Data is a key component when it comes to making informed business decisions. It’s crucial to have key data points across your supply chain to get complete visibility and maximise efficiency.
As proven by the COVID-19 pandemic, once there’s an external impact to the supply chain to a business, every facet is impacted. Not only were businesses forced to scrap their forecasts, they suddenly experienced major supply-demand issues. Either they had too much stock that was no longer in demand, or they had the right stock that was in demand, but couldn’t keep up.
This is where the use of data comes in. The ability to access inventory levels across a number of different locations enables business owners and staff to see exactly where they may have excess stock to meet the supply demand. Real-time optimisation of your distribution keeps both customers and suppliers happy.
Using data to understand key metrics such as cost of sales is particularly critical to success. You need to be able to instantly account for changes in costs, such as increased shipping fees, so that you’re always selling your products or manufacturing your goods at a profitable level.
This includes knowing exactly what items you need to produce something, how much it costs to produce it (while taking into account all of the hidden costs such as labour and so on) and how much you should sell it for.
To do this, you need the right technology. You can’t rely on a manual process to work it out, as it’s simply not efficient or reliable enough. This where an Intelligent Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system becomes vital. With real-time data, you can instantly account for every element, even as costs move, and ensure the right cost of sale to ensure you continue to sell your products at a profitable level.
Demand forecasting involves tracking customer trends and demand to ensure you can pivot and stay relevant. Supply chain businesses need to be able to keep their finger on the pulse when it comes to their customers. Where exactly is the demand going now?
Many supply chain businesses, especially those in manufacturing and distribution, were able to pivot quite quickly during COVID-19 by producing products such as hand sanitisers and masks. They ensured that they had in-demand stock to sell to ensure they could continue running their business.
Advanced technology, combining artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation, is going to transform and future-proof supply chain businesses. Businesses can no longer afford to waste money on manual processes or low-value tasks. They need to be able to adapt, pivot and become efficient. This means gaining visibility across their entire operations in a timely manner, and accessing data on the go.
Cloud-based ERP delivers this and helps businesses maintain flexibility with their operating model. Manufacturers can easily look at new ways to sell their products by going direct to consumer and connecting an eCommerce platform to their finance and inventory system.
Compared to on-premise servers, a cloud-based system also enables remote working. This helps ensure compliance with hygiene and social distancing protocols, and maintaining safe working conditions, while continuing to run a business at its most efficient and profitable state.
AFS can help you improve your businesses supply chain by implementing new technology to increase your use of data. If you have any questions, please give Dennis Barnett a call on 03 5443 0344 or email email@example.com