"Supply chain management" is growing as a buzzword among the media and financial news outlets. According to The Strategic Sourceror, 2013 brought supply chain topics to the attention of mainstream audiences as analysts spent more time discussing the impact of natural disasters on business. There was also more discussion related to food provenance, logistics, procurement and even supply chain technology. Even higher education is paying more attention to the supply chain, as many schools have started offering programs to educate new talent.
Consumers have found themselves more involved in the supply chain as they rely on e-commerce for their purchasing needs. They are more directly impacted by the procedures that organizations utilize both in the warehouse and to deliver their merchandise. Improving the experience for customers as they navigate the supply chain means utilizing new technologies.
Improving Best Practices for Supply Chain Management
The boost in e-commerce is in by no small means related to faster processing in warehouses and distributions centers. While customers often favor the Internet over brick-and-mortar stores, they are still not happy that it takes extended periods of time for merchandise to arrive. In some areas, such as industrial supply, the ability to deliver merchandise in a timely manner provides a greater competitive edge than the ability to provide low prices.
Consumers also want to be able to track their packages much in the same way that the enterprise itself would. Improved data collection software aids warehouses in providing more accurate and timely information regarding the status of orders. This data can be used for the benefit of customers and is integral information to the organization. Analyzing data collected throughout the supply chain provides executives with a deeper insight into how the supply chain impacts their overall business model.
Data Collection in The Warehouse
Better data collection in the warehouse is available using a number of different applications and systems:
- Voice-Picking Software: Voice-directed data collection reduces errors below the 1-percent mark, almost certainly ensuring greater customer satisfaction and reduced costs for the enterprise.
- Mobile Data Collection: Solutions that are mobile can allow more employees to collect data at various points within the supply chain.
- Traceability: All sources of data collection improve a company's ability to track and log information about where each product came from, where it's going and where it is currently.