It’s easy to imagine your ERP system as the lifeblood of your supply chain. In our increasingly interconnected business world, modern supply chains often have numerous touchpoints representing a diverse network of vendors, suppliers, distributors, and transportation partners. The rise of ERP systems in manufacturing and supply chain provides a necessary way for businesses to manage their operations data and order history.
But despite its importance, ERP software is just one piece of the supply chain puzzle. Supply chain executives seeking a competitive edge must understand what their ERP can do, what it can’t, and how to bridge the gap for maximum supply chain efficiency.
Your ERP Is Limited
Your ERP system can do plenty to support supply chain health. Unfortunately, ERPs aren’t the final word in supply chain logistics.
The primary limitation of ERP software is it only provides data on an ex post facto basis. It tells users what has already happened but not what is currently happening. In addition, ERPs are generally centralized systems which have inconsistent or incomplete integration with the numerous vendors in the supply chain. These factors mean that ERPs fail to offer complete solutions for analytics and action.
Supply Chain Visibility Is Essential
This is where solutions like ChronosCloud come in. ChronosCloud augments a company’s ERP by offering end-to-end multi-party visibility of the supply chain from the point of manufacturing all the way to the customer’s door. This is done by aggregating various data sources and normalizing that information in the cloud. ChronosCloud gets data from ERPs and traditional sources through APIs built-in to integrate with each supply chain partner. But it also provides tools to gather information from online sources. And, it leverages edge devices and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to give users real-time operations data for each order.
Unlike ERPs, ChronosCloud maps out each touchpoint in a company’s supply chain and uses data from each vendor to build a chronological timeline for every sales order. Aside from simply giving users a different view of their operation, the visibility offered by ChronosCloud helps supply chain executives make smarter, multi-view decisions regarding logistics and management. When each step of the supply chain is revealed, it becomes a simple task to identify primary sources of inefficiency and determine what areas can be optimized for a stronger competitive advantage. A study of over 1,100 small-to-medium size businesses found that 43 percent of them either don’t track or use manual processes to track, their inventory. With these numbers in mind, there is plenty of room for competitive differentiation through inventory management tools.
The type of visibility and analytics offered by ChronosCloud simplifies complex supply chain operations and gives business owners more insight into supply chain management. These insights are how companies are optimizing their supply chains to reduce spend, improve environmental sustainability, and streamline operations for maximum efficiency.
Joining the Two
While every modern supply chain should be leveraging the benefits of an ERP, it alone isn’t enough to provide the forecasting data and actionable analytics that drive supply chain growth. Data by SCDigest shows that U.S. retailers currently own about $1.43 in inventory for every $1.00 of sales made—a far from ideal ratio for an optimized supply chain. As the market continues to expand, the divide between businesses with competitive supply chain inventory management and those without will only grow.
Businesses need to leverage supply chain visibility tools like ChronosCloud alongside their ERP software. When both a well-functioning ERP and supply chain visibility software like ChronosCloud are combined, executives gain complete end-to-end control over every aspect of their supply chains.
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