Modern supply chains are no longer disconnected from each other within the business model. Rather, parties within the chain are leveraging new solutions that allow for quick communication and transferring of information between departments and locations. Supply chain management technology offers applications to members throughout the supply chain so they can quickly access company data and communicate with business partners. The result is increased communication, collaboration and visibility.
Leverage apps for efficiency
MS Dynamics outlined the ways supply chain leaders should take advantage of mobile applications to connect components of the enterprise to ensure interoperability and consistency throughout. The mobile apps update in real time, facilitating quick decisions to adjust supply chain operations to meet industry and client demands. Mobile devices also help supply chain members connect with customers more effectively, keeping them up-to-date on their orders and capable of making changes quickly.
Mobile applications allow companies in a distribution center, for example, to improve customer service activities, manage compliance requirements, assess inventory levels and provide information to other managers in real time. Freight managers can use mobile applications to obtain, accept and reject shipping prices while on the go, as well as print out labels and track goods throughout the day.
Some mobile applications are equipped with radio frequency capabilities to make delivery efforts more accurate, enabling staff to locate items and update the customer as quickly as possible. Delivery companies are providing mobile applications to their drivers to access information while on the road such as freight details, delivery statuses and maps. The applications are connected to company networks, allowing information to be shared and stored instantly so others can access it as well.
Many supply chain players are using social and mobile applications to achieve endpoints while functioning on limited budgets. Supply chain leaders can use the technology to oversee all operations from a centralized point. This helps ensure corporate policies are being followed. The solutions can also help managers become more responsive, since they can identify and address any problems or disruptions as they arise, and thus reduce delays or costly oversights.
The increased use and reliance on mobile technology is also driving a need for supply chain management technology. Companies are providing staff with mobile devices to track operations, update reports and stay connected. These mobile devices must be connected to the company network to enable secure file sharing and collaboration while on the go. Mobile supply chain management solutions focus on the use of applications to ensure all departments are operating on the same platform without being connected to network infrastructure directly.
Logistics Viewpoints discussed some impacts social and mobile applications will have on the supply chain in the future:
- Enable a network of people to manage a supply chain worldwide
- Wrap a community of people around transactional workflow
- Create unified communications sources for instant updates and decisions
- Eliminate limitations on operations such as time of day or location with mobility
- Advance connectivity to accelerate information sharing and improve supply chain performance
Many of these predictions can be experienced now with the adoption of mobile and social solutions. Is your supply chain management solution prepared for a more social and mobile future?