E-commerce has left a large footprint on the world's supply chain. Prior to the digital transformation of the global economy, the supply chain was far more restricted, with fewer international connections between companies. If a company in the U.S. wanted to work with a manufacturer in China, there were numerous obstacles to overcome, including maintaining inventory management transparency and keeping distribution channels clear. What's more, many companies operated on paper-based systems that had an increased potential to bring back-office processing to a grinding halt. Distribution centers as part of the global supply chain essentially dictated how quickly consumers and business partners would get their hands on merchandise.
As digital technology has exploded since the onset of the 21st century, manufacturers and distributors have witnessed an increasing number of interconnected players in the supply chain. Consequently, many organizations have been forced to evolve or fall behind in terms of embracing automation.
Distribution Centers Require Efficiency
One of the big reasons for this is the advent of e-commerce. For instance, Wal-Mart recently announced it would open up a new distribution center in Indiana, the Indianapolis Business Journal wrote. The new facility will occupy roughly 1.2 million square feet and will provide services to 4,200 stores in the region. Brent Beabout, senior vice president of supply chain and logistics for Wal-Mart's global e-commerce division, explained the distribution center will be able to process orders and circulate goods to more than 160 million people in a rapid timeframe.
Without question, the number of product orders and merchandise moving in and out of an operation of this size requires a strong investment in inventory control. MCPc, one of the world's leading value-added resellers and direct marketers of computer technology and network solutions, provides a perfect example of a high-volume distributor that needed to augment its data collection solution to gain greater reliability and stability. While the company isn't a household name on the level of Wal-Mart, Cleveland, Ohio-based MCPc is a trusted partner for clients both on a national and international level. For instance, they provide solutions for complex problems for companies, such as Cisco, Citrix, HP, Microsoft, Dell, Apple and Lenovo.
Out-dated Enterprise Systems Create Obstacles
Before the company reached its current heights, working with world-renowned partners, it used a data collection solution that lacked flexibility and hindered the organization's growth. One of the big issues that MCPc faced was confirming partial back orders for serialized transactions. Another problem arose in the fidelity of the company's scanning equipment. With thousands of items in inventory, employees need to keep track of transactions, but the existing software caused them to vanish, leaving workers clueless as to whether the information was successfully transferred. Finally, the system routinely went down, causing substantial delays and rising costs associated with having to restart service.
Building a Stronger Data Management Infrastructure
Here are just a few of the reasons that MCPc decided to collaborate with RFgen to integrate inventory management software. RFgen's Mobile Foundations for JD Edwards World includes roughly 85 percent of the JD Edwards transactions that any distributor or manufacturer needs. The software is also flexible enough to grow with a company as order volumes increase and they expand operations.
Within four months of integrating RFgen's solution with JD Edwards World, MCPc had completed development, resulting in increased data accuracy and more efficient operations. The company also emphasized the added benefit of the mobile administration features that gives employees visibility into what users see in real time. MCPc was also able to manage role swap on backups at a fraction of the time it took using older systems.
When businesses expand, it's crucial they have the right technology in place to grow efficiently.