3 Ways Modern ERP is Enabling the Digital Supply Chain06 Aug 2018 | by Brett Mundell
The modern supply chain has undergone something of a digital transformation as leading companies seek to engage and deliver customized goods or services quickly and directly to customers.
Today, top enterprises are leveraging cutting-edge digital technologies, from Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics to the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and the cloud, to automate the gathering and processing of data from various structured and unstructured sources. Technology-driven insights are helping these organizations to automate or otherwise implement critical supply-chain processes or events that impact customer satisfaction and help create business value.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a strategic enabler of the digital supply chain in several ways.
#1 – Segment-of-One Marketing Support
AI, Big Data, and the Cloud are some of the technologies that top companies are incorporating into customer relationship management to gather business intelligence. When these enterprises extract detailed customer analytics, they discover what exactly a particular segment-of-one customer wants and when they want it. Merging CRM with ERP makes all such business and marketing intelligence available and visible in real-time to the entire supply chain.
Intelligent ERP solutions enable the timely, on-demand production or ordering of tailor-made products that address the unique needs of well-informed, individual buyers.
#2 – Breaking Traditional Chains of Distribution
The traditional supply chain that involves go-betweens is increasingly becoming something of the past as manufacturers favour engaging and delivering directly to customers. More than ever before, many manufacturers are showing a keen interest in tracking the customer journey and determining what the customer wants. Producers are now leveraging intelligent ERP to study demand dynamics via social media as well as IoT devices. The digital supply chain provides market intelligence based on which these companies may tweak production runs, reroute orders, or make personalized products for segment-of-one buyers.
Online retailers are also leveraging ERP to overcome logistical challenges. To fast-track and streamline their digital supply chains, the e-commerce stores are deploying advanced ERP capabilities to study inventories as well as conditions that may impact delivery times and demand. The stores can predict and fix logistical mishaps beforehand based on accurate business intelligence.
On-demand manufacturing is also a beneficiary of the digitized supply chain. Integrating 3D-printing and logistics with ERP enables companies to order customized items and have them delivered instantly. The 3D-manufacturing plants are located strategically near potential customers, resulting in shorter delivery times and reduced logistics costs.
Similarly, ERP lends itself to numerous product-as-a-service business applications. As companies seek to reduce operational costs by leasing rather than buying equipment or vehicles, manufacturers are using digital tools to track demand, usage, or performance. They can detect and fix problems proactively by continually monitoring system performance with the help of IoT technology.
#3 – Cross-Industry Collaboration
To make the most out of the digital economy and gain a competitive edge, many manufacturers are providing much more than just essential flagship product features. For example, car-makers are interrupting traditional supply chains by including navigation, entertainment, and other experience-enhancing features in their packages.
They’re finding it necessary to collaborate closely with various equipment or system vendors to provide value-adding features that match customer demands. ERP remains at the centre of these multidisciplinary collaborations.
- In a digital universe where the consumer knows what they want as well as where and how to get it, ERP makes it possible for leading enterprises to create and deliver more customer-centric solutions on demand.
- Tracking demand and using IoT connections to monitor asset usage and performance delivers accurate predictive analytics for production, maintenance, or delivery schedules.
- Big data and machine learning applications can make a big difference in the digitized supply chain. ERP can tap into advanced AI technologies to gather customer-specific insights from separate data sources, including social media and CRM systems. Companies may automate decisions or processes based on in-depth market data analytics.
- ERP provides a 360-degree view of the entire digital supply chain. It enables various stakeholders, from procurement staff to vendors, to base crucial decisions on real-time data. Top companies leverage the system to create business value and increase segment-of-one customer satisfaction.
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Brett has more than 20 years of business software sales and company management experience. Brett has been involved in more than 300 ERP projects. His passion is customer satisfaction, making sure every client is more than just satisfied. Brett wants our customers to be driven to refer their friends and peers because we offer the best services and technology available and because we exceeded their expectations.