As brick and mortar enterprises go about web
enabling their processes, there is one area where most of the early action
should take place: the Supply Chain. A web enabled Supply Chain management (e-SCM)
solution is the digital nervous center of the entire business and an effective
e-SCM solution can save companies millions of dollars in costs. |
What is e-SCM?
e-SCM is the optimal combination of technology and business processes that
optimizes delivery of goods, services and information from the supplier to the
consumer in an organized and efficient way. It gives companies involved in
developing, manufacturing, distributing and retailing of products access to all
of the critical information they need to plan their operations in an efficient
way - whatever and wherever they need it. A complete supply chain management
solution also includes customers, service providers and partners. So, we can
conclude that e-SCM is a large, dynamic network of complex but well-defined
relationships with multiple channels in the business which provides accurate
information to everyone in the network.
Why do Brick and Mortar companies need e-Supply Chain Management?
e-SCM provides Brick and Mortar companies the flexibility and the agility to be
in constant control of their business. It improves efficiencies and reduces
costs substantially while giving companies the adaptability to modify their
business processes without having to undertake major technology initiatives.
Creating an integrated e-supply chain solution will be a major key or barrier to
entry and provides critical competitive edge over competitors as it:
Speeds time to market
Improves Order fulfillment
Improves customer service and satisfaction
Improves order management
Improves decision making
Improves forecasting and demand planning
Improves warehouse/distribution activities
Reduces Inventory build up
Shortens Sales cycles
How do you implement e-SCM?
The traditional concept of SCM is no longer valid in the digital economy.
E-Supply Chain Management focuses on globalization and information management
tools, which integrate procurement, operations, and logistics from raw materials
to customer satisfaction. With the widespread implementation and acceptance of
e-business, the traditional methods and rules have changed to improve
profitability and fulfillment.
E-Supply chain management can use e-business concepts and Web technologies to
manage beyond the organization, upstream and downstream. It is the strategic
approach that unites all steps in the business cycle, from initial product
design and the procurement of raw materials, through production, shipping,
distribution, and warehousing until a finished product is delivered to a
Companies with a network of suppliers, vendors, and distributors need a fast,
efficient way to disseminate information and enable two-way communications.
This is done over the Web using:
Customized extranet sites
Groupware (e-mail-integrated collaborative software)
You can start Web-enabling legacy systems to provide visibility to selected
partners, suppliers, and customers and to integrate the supply chain into your
company's other processes.