Supply Chain Management Software
It is quite possible that supply chain management software is the most fractured software application group in the world. While the vast majority of supply chain steps include their own specific kinds of software, a lot of vendors have put together different chunks of this software together under a single roof in order to make the job easy.
But there is no such thing as a supply chain management total software program that will be perfect for every single business. The vast majority of organizations will have to figure out a way to keep track of supply, demand, product status, distribution, as well as logistics.
Thus, it is vital to find ways to share data with other members of the supply chain – and fast. Some ERP vendors, such as the Advanced Planner and Optimizer from SAP, can take on several of these tasks at once. But because every company has their own set of unique challenges to meet, sometimes it is best to go with a best of breed product. The result might be some level of integration.
Systems are only as good as the info they contain. This holds true for SCM, as well. If you do not have accurate information entered in to the application, then you will not wind up with an accurate forecast. Also, if workers bypass the supply chain system and attempt to handle things on a manual basis, then even the most advanced system will give you a bad picture of what is actually happening in the supply chain of the firm.
Radio Frequency Identification technology helps retailers provide the right product at the right place and at the right time, which is an effective way of maximizing profits. Radio Frequency Identification technology uniquely identifies every container, item, case, and pallet that is manufactured, sold, and shipped. This provides increased visibility on every level of the supply chain and benefits everyone involved.
While Radio Frequency Identification already has been an enormous benefit to a variety of different industries, one of the biggest drivers behind the technology in the United States of America has been WalMart. It has been estimated that by fully adopting Radio Frequency Identification, WalMart could save up to $8.35 billion each year. Roughly broken up, that total consists of about $600 million via avoiding stock outs;
$575 million via the avoidance of theft and fraud;
$300 million via better tracking of cases and pallets;
$180 million via a reduction of inventory;
as well a $6.7 billion alone by avoiding the need to scan barcodes in both the supply chain and at the stores.
It is no wonder, then, why WalMart has decided to invest $3 billion in the technology in the next few years.
Radio Frequency Identification consists of a system of tiny electronic tags that are able to transmit data through a radio signal to Radio Frequency Identification readers as well as related software and hardware. The transmitters may be implanted anywhere in which the tracking process of goods would be valuable to the commercial process. Radio Frequency Identification tags can be implanted on pallets, cases, products, containers, and materials handling equipment alike.
When the tags pass by a Radio Frequency Identification reader, the data is read. The movement is captured and then managed by the infrastructure. Thus, businesses are able to link their physical processes to digital processes without having to deal with human interaction of any sort. Whatever actions are subsequently triggered depends on the nature of the application. Stock replenishment can be taken care of in this manner, as can facilitating the ultimate lean supply chain.
It is widely believed that Radio Frequency Identification will revolutionize the functionality of supply chains and help facilitate major savings in terms of costs, efficiency, and intelligence. There are many potential applications that can be employed, all of which are applicable to any company dealing in physical goods. That includes retailers, logistics service providers, distributors, producers, and the entire supply chain.
Radio Frequency Identification also has the potential to improve visibility and efficiency, while simultaneously delivering higher quality asset utilization. Higher quality goods can be produced with the help of this technology, shrinking and counterfeiting reduced, and sales increased via the reduction of out of stocks. Radio Frequency Identification can even help improve the safety level of different foods and pharmaceuticals that are currently on the market.
Cost is the key to delivering this multiplicity of benefits. The price tags of this kind of technology continues to fall, thus making Radio Frequency Identification all the more attractive to an increasing number of professionals in the field of supply chain management. It is even predicted that Radio Frequency Identification will come to serve as a replacement for barcode labels in the near future, thanks to the fact that the technology becomes revenue neutral at fifteen cents per tag.
The pricing of tags is a critical factor. It his widely hoped by people working in the industry that it will eventually be five cents per unit. Yet that is still too expensive for, say, a can of Coca Cola, which is why innovative approaches to this technology are still being sought out. But in the next few years, it is fairly certain that we will be seeing barcode labels and Radio Frequency Identification tags side by side.