Companies invest a lot of time, effort, and money in developing systems to power the supply chain. The amount of data can be overwhelming. However, by connecting data and using an integration platform to orchestrate business processes between systems, data can be the differentiator that enables your company to disrupt processes to increase efficiencies and provide a superior customer experience.
Here are seven examples of how integrated data can introduce new efficiencies into the supply chain.
1. Improved demand forecasting
Better coordination between Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and sales systems can result in more accurate forecasts, leading to more efficient ordering and improved margins. Demand-driven logistics based on accurate data reduces transportation costs and inventory while improving competitive advantage.
2. Cross-departmental planning
Integrated data enables business logistics professionals to make decisions based on a comprehensive and accurate picture of supply chain-related activities—sales, marketing, product lifecycle management, manufacturing, warehousing, procurement, finance, and transportation—across the organization.
3. Segmenting supply chains
Integrating data between your customer relationship management and ERP systems enables you to easily segment customers and products, and develop dedicated supply chains with specific service level agreements to create maximum value at the lowest possible cost.
4. Decide between fast or flawless deliveries
Analyze all supply chain costs together for a unified picture so operational goals can meet corporate values and brand image. Having cost data and variables together in one system enables easy tradeoff analysis.
5. Achieving preferred shipper statusA company that integrates ERP with warehouse management software and yard management software to optimize transportation processes—such as enabling short dwell times and long tender lead times—will be a preferred shipper because those processes boost efficiency.
6. Support for procure to payControl and visibility over the entire lifecycle of a transaction—from the way an item is ordered to the way the final invoice is processed—provides full insight into cash flow and financial commitments. Integrating procure to pay functionality gives ERP systems the ability to extend to the final documents used to verify invoices and confirm that goods were received and signed for.
7. Using Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems
Because PLM manages the development of a product and ERP manages the resource planning for production, it makes sense to integrate the systems. Once the design has developed to a point where resources need to be managed to produce the product, an ERP system should have the ability to import and share the latest product data with necessary departments for accurate financial planning.
Data integration across systems can help optimize the supply chain and enable your organization to provide customers with the best possible service from order to delivery.
An integration platform that enables businesses to connect data and processes across systems gives your organization the adaptable IT infrastructure it needs to digitally transform the supply chain.
Learn more about the Magic xpi Integration Platform
Written by Glenn Johnson
Glenn Johnson is Senior Vice President of Magic Software Enterprises Americas. Mr. Johnson is the author of the award-winning blog "Integrate My JDE" on ittoolbox.com and contributor to the Business Week Guide to Multimedia Presentations (Osborne-McGraw Hill). He has presented at Collaborate, Interop, COMMON, CIO Logistics Forum and dozens of other user groups and conferences. His interviews on software industry issues have been aired on the NBC Today Show, E! News, Discovery and more.