The real-time supply chain is supposed to be a boon to the enterprise: it provides greater visibility, you can make better decisions, and your risk management is improved.
However, the real-time supply chain isn’t completely free of problems. The benefits you reap from it diminish greatly if you don’t know how to use it. What’s the solution? ERP systems can help you overcome those challenges so that your firm remains agile and competitive.
One of the greatest benefits of a real-time supply chain is the increased visibility into day-to-day operations that it provides. That being said, you need to view that information in context. And an ERP system provides that context.
An ERP system is a platform which enables you to view data as it enters your enterprise systems. You can see sales immediately after they’re finalized, and profits are updated automatically. The system gives you a full picture of what’s happening at your firm as it happens – no more guessing or relying upon numbers from months ago (or even last year).
To expand upon the theme of enhanced visibility, real-time supply chains help you make better decisions about which direction to take your business. But, again, context is vital.
We’ll illustrate with an example. Let’s say you’re looking at the latest sales figures. They’re telling you that one particular product is practically flying off the shelves. It would make sense to simply produce more of them, right? Yes, but in order to do that, you have to assess whether you have the capacity to do so. An ERP system can show you whether you’ve got the capabilities to ramp up production or not, so you can make the choice that’s right for your company.
No one can accurately predict the future. If they could, more people would turn to those TV psychics. That doesn’t mean that should avoid planning several years in advance, though.
Planning is akin to drawing a roadmap. The roadmap shows where you want your company to be in several years and how you’re going to get there. Where does an ERP system come in? Modern ERP solutions have planning modules built in. These planning modules integrate historical data so that during the process of “drawing the roadmap,” your plans are constructed on a solid foundation of accurate information.
What happens if circumstances change, rendering your planning irrelevant? Don’t worry. Today’s ERP systems allow you to easily update your plans so you can respond to a rapidly shifting business environment.
An ERP system is a crucial tool in the real-time supply chain. It helps you make sense of vital data, so you have the context to make the right decisions and avoid exposing yourself to risk. Find the right ERP system to stay competitive and agile so you too can leverage the benefits of the real-time supply chain.