As we all know, supply chain management (SCM) is the oversight of materials, information, and finances as they move in a process from supplier to manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer to consumer. Over the last few years, we have seen a rise in using mobile devices to provide powerful business intelligence (BI) information to workers of organizations and to the end consumer. Supply chain management can definitely benefit from joining BI with mobile devices.
Thanks to the advancements of online-only stores like Amazon, eBay, and DealsDirect, retailers now face more challenges than ever to satisfy customer needs. Retailers are expected to get shipments to customers in lightning fast speeds, or always have a full stock of the hottest products on the shelves.
In the past, a strong supply chain management system would suffice customer needs. Now, in our “I want it now” mindset, supply chain management must be stepped up a notch.
In an article in CIO from IDG, Jennifer Schiff concisely explains the challenges of supply chain management:
“… Retailers need to know where things are at all times so they can redirect shipments, rebalance inventories and respond to new demands on the fly… And if there is a problem with their supply chain, and they can’t get products to stores and/or consumers, retailers (and their suppliers) risk losing customers.”
It’s time to get a firm grasp on your supply chain management process and avoid serious setbacks that may damage your retail business’ bottom line. As a retailer, adopting a mobile reporting tool helps enhance your supply chain management by reducing distribution and selling inefficiencies, managing inventory levels, and keeping a clear view of products during each stage. Plus, with this power right on your mobile device, you can access critical data away from your desktop for real-time actions.
Read on for three ways a mobile reporting tool can increase the effectiveness of your supply chain management.
1. Reduce distribution and selling inefficiencies
Let’s face it: Supply chain management is not what it used to be. The process has become more complex than ever.
Consumer demands have evolved into a more immediate buying process. In turn, retailers must adapt operations for easier online purchasing, quicker delivery speed and in-store pickup options. So, what if there was a way to quickly and easily communicate across all parties to eliminate supply chain inefficiencies?
With mobile reporting, all data is visualized in one place—not in multiple spreadsheets or systems. Executives across the supply chain receive a clear picture of critical data from different systems or data sources, all in the palm of their hand. Mobile reports can also be shared internally with the tap of a button, and you don’t have to hope the recipient has a Ph.D. in data interpretation to gain real insight from what you’re sending them. That makes decision-making easier, faster, and less of a headache.
2. Manage inventory levels
Advancements in product purchase and delivery technologies have made “instant gratification” the new norm in terms of consumer expectations. When people buy something online or in stores, they want it immediately.
Mobile reporting dramatically reduces or even eliminates product shortages or production issues due to poor ordering or product allocation across channels. Mobile reporting tools that also offer universal desktop viewing allow employees, managers, and executives to access real-time data. The result: inventory levels that meet the quickest consumer demands.
Mobile analytics reporting makes using data from barcode scanners, digital price tags and radio-frequency identification (RFID) even easier, as store managers can track inventory on the floor via their smartphone.
3. Follow the process step-by-step
With mobile reporting, you’ll access data seamlessly, no matter where you or your products are. Easy report sharing up the chain of command means your executives also gain regular insight into the data relevant to your supply chain. That allows them to make better decisions and shift priorities and resources as needed.
Consider sharing reports around the following supply chain KPIs:
- Delivery tracking
- Electronic invoicing
- Inventory reporting
- Point of sale
- Stock-out validation
- Transport ordering
Get started on the road to smoother, more efficient supply chain management to satisfy your customers’ needs. Download a free trial of SAP Roambi and see what a mobile reporting tool can do for you.