Supply chain management is the movement of goods and resources, inbound or outbound, with the primary participants along the chain — manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, & retailers — being responsible for the supply chain and for helping deliver the final product to the end customer.
Logistics is a series of congruent activities like transportation, packaging, warehousing, etc. that make up a supply chain network.
As you can imagine, supply chain and logistics are a critical part of any business that, if optimized, can ensure cost-effective and timely product delivery to customers. After all, these are the factors that determine continued business for any company. There are several opportunities for process optimization within a supply chain. Several optimization techniques can be employed to ensure precision control of supply chain and logistics activities. In the age of industry 4.0, process optimization is easier to achieve through automation. Intelligent automation definitely shortens the time-to-market for any product, but it also brings with it the cost-effectiveness, agility, and reliability that make up a successful supply chain.
Why only intelligent automation and not any other form of optimization? Well, we are all aware of the standard supply chain management optimization techniques of Kanban and Just-In-Time (JIT) that have revolutionized the way products are delivered.
However, this new digital age has everything to do with information and data management. Supply chains essentially depend on data flows between various entities along the chain. Intelligent automation, alongwith other advanced automations that incorporate cognitive technologies, enable the optimization of data-and-document-dependent processes in a supply chain. This in turn ensures timely exchange of information between various entities along the supply chain for optimal coordination of manufacturing, wholesale, distribution, and retail activities. Timely data availability also saves companies the costs and liabilities associated with inefficient logistics and accelerates product delivery to the customer. A company's standing in the marketplace is determined by the effectiveness of their supply chain to deliver products on time. It must be noted that a supply chain management can be a separate company or a department in itself in a large organization.
Demand Forecasting & Management: before anything, companies need to have a good understanding of the market demand for a product or service. This should help them gauge beforehand the quantity and variability of products to be manufactured from the raw materials.
Procurement: purchasing goods and raw materials from suppliers is a key step along the supply chain. It is important to have a good rapport with vendors to secure the best supplies and raw materials at competitive prices.
Order Fulfillment: order fulfillment includes receiving and processing customer orders, and preparing for the final delivery of the product.
All these major processes within a supply chain can today be optimized greatly with intelligent automation and digital transformation technologies like AI, machine learning, intelligent data capture, robotic process automation, OCR/ICR/OMR and also industry 4.0 solutions.
For companies looking to optimize their supply chain management and logistics, you could start at the office with order processing.
Arstyl’s sales order automation solution OrderAction is built on its intelligent process automation platform, docAlpha. OrderAction simplifies order processing by capturing and processing incoming sales orders in the hundreds and thousands, automatically. Embedded with cognitive technologies like AI and machine learning, OrderAction order processing software is equipped to self-learn a variety of sales order forms without the need for any human intervention. This enables businesses to process sales orders quickly and move on to the next stage in supply chain management.
OrderAction hastens supply chain management by way of accelerated customer order processing. It is what you need to reach out to your customers quickly and ensure sustained engagement in a fiercely competitive marketplace.