Getting high caliber goods to showrooms, stores or directly to the doorsteps of customers while keeping production and supplier costs as low as possible requires an ultra-reliable supply chain. However, being in charge of the chain of processes behind manufacturing and distribution can be overwhelming. Many supply chains are expansive with a huge number of domestic, and sometimes global, partners.

Incorporating the following lean supply chain principles can simplify supply chain management and make operations much smoother:

1.   Use the Right ERP Software to Organize Information and Communications. While supply chains focus on the steps necessary to get goods into the hands of customers, any phase of the process can be halted by an unsuccessful relay of information. ERP software can prevent this by ensuring that participants in the supply chain have access to data and can share data with ease. ERP software can manage logistics, including sales, product planning, product development, cost analysis, budgeting and financing, marketing, manufacturing stages, order placement, inventory, delivery and vendor or customer payment. Organizations that use ERP software can increase their productivity, obtain insight for decision-making and automate routine tasks.

2.   Base Product on Forecasts. For lean production of goods, supply chain management must commit to producing on-demand. That means managers must regularly monitor and analyze the market to see where there is real and current need for products. Productivity should be adjusted at various intervals to match actual sales orders as well as market forecasts and sales forecasts. ERP software can help create the most accurate forecasts for the leanest production.

3.   Incorporate Modern Technology. Employees and managers at every level of the supply chain are finding technology can make their jobs easier. From tablets to smartphones to radio frequency identification (RFID) and barcodes, modern technology can make the supply chain more efficient. Imaging programs, speech recognition programs, GPS systems, hand-held computers and any form of wireless connectivity are all showing up in warehouses of the leading supply chains. In addition, more and more ERP vendors are incorporating mobile functionality into their ERP systems.

Before implementing new ERP software, processes should be mapped and reengineered where necessary. Even after taking measures to achieve an aggressively lean supply chain, managers should yearly examine the supply chain to see if further restructuring is necessary. Contact Neovia Logistics for more info.

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