A new report from Software Advice, a company that matches SCM software buyers with vendors, details the importance and prevalence of supply chain management software for large, midsize and small businesses. A random sample of 100 small businesses and 100 large businesses interested in SCM software was surveyed in order to parse what, exactly, companies need out of this kind of software and what they want to spend their money on. The result? Companies of every size can benefit from this kind of software and are willing to spend money on it.
Large and Midsize Businesses
The survey asked respondents to answer what they need the most out of their supply chain management software. The overwhelming response from large and midsize companies is that they are looking for help with integrating their existing software and inventories in order to make things in the warehouse flow more smoothly. These kinds of businesses have a greater need for software that will assist in the collection of key business data from multiple and varied sources. Inventory levels, projected sales numbers and supplier information are all crucial data points that larger companies need help collecting and managing.
Larger businesses also differed from their smaller counterparts in that they were more likely to view radio frequency identification technology as essential to their business processes. Twenty percent of large businesses surveyed said RFID technology was crucial in their warehouses, as opposed to 9 percent of small ones. Radio frequency tags, when applied to products, streamline the data collection process for huge inventories. According to RFID Arena, the use of these radio frequency tags can cut the time required to take inventory and make the process less labor-intensive and more accurate - essential traits for anything that's going to help companies increase their bottom lines.
The Small-Business Factor
Only 6 percent of small businesses use supply chain management software, according to the Software Advice report. The majority of smaller firms don't take advantage of the benefits of automated processing and inventory management - and they should. The survey found 39 percent of small businesses are still using manual data management methods. This means they might be using pen and paper, and relying on human calculations, to stay on top of their inventories. Outdated methods like this leave room for error in bookkeeping, which could lead to disruptions in workflow. Along with getting rid of dated manual entry systems, by using technology like SCM software, smaller companies can strengthen their supply chains and increase transparency within those chains. Accuracy can be improved and productivity generated.
The Bottom Line
Supply chain management software can help all businesses, large and small, stay more focused on business processes and simplify their warehouse functions.
"Essentially, these technologies have made actionable information more easily attainable and user-friendly," Boris Kontsevoi, president and founder of software development company Intetics, told the report's authors. "The SCM solution-makers are incorporating this to make the solutions more customizable and accessible at any point of the process."