No business can survive without proper supply chain management systems. These supply chain management software solutions make sure that a company gets continuous stock in their business without any hassles. This is necessary for ensuring that a business is able to run as smoothly as possible.
Before you choose the perfect types of supply chain management software, you need to learn everything about Supply chain management.
What is Supply Chain Management (SCM)?
Supply chain management is the management of the flow of goods and services. The supply chain management process also includes processes that transform raw materials into final products. It includes streamlining the process of a business’s supply-side activities.
Proper supply chain management software can enhance customer value and gain a competitive advantage in their industry.
How Supply Chain Management Works?
Supply chain management is an effort by suppliers to develop and implement supply chains that are super efficient and economical. Supply chains tend to cover every single step from production to product development. They even include information systems to direct these undertakings.
Usually, supply chain management software solutions control all the elements including the production, shipment, and distribution of a product. The process of managing the supply chain also cuts down excess costs and delivers products to customers faster.
Businesses can reduce costs by keeping tighter control of their internal inventories, product production, distribution channels, and inventories supplied by company vendors.
Supply chain management is based on the concept that every product is available in the market because of the company’s efforts.
You can find the idea of supply chain management in history. For modern-age companies, supply chain management has recently started ot become an important process.
Parts of Supply Chain Management
Supply chain management helps in reducing shortages and keeps costs down. Most companies consider SCM to be all about logistics and buying inventory, but it’s so much more than that.
According to Wikipedia, “supply chain management (SCM) is the management of the flow of goods and services including all processes that transform raw materials into final products between businesses and locations. This can include the movement and storage of raw materials, work-in-process inventory, finished goods, and end-to-end order fulfillment from the point of origin to the point of consumption.”
Planning is the first and foremost part of supply chain management. Without the right type of planning, companies won’t be able to match customer supply with customer and manufacturing demands.
Businesses must predict what their future needs will be and act accordingly. This relates to raw materials needed during each stage of manufacturing, equipment capacity and limitations, and the staffing needs of a business.
An efficient SCM process relies heavily on valuable relationships with suppliers. Sourcing teams need to work with vendors to supply the raw materials needed throughout the manufacturing process.
A company can plan and work with a supplier to source goods in advance. Businesses operating in different industries will have different sourcing requirements. Supply chain management sourcing includes ensures:
- Raw materials meet the manufacturing specifications needed to produce the goods.
- Prices paid for the goods are equal to market expectations.
- Having strong relationships with vendors mean that you can get emergency raw materials due to unforeseen events.
- Vendors already have a proven record of delivering goods on time and also offer good quality products.
In supply chain management, the company transforms raw materials into saleable goods. The final product is the ultimate goal of the manufacturing process, yet it's not the final stage of supply chain management.
You can cut up the manufacturing process into sub-tasks such as:
During the manufacturing process, a firm has to be careful about minimizing waste, and other variables that divert them from the end goal.
Once products are made and sold, a company must get the products into the hands of the customers. The distribution process is often seen as a brand image contributor, and up until this point, the customers haven’t yet interacted with the product.
In an efficient supply chain management process, a company needs to have robust logistics capabilities and delivery channels. Having all these in place will ensure timely, safe, and inexpensive delivery of the product.
The end of the supply chain management process is providing support for the product and customer returns. If a customer has to return a product, it's already a bad thing, but if they can’t get the needed support, that’s the company’s fault.
This return process is called reverse logistics, and the company has to make sure that they have the capabilities to receive returned products and correctly assign refunds for returns received.
An interaction between the customers and the company during returns is an important part. If a company fails to figure out the reason behind customer return, the supply chain management process will have failed. Once this process is fixed, customer product returns will persist.
Why is Supply Chain Management Important?
Supply chain management is crucial for businesses as it helps businesses achieve their objectives. Businesses that can control the manufacturing processes can improve product quality, reducing the risk of product returns and lawsuits can convert a business into a major brand.
At the same time, controls over the shipping process can enhance the customer experience. The right supply chain management process can allow businesses to improve profits and boost brand value. The supply chain management process makes sure a company has the opportunity to improve profit margins and is also important for companies with huge and endless operations.
Best Supply Chain Management Software For Small Business
Shippabo is the perfect supply chain management software that’s great for businesses of all kinds. It is an ideal solution for enterprise resource planning in supply chain management.
Shippabo offers a range of features such as:
- Cost management
- Stock keeping unit (SKU)-level visibility
- Trade services
- Loose container load
- Ocean freight services
The software is super easy to use and offers an incredibly user-friendly interface that makes it simple to track and manage your supply chain operations.
Pros of Shippabo:
- Air freight services
- Helps keep your loads in compliance and moving on to their destination
- Works perfectly for Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
Cons of Shippabo:
- The user interface can be improved a little bit
- Pricing isn’t easy to understand
- No client-facing API for integrations with other software
2. Magaya Supply Chain
Magaya supply chain is one of the top-rated supply chain management software solutions. Businesses can use Magaya to automate their day-to-day operations.
Regardless of what you want to automate, you can do it all with Magaya. Be it forms automation, customer service, or filings, you can do it with Magaya.
If you use Magaya Digital Freight Platform, it comes with a supply chain, custom compliance, rate management, freight portal, and CRM. This makes it one of the best supply chain management software for small business that needs to automate supply chain operations.
Pros of Magaya:
- Can be bundled with other software to provide an all-inclusive solution.
- Real-time United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) communication.
- Helps you in digitizing your supply chains.
Cons of Magaya:
- User interface needs to be better.
- Limited customer support hours.
- Users have reported customer support lines closing without they have fixed issues.
FreightPOP is the perfect supply chain management software solution as it specializes in shippers. It’s made by freighters, so it contains all the right features. It offers endless features, such as:
- Freight planning
- Freight auditing
- Perspective analytics
- Transportation management
It has more than 300 integrations that you can use. It can even connect to your customer relationship management software, enterprise resource planning (ERP), and accounting software.
Pros of FreightPOP:
- More than 300 integrations.
- An endless range of shipping tools.
- Add a carrier with a single click.
Cons of FreightPOP:
- The address validation process isn’t automated.
- Occasional glitches that require customer support.
- Users have reported issues with some integrations.
When you need to approve purchase orders, look no beyond Precoro. It’s one of the best supply chain management software companies out there.
The approval workflow is simple to use, allowing you to designate which departments or people can authorize specific approvals.
You can even set thresholds, and policies, and approve PO on the go using the mobile app. It contains more than 120 custom fields with its reports. You can customize data as per your preference.
Pros of Precoro:
- Instant purchase order generation.
- Offers a range of third-party integrations.
- Automatic budget limits.
Cons of Precoro:
- No open purchase order report generation.
- The inventory management feature needs some improvement.
- Some users have reported that it lacks invoice integration.
5. Logiwa WMS
Logiwa WMS is one of the types of supply chain management software for eCommerce businesses. It can be integrated with over 200 third-party tools, including eCommerce platforms, accounting tools, and marketplaces.
Logiwa can sync in real-time, routes orders and it also has an API and automatic routing. The built-in automation rules help employees get through the shipping process more quicker. If you don’t need prebuilt automation, then you can also build your personal automation.
Pros of Logiwa:
- 9-minute average response time from customer support.
- Order routing based on shipping costs, delivery times, and product availability.
- Range of flexible payment options.
Cons of Logiwa:
- Takes up to 4 weeks to set up and operational.
- Pricing isn’t easy to understand.
- Users report it only supports two units of measurement.