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Digital Supply Chain Management Helps Manufacturers Cope with Uncertainty

Published on: March 16, 2021

in: Company News

When an idle machine can mean thousands of dollars lost, improving supply chain management should be at the forefront of every manufacturer’s goals for the year. If supply chains are disrupted, manufacturing can grind to a halt, causing delays in order fulfillment, lost sales, and wasted time. Digital supply chain management closes such gaps and helps ensure continuity.

Distributors who aren’t closing the supply chain gap may be losing money. We offer a free guide for distributors available on our website. Download your copy of a Distributor’s Guide to Improving Profits here.

Changing Situations in the Global Market

A global marketplace means that events in another country can significantly disrupt the supply chain in America. A political upheaval, natural disaster, or similar situation can cause ports to close and factories to shutter.

Here in America, trade wars have also disrupted shipments from specific countries, forcing prices higher from tariffs on some goods and impacting supply and demand. Port strikes, transit disruptions, and natural disasters can also halt shipments and break supply chains, creating stock shortages that disrupt businesses worldwide.

No business, no matter how small, conducts its activities in isolation. In an increasingly global market, events happening in a country on the other side of the planet can have immediate and unforeseen consequences on American businesses.

The Importance of the Digital Supply Chain

Even though many industries have fully embraced the digital age, many suppliers continue to conduct business using old-fashioned paper and pen. This largely paper-driven business method makes it difficult to pivot when supplies are interrupted.

Companies using artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, enterprise resource planning systems, and other digital tools may find it easier to shift suppliers when disruptions occur. Knowing precisely where your shipment is in transit is invaluable when it is delayed. Finding and securing alternative vendors to fulfill supply orders is also vital. No company wants to lose orders, customers, and customer goodwill because of supply chain disruptions.

Although big businesses such as Amazon operate on a direct-to-consumer model, their ability to show customers precisely where their package is at any time during the shipping process has raised everyone’s expectations about shipping times. Anything that slows down shipments of goods to customers can have negative consequences. This includes supply chain disruptions.

Advanced Levels of Visibility

The advanced levels of supply chain visibility provided by the new digital technologies remains unparalleled in its ability to help companies adjust to changing demands. Globally dispersed operations benefit from the advanced tracking and visibility provided by digital technologies.

Newer technologies enable suppliers to connect seamlessly into your systems without compromising security. These connections provide your firm with the ability to track inventory at key suppliers and to view order updates at a moment’s notice. If any supplier is out of what you need, you can shift to other suppliers without wasting a day making phone calls or waiting for calls back. It’s that extra level of visibility that can make a big difference in the time it takes to fill orders.

Time to Move Away From Outdated Processes

The recent pandemic and other global events have changed the way in which manufacturers and distributers consider their supply chains. Supply chain management was always both an art and a science, but now it is a digital science, too.

As more companies embrace the digital evolution of supply chain management, manufacturers who lag behind will find themselves struggling and unable to compete. Without the support of the right technology to save time and money, manufacturers may find their customers taking their business to companies who do have the right stuff—the right technology, that is. The digital transformation is no longer nice to have, but a necessity.

For more information, or assistance choosing the right business software for your needs, contact us. Mindover Software provides ERP and other systems for manufacturing, warehouse management, and more. Please today for more information or call 512-990-3994.