So, your small to mid-sized business (SMB) is still slogging along with an inefficient manual supply chain. You know that managing it with paper printouts, emails, phone calls, and Excel is costing you time and money. Or maybe you’ve cobbled together some antiquated systems that have your supply chain running on one cylinder.
At the same time, you’re skeptical that modern supply chain management (SCM) software is the answer. After all, isn’t SCM built for big companies? Isn’t it too costly and complex, packed with features that an SMB neither wants nor needs? Wouldn’t you need a small army of IT geeks to get it up and running?
The answer to those questions is, in a word, no. Recent years have brought a new wave of business digitization (as is evident by Target’s recent acquisition of Shipt) and technological simplicity that puts a faster, more cost-efficient supply chain within easy reach of SMB manufacturers, distributors, logistics providers, and retailers.
As we enter 2018, it’s high time for SMBs to take action on making the digital supply chain a reality. Every day you wait, your competitors are making moves to digitally transform their supply chain and deliver the speed, affordability, transparency and service that customers expect in our digital age.
What could you expect from moving to a digital supply chain and automating processes such as order fulfillment, inventory management, supplier sourcing, warehouse management, logistics and demand planning? Over my 25 years in the industry, I’ve seen four main benefits unfold: cost, speed, insights, and customer satisfaction.
Cost, Speed, Insights, Customer Satisfaction
Costs are reduced as you eliminate manual work, whether it’s paper-based purchase orders or double-data entry into disparate desktop applications. Speed accelerates across the supply chain lifecycle - from sourcing to customer service. You have new insights and visibility to optimize operations, from shortening lead times to maintaining minimum stock levels.
And finally, customer satisfaction increases. Today, that’s a moving target as B2B customers increasingly expect a consumer-like experience from supply chain partners. And it’s perhaps the #1 reason why SMBs need to move aggressively to digitize supply chain operations.