Other integrations

We can integrate at various parts of the process such as user authentication, estimating, approvals, purchase orders, advanced shipments, goods receipting, sales invoicing and purchase invoices

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