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Top 10 Supply Chain Management Tools

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supply chain management

Ecommerce giants such as Amazon invested in research and development (R&D) in supply chain management and have succeeded in minimizing errors in this field.  In fact, their margin of error is getting thinner and thinner, helping the brand stand ahead of its competitors.

Supply chain management software help users reduce costs and errors in addition to optimizing the entire process.  Indeed, these specialized tools and techniques enable brands to avoid pitfalls that are too costly.

The following are the top 10 supply chain management tools businesses can use to raise the bar and remain competitive.

Order Management

Order processing is a vital process in the supply chain, thus the need for tools to make the task easier and more efficient.  The customer’s order journey begins when they press the “Buy” button.  Once the new order reaches the eCommerce platform, the brand is expected to select the product, pack and ship it to the right place.

This process is easy when it involves a new or small business with few orders each day.  However, it can be a huge challenge when sales volumes grow, many products are added to the inventory, there are many channels or an expanded customer base.

Order management processes start when a sale is made, and orders are placed and end when the customer receives the product.  Automating and streamlining order processing eliminates manually generated POs, and invoices, saves time, reduces human errors during order fulfillment, eliminates overstocking and understocking, and provides information that helps make data-driven decisions.

The best order management tools include.

Skubana: The tool lets you integrate the entire inventory, fulfillment centers, and multiple sales channels and put them under one space.  The software proactively generates forecasts and POs, finds new cost-cutting and profitability opportunities as well as best shipping deals.  Skubana saves time, eliminates human errors, and boosts your organizational efficiency, bottom line, and margins.

Brightpearl: The retail management system is the perfect tool for businesses with more than $1 million annual revenue.  Brightpearl brings sales, inventory management, order management, warehouse management, shipment, planning, accounting, and reporting under one roof.  The system also provides real-time trading insights to help you stay in control.

Warehouse Management

Warehouse management tools manage daily operations within your warehouse using a wide array of capabilities.  Some platforms offer advanced supply chain planning tools that enable users to manage complex logistics linked to receiving, tracking products, route planning, cycle counting, and much more.

Further, the Warehouse management tools enable users to manage multiple warehouse locations.  This is helpful when you have to bundle several products stored in different warehouses.

Logix Platform: The cloud-based tool is designed to help businesses in logistics, eCommerce, or manufacturing to streamline processes such as warehousing, accounting, transshipping, etc.  As a result, professionals in these industries can handle different types of vendors and track shipments in real-time.

SphereWMS: The platform optimizes workflow, processes, and direction at an operational level in order to drive down costs and increase efficiency.  The inventory management functions comprise on-order visibility and control by serial numbers, lot numbers, inventory accounts, and much more.  The tool provides real-time information for tracking location, quantity, history, and status of inventory items in the warehouse.

Demand Forecasting

Supply chain tools have analytics that processes huge volumes of data in a short time to provide insights about past performance and predict the future demand based on past trends.  Through supply chain forecasting tools, companies can anticipate customers’ needs, make crucial decisions about labor management, production planning, and manage suppliers’ relationships to meet the new demand.

SAP integrated Business Planning: The tool has real-time supply chain planning capabilities that help companies respond to new market expectations.  The system is powered by in-memory computing technology and combines sales and operations capabilities, supply planning, demand responses, and inventory optimization.

Logility Solutions: The tool helps brands respond to changing market dynamics, manage complex global businesses and seize new opportunities.  The Logility platform leverages advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to automate planning, increase precision, accelerate cycle times, improve operating performance and deliver greater visibility.  Further, the tool transforms sales and operation planning, demand, inventory, replenishment, and supply and inventory optimization.

Shipment Tracking Software

Businesses invest in shipment tracking software because they want their customers to get real-time status updates.  The shipment tracking tools are designed to collect data and update customers about the shipment status of their goods in real-time so that they can keep an eye on them.

The following tools are among the best shipment tracking tools for SMEs and other enterprises.

ShipHawk: The feature-rich software provides end-to-end solutions that help businesses track their goods while on transit.  The online system is ideal for manufacturers, retailers, and distributors who spend more than $500k in annual shipment.  Further, the multi-carrier shipping software includes order management, warehouse management, dispatch management, shipment management, carrier management, and much more.  The tool aims to reduce shipping costs, eliminate inefficient processes and manual tasks.

Orderhive: The multi-channel order and shipment management software for eCommerce sellers, wholesalers, retailers, and SMBs. That means Orderhive offers all-in-one enterprise solutions for companies with multiple selling channels and back-end order fulfillment.  Businesses can integrate the tool with leading marketplaces such as Etsy, eBay, or Amazon, shopping carts such as WooCommerce, Magento, or Shopify, shipping partners like UPS, FedEx, DPD, UPS, and accounting software like Xero and Quickbooks.

Transportation and Logistics

Transportation management is one of the key elements in the supply chain.  Businesses are looking for tools that help them move inventory and materials from location to location.  Such tools enable them to plan multi-stop trips, maximize space through shipment consolidation, and plan less than load shipping.

Further, these tools track inventory and collaborate with other transportation modules to enable different supply chain players to manage the entire shipping process.  They coordinate the physical movement of goods and optimize the transit time and routes.  They are used mainly by freight forwarding companies, network service providers, and courier service providers.

These tools include:

Oracle Transportation Management (OTM) Cloud: The tool is part of Oracle SCM Cloud and provides robust capabilities for planning and executing transportation across geographies.  The solution helps companies minimize costs, create flexible business process automation, and optimize service levels within the global transportation and logistics networks.

GTZship: This is a web-based transportation management solution targeting companies in oil and gas, retail, paper and packaging, manufacturing, and more to manage their shipment fulfillment processes.  Therefore managers plan transportation requirements based on transactional orders, thus helping them to optimize carrier networks.  Further, the platform allows managers to generate vendors’ logins as well as collaborate with customers.  They can also manage drayage, last-mile logistics, volume shipments, and inventory in order to improve operational efficiency.

I'm a passionate full-time blogger. I love writing about startups, how they can access key resources, avoid legal mistakes, respond to questions from angel investors as well as the reality check for startups. Continue reading my articles for more insight.

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