Unified platforms that integrate a number of applications, such as mobile data collection systems, are significantly improving performance in the functional areas of transportation and distribution, according to a recent report.
According to the Supply Chain Execution Technology 2012 Benchmark report, 39.9 percent of respondents said they haven't yet adopted such unified systems, but they plan to in the future to improve their supply chain performance. In particular, respondents who felt good about their transportation and warehouse management software also reported higher performance than average in those areas. Supply Chain Digest called this "a little bit of a 'chicken and egg' question," but the numbers were striking nonetheless. Among organizations that reported "highly effective" or "mostly effective" distribution operations, a full 83 percent said their management software is superior or satisfactory.
To have a strong supply chain, businesses not only need to choose the right technology, but integration of systems is key given the increasingly disparate nature of the supply chain. This was a point recently made in a Logistics & Materials Handling article.
Today, the chain is more like a carefully constructed web with spokes and bars of suppliers, sub-contractor, customers, manufacturers and outsourcers in desperate need of cohesive processes and information to deliver profitability," wrote Craig Charlton in the article. Charlton pointed out that software solutions have emerged as crucial tools in an era when companies have placed increased emphasis on reducing costs to cope with rising fuel prices and other vagaries of an uncertain economic climate.