Having the right raw materials, inventory, and supplies to keep businesses running efficiently and effectively today and tomorrow makes managing the supply network a critical activity. Supply chain management integrates aspects of distribution, warehouse management, operations management, procurement, logistics, and information technology to ensure continuous, on-time resupply.
As an in-stock, on-time, everything’s-where-it-should-be company, your fine-tuned supply chain provides just what customers want. No matter what kind of business you run, your business needs to run like clockwork. And to do so, you need to be able to examine it—any inch of it—in real time. To have control, you need to know what’s where and when. And with control, you can have more efficient people and processes, a better handle on costs, happier customers and, ultimately, greater profits.
For distributors, operational effectiveness is a must, but simply being effective is not enough. No longer is the business just a process of moving product from one place to another. Now, distributors face challenges in effective inventory control, changing regulations, and how to best leverage technology.
It means that you must change and adapt in how you manage distribution operations and how you do business with partners. You must identify new, faster (yet less costly) transportation modes and then find a way to extend those cost savings back to the customer. Move smaller quantities more efficiently and more effectively around the country and even around the world.
Plus, you warehousing and transportation capabilities have to be world-class. Microsoft Dynamics AX delivers distribution ERP software that is built to provide operations and logistics excellence for distributors while also offering 360-degree visibility and control throughout the entire supply chain. With a real-time look into sales data, inventory, shipment schedules, and more, you’ll have a total picture of what’s coming in and what’s going out, and an easier time managing what used to be known as “hassles.”
- Simplify critical purchasing and receiving processes.
- Know what your customers want now, and plan for what they’ll want next.
- Keep inventory lean, and still address demand.
- Get the tools to make smarter buying decisions and to negotiate better terms.
- Help improve customer service and, therefore, customer relationships.
Microsoft Dynamics AX is a Supply Chain and Distribution Management ERP solution, amongst other things, that is architected with flexibility and change in mind, built with operational excellence at its core, and focused on allowing you to drive innovation and be the market leader. It will answer all your Supply Chain requirements around inventory and it’s management throughout the supply chain be it defined in LIFO, FIFO, Kanban or Rate Based Scheduling. Today’s manufacturers are facing increased competitiveness from supposed lower cost areas as the world seemingly becomes smaller to business. Dynamics AX has the ability to help companies increase their competitiveness in the areas of :-
- Lead Time
- Customer Service.
…and there are aspects of business that is being forecast as essential to remain competitive for the future:-
- Move from forecast driven to demand driven – Instead of planning to replenish inventory, establish supply chains that allow you to fulfill demand as a single event. Taking information through the supply chain means that elements of the supply chain are able to react to actual demand variations not triggered by batch quantities and historic stock levels in ancient MRP systems.
- For products, where individuality and responsiveness are relevant, the agile supply chain – and the agile manufacturing process – must be designed for responsiveness, not for the lowest cost. Responsiveness has to be built in the process and comes with a certain cost. How to manage that cost requires inbuilt management of the business processes through the supply chain, allowing management to understand the information and make responsible business decisions accordingly.
- Substitute information for inventory – sharing information on demand and supply chain execution across the supply chain helps reducing or even eliminating inventory
- Flexible capacity – A change from a static capacity to flexible capacity models that allow businesses to scale according to actual demand. Instead of acquiring manufacturing and distribution capacity based on forecast before the fact, a now model of acquiring capacity options that can be used on specific actual demand is emerging in the markets. This requirement to produce information through the supply chain getting it from the customer allowing flexibility within the customer’s lead-time allows this flexibility.
- Economics of scale vs. Economics of scope – Instead of the volume of products, the bandwidth of products that can be delivered out of a supply chain drives the economic success. Whilst certain products need to be produced in volume and a level of product stabilisation and continuity provide a lower manufactured cost a lot of companies are now finding that customers are demanding product differentiation. As such, manufacturers’ and owners of the supply chain now need to find processes that allow products to be late configured without severe increase in costs that have been associated with such flexibility in the past.