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Secrets of Supply Chain Planning for 2016

Supply Chain Planning
2016 Better Supply Chain with ERP PlanningIncreasing demand for end-to-end supply chain visibility is perhaps one of the most discussed issues when it comes to enterprise resource planning (ERP). One reason for this is that many organizations with a multinational presence are still struggling to achieve full insight into their complex operations.

Though modern ERP solutions provide superior visibility compared to obsolete business management systems, honest replies to questions about the degree of visibility across all tiers in the supply chain have revealed a series of limitations, due to the dependence on Excel or a Legacy Accounting System. The difficulty of tracking shipped merchandise along with the necessity to switch between multiple systems and/or portals to get up-to-date information about products from different manufacturers, retailers, and logistics service providers are just two of the factors that hamper a company’s ability to effectively control the goods it produces overseas and imports into the US.

2016: A New Year, A New Plan, A Fresh Start

The past doesn’t always reflect the future. However, planning for the future often implies looking to the past. We know that the process of planning for a whole year can seem daunting, so here is something to try: designate a file folder near your workspace to collect any materials or notes related to your successes and trials as they occur. Doing so will make it easier for you to recall your accomplishments and any issues that need to be addressed, and it provides quick access to the lists. That makes it easier to answer these questions:

  1. What were our company's biggest accomplishments this year?
  2. What do we want to achieve next year organizationally?
  3. How satisfied were you over the past year with the performance of the organization?

Benefits of ERP for Supply Chain

By analyzing your company’s performance history, you can establish new business goals to make 2016 a better year for your organization.  If the complexity of your operations has turned capturing, filtering, and using supply chain data efficiently into a real challenge, the best thing you can do is to find and implement an advanced ERP solution like NAV 2016. It provides unprecedented in-depth visibility into highly dynamic supply chain processes, in scattered locations, irrespective of how many manufacturers, retailers, logistics service providers, modes of transport, and lanes are involved. To gain better visibility into supply chain operations, you should also evaluate the physical “map” of your supply chain, develop customizations according to your business requirements, adopt more sustainable supply chain practices, and measure results against more relevant KPIs.

Having greater visibility into your operations will make it possible to treat the supply chain as a whole instead of a system made of separate silos. Some of the tangible benefits you’ll obtain include, without being limited to, complete control over your entire business; production synchronization with real-time, consumer-driven demand; greater accuracy in predicting resource utilization; and reduced delivery timelines.

The cost of transportation is another important aspect tightly related to supply chain visibility. Currently, the freight transportation industry stands on the verge of a rate-hike cliff due to a series of factors, ranging from reshoring initiatives, accentuated volatility in crude oil prices, and driver shortage to new technologies and advanced shipping methodologies required to ensure timely delivery of merchandise across the country. Besides advantageous partnership agreements, one way to keep transportation rate hikes to a minimum is to adopt a cutting-edge ERP solution that not only provides visibility from one end of the supply chain to the other, but also allows users to consolidate multiple modes of transportation and routes into a more efficient distribution system.
These days superior supply chain and logistics visibility ranks high on the agenda of most ERP developers as confirmed by Gartner, who stated in the article “Why Supply Chain Leaders Should Aim for End-to-End Supply Chain Visibility by 2016” that more than 50 percent of ERP solutions will make possible end-to-end supply chain visibility by 2018.

As 2015 draws to a close, it’s time to start thinking of organizational New Year’s resolutions. If your organization operates within the manufacturing, distribution, food and beverage, or MRO sector, your New Year’s business resolutions should include the implementation of a comprehensive, agile, fully integrated ERP system that combines all those nice-to-have features, such as advanced BI and analytics tools, with improved supply chain visibility, to give your company the competitive advantage you’re looking for. On the other hand, bear in mind that an organization that continues to use an outdated business management solution will be quickly left behind.

At Clients First Business Solutions, our team of experienced and dedicated professionals can plan and implement the right ERP solution into your organization, giving you the visibility you need to run your business efficiently. To make the most of the latest ERP software solutions that provide end-to-end supply chain visibility in 2016, contact our sales team at 800.331.8382, or drop us a line at  Clients First is a Gold Certified Partner.  We represent the highest level of competence and expertise with Microsoft technologies.

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