Your Supply Chain Enterprise At 768 Miles Per Hour

David Sweetman

No one likes to wait. Customers especially hate the idea.

In today’s hyper-fast digital marketplace, consumers expect instant gratification.

If a woman needs a cocktail dress, she knows she can order it online in the morning, have it delivered to her office in the afternoon, and wear it out on the town later that night.

For your business to compete with Amazon and other companies that offer same-day delivery, you need to manage your supply chain operations with supersonic speed. But how can you run your supply chain at the pace of a fighter jet?

One way is by adopting an intelligent enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that integrates innovative warehouse and transportation management tools.

Streamlining warehouse operations

Successful supply chain companies require global, end-to-end visibility of their goods from manufacturing through distribution. But many organizations lack the tools necessary to know where products are in the supply chain at any given time, hampering their ability to make critical business decisions.

Imagine you’re a warehouse operations manager. To schedule customer shipments or coordinate deliveries with your partners, you need an accurate, real-time view of your inventory. And not only do you need to know if a particular product is in stock, you need to know the precise location of the item in your warehouse.

With a cutting-edge warehouse management platform, you have greater visibility of your goods, whether a product is hidden in the far reaches of your distribution center, on a pallet headed for a delivery vehicle, or in transit.

In addition to accelerating picking, packing, and loading – resulting in faster product deliveries – a warehouse management platform can help you optimize inventory storage, adapt to order changes, and manage staff. These enhancements minimize costs, increase customer satisfaction, and boost employee efficiency.

Simplifying transportation management

Logistics providers crave the same high level of visibility that other supply chain companies seek. But aside from a view of the products they handle, they require real-time insight into their and their logistics partners’ vehicle fleets.

As a transportation manager at a global logistics provider, you need to know where every piece of freight is at all times. It’s also beneficial to know whether that cargo is traveling on a truck, train, or plane.

With in-the-moment visibility of your goods and transportation assets, you can more accurately forecast product demand and shipping volumes, enabling you to fine-tune your transportation planning processes.

By leveraging a powerful transportation management platform, you can gain the real-time insight you need to more efficiently schedule pickups from manufacturers or deliveries to distribution centers and consumers.

Additionally, through planning improvements, you can consolidate orders and maximize cargo loads. And by filling trailers, rail cars, or aircraft cargo holds to capacity, you can decrease the number of in-transit delivery vehicles, minimizing costs and reducing your carbon footprint.

Bringing warehouse and transportation management together

As a supply chain professional, you can no longer view warehouse and transportation management as afterthoughts. They’re integral components of your digital supply chain.

Today, the key to operating your supply chain at lightning-fast speed is managing the most integral parts of your business in a centralized system.

Rather than viewing key data in multiple disparate systems, next-generation ERP software offers you a simplified system landscape that integrates warehouse and transportation management platforms with other essential business applications.

This seamless integration provides a common user experience to professionals across different business areas, making it easy for your enterprise to optimize end-to-end planning and execution processes related to warehousing, transportation, manufacturing, and other operations.

By embedding warehouse and transportation management applications as core functions in your ERP system – and running the apps on the same data model and architecture as the rest of your ERP – you can reduce latency issues, increase data accuracy, and drive stability across your interconnected digital supply chain universe. Having a tightly integrated system is just part of the story. Being able to pick up on product movement trends and delays before they happen helps ensure products are where they should be at the right time. This requires deeper insights gained from analyzing large data volumes and applying machine learning to generate stock-in-transit analytics. These insights rely on being able to tap into a single data source across the supply chain

Reaching Mach 1 levels of supply chain speed

For consumers, the days of waiting two weeks for an item to arrive in the mail are as outdated as the Wright brothers’ first airplane. And while this new era of sky-high customer expectations and same-day delivery may be causing widespread panic among supply chain organizations, there’s no reason to fear.

By managing your warehouse and transportation operations in a centralized ERP system, your enterprise can reach Mach 1 levels of supply chain speed to quickly deliver for your customers and thrive in today’s complex, constantly evolving digital landscape.

Learn more about the 5 C’s of the digital supply chain from the IDC paper “The Strategic Imperative for an Agile Supply Chain.”

Attend our upcoming session, “Drive a Competitive Wedge with Logistics Execution Speed and Optimization,” at SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando, FL, on Wednesday, June 6, 2018.


David Sweetman

About David Sweetman

David Sweetman is a Senior Director of Global Marketing at SAP. He is an accomplished software executive applying extensive business experience to develop and execute global product vertical and channel strategies that drive results. David has hands-on 360-degree experience of the software marketing, channels, sales, development and delivery processes.