Breaking Down Supply Chain Technology (and How it Can Improve Your Business)
Supply chain (noun)
The series of processes involved in the production and supply of goods, from when they are first made, grown, etc. until they are bought or used.Oxford Learners Dictionary
You can’t look at an operation’s logistics without considering its supply chain — it is exceedingly vital to any retail, light industrial or FMCG operation and should be given an equally as vital amount of thought and attention. Supply chain processes have evolved over the years; we are now at a time where technology can be effortlessly leveraged to simplify operations immensely. Our Melbourne 3PL specialists have experience leveraging such technology and have drilled down to the basics of supply chain technology, offering some examples and outlining how they can help your business and its operations.
The broad strokes
Broadly speaking, supply chain technology is any piece of technology or digital equipment that can be used to streamline your supply chain operations — which, in itself is a pretty alluring sales pitch. From simple scheduling applications to fully integrated freight management systems (FMS), there is a lot that modern supply chain tech can offer your business.
The finer details — supply chain technology in action
Now, when we broadly stated “streamline”, what we meant was cutting your costs and improving your delivery times. This all starts with the technology you’ve put into place. Say you’re a fast-fashion retailer and, like many businesses, you’ve recently started conducting the bulk of your business online.
Your e-commerce platform is the inception of your customer’s journey, its ability to effectively communicate with your other systems that an order has been placed and will need to be shipped to location X by Y date is paramount. The difference between good and excellent supply chain technology is that the latter will be able to integrate with your e-commerce and CRM systems to ensure the order is communicated seamlessly to your Melbourne 3PL provider.
It is then up to your 3PL provider and the various other technology they may implement to ensure the order is picked, packed, and shipped appropriately and efficiently. As we stated, streamline is the keyword here — it’s all about keeping your costs low and efficiency high.
Keeping costs low and efficiency high
It’s no secret that if something can be done properly in a shorter amount of time, it will cost less, allowing for more time to be allocated to other tasks. That’s exactly what supply chain technology does. A Melbourne-based 3PL company like elite logistics australia harnesses the power of state-of-the-art supply chain tech and systems to ensure all items are meticulously inventoried for easy locating and fast despatching.
Examples of supply chain technology
Numerous technologies can be leveraged to improve logistics management and streamline your operations.
Warehouse management systems (WMS)
Visibility is fundamental to any logistics operation and a WMS is the best way to achieve it. A WMS can ensure a 3PL provider is taking full advantage of their space and staff labour to guarantee efficient fulfilment. As premium Melbourne 3PL providers, ELA utilises a fully integrable tier-one WMS with real-time inventory monitoring that can be accessed at any time via a centralised cloud platform.
Fleet management system (FMS)
A fleet management system (FMS) is essential to ensuring despatch management, order management and delivery times are optimised for the best result. For example, this intelligent technology can analyse driver routes to find more efficient alternatives. Additionally, real-time tracking and monitoring are accessible along with an easily navigable dashboard that presents key insights.
Freight management system (FMS)
The other FMS is a freight management system, which is similar to the aforementioned fleet management system, but instead deals with the entire freight arm of a logistics operation. This FMS allows for easy consignment creation and tracking. It also acts as a platform that consolidates all freight bookings and where email and SMS messages can be automated to go out to customers. Most importantly, it also gives you unparalleled live business intelligence and insights into how your operations can be improved.
ELA — specialist Melbourne 3PL providers
What you need to ask yourself is “is my supply chain operation situated to give me the best result across the board?” because that is what it’s all about, and elite logistics australia is the Melbourne 3PL provider that is best armed to help you achieve this goal. Leveraging internationally renowned supply chain technology, we can bring your costs down whilst driving efficiency to its peak and allowing your business to thrive in competitive markets.