What is SCM Software?
Supply Chain Management Software (SCM) is supply chain software used for the broad range of activities necessary to plan, control, and execute the product flow for on time supply. It includes planning every step from product conception, production, and delivery, all the way to putting the product in the hands of the final customer, otherwise known as SCM commerce interface.
The New Reality of Retail Supply Chain Management Software
Managing the Retail Supply Chain is not as linear as it used to be. The focus has shifted in recent years to cover many of the following areas that fit within the realm of supply chain management SCM.
Tendering or competitive bidding and the signing off of terms & conditions.
Product Lifecycle Management
Tracking and managing private label goods as they move through the typical stages of its product life.
Supply chain planning
Coordinating assets and critical path management to optimize the delivery of goods faster to market.
The ultimate information flow or tracking and managing finished production, shipments, on-time & full orders.
Supplier relationship management
Let’s be frank: supply chain management solutions and procurement have some catching up to do. The customer-facing side of many retail businesses has been deploying disruptive technologies for some time to predict the behavior of customers and markets. It’s time procurement and supply chain began operating in a similar, forward-looking fashion by adopting cutting-edge supply chain software to harness data and use it to drive decision-making and predictive insights.
History of Supply Chain Management (SCM)
Before we discuss the current innovations, let’s first dig into to the history of supply chains. Supply chains have existed since ancient times, beginning with the very first product or service created and sold. With the advent of industrialization, SCM became more sophisticated, allowing retailers to do a more efficient job of producing and delivering their store brand goods.
For example, Henry Ford’s standardization of automobile parts was a game-changer that allowed for the mass production of goods to meet the demands of a growing customer base. Over time, incremental changes (such as the invention of computers) have brought additional levels of sophistication to supply management software. However, for generations, SCM essentially remained a linear, siloed function that was managed by supply chain specialists only.
The internet, technology innovation, and the explosion of the demand-driven global economy has changed all that. Today’s supply chain management software is no longer a linear entity. Rather, it’s a complex collection of disparate networks that can be accessed 24 hours a day. At the center of these networks are retail consumers expecting to see new, creative and innovative products ―when they want them, the way they want them.
We now live in a time of unprecedented global retail business and trade, not to mention continual technology innovation and rapidly changing customer expectations. Today’s best supply chain strategies call for a demand-driven operating model that can successfully bring people, processes, and technology together around integrated capabilities to deliver goods and services with extraordinary speed and accuracy.
Though supply chain management software has always been an enterprise fundamental, the supply chain today is more vital than ever as a marker in retail. Companies that can effectively manage their supply chain to adapt to today’s volatile and ever-changing, technology-driven business environment are the ones that will survive and thrive.
Building the Case for Supply Chain Innovation
Let’s make the case for procurement and supply chain teams to stop thinking about supply chain management (SCM) as a means to an end, and start basing strategy on the capabilities of new and emerging technologies. Market-leading retail enterprises have already planned or plan to mobilize data, digitization and disruptive technologies to unlock new opportunities and efficiencies within the supply chain management solutions arena.
Digitalization puts existing business models to the test and questions existing retail business processes and logic. Retail organizations find themselves in an increasingly volatile environment and face an ever-increasing demand for flexibility. Logistics and supply chain management software shapes these processes that long for innovative concepts to achieve the requirements of the digital age. The dense interweaving of the physical and digital space poses new risks with regards to data security and creates new requirements with respect to data exchange and acquisition. In contrast, it creates millions of opportunities to optimize, to become more flexible and to reduce risks in the retail supply chain.
CBX Software’s supply chain management solutions focuses on digitization in the supply chain. CBX Cloud provides comprehensive end-to-end product development data related to private label products from conception to delivery. CBX Software’s supply management software also covers risk management, cybersecurity, the internet of things and Blockchain to provide the central nervous system of a retailer’s store brand global supply chain.
Supply chain management (SCM) consists of all activities involved in fulfilling a customer request. Effective management of the supply chain entails management of material, product production, product information and financial flows. Supply chain is perhaps the only discipline and retail business function in an organization that cuts across functional boundaries.
Globalization has heightened the strategic importance and of supply chain management (SCM) and created new opportunities for using supply chain strategy and planning as a competitive tool. Internal and external coordination issues are becoming critical for effective management of the supply chain. Retail supply chain related costs account for 20-25% of a typical retailer’s total cost of a product. On the revenue side, the supply chain decisions have a direct impact on the market penetration and customer service.
SCM software harnesses the power to help retail professional manage supply, understand and overcome issues in designing and managing end-to-end global supply chains.
Today’s application of radical new technologies for manufacturing has been dubbed Industry 4.0, or the “fourth industrial revolution.” In this latest iteration of industrialization, technologies such as AI, machine learning, the Internet of Things, automation, and sensors are transforming the way retailers manufacture, maintain, and distribute new private label products. It can be said that retail Industry 4.0 is built on the supply chain.
In retail 4.0, the way retailers apply technology to the supply chain is fundamentally different from how they applied it in the past. For example, within private label production management, enterprises would typically communicate back and forth via email and spreadsheets on production updates and sample request. Smart technology has changed that. We can now get instant access to real-time updates and then take steps to prevent slowness in the process so that the supply chain can continue uninterrupted. Today’s SCM software is about using technology to make the supply chain―and the enterprise―smarter.
Industry 4.0 supply chain management software also provides a significant advantage over legacy SCM software because it enables aligned planning and execution while at the same time delivering substantial cost savings. For instance, companies that operate under a “plan-to-produce” model—in which product production is linked as closely as possible to customer demand—must create an accurate forecast. That involves juggling numerous inputs to ensure that what is produced will meet market demand without exceeding it, avoiding costly overstocks. Intelligent SCM solutions can help you meet customer demand and financial objectives at the same time while concept to delivery improves from 90 days to 65 days.
The agile supply chain basically refers to the use of responsiveness, competency, flexibility, and quickness to manage how well a retail entity manages and operates their private label supply chain. Unlike the lean supply chain, the agile supply chain uses real-time data and updated information, to leverage current operations and real-time data against demand forecast, which helps to improve the overall efficiency and productivity of the given entity or a products speed to market.
A key benefit of agility within supply chain management software is focusing on avoiding potential shortages and excessively stocked products. In a sense, overstocking inventory was a typical response of lean concept. Since lean concept focuses on making processes more effective and efficient, many supply chain entities often ended up with a huge stock of merchandise. Unfortunately, changes in the economic market, consumer demand, and the growing customization of goods has led to lost costs as inventory was incapable or became unwanted over time.
Agility provides benefits to the retail industry. By maintaining agility, retail entities can adapt to high variety and sudden changes in volume. Unfortunately, this implies the supply chain may not be able to produce a high volume of goods if certain materials are available. As a result, retail entities who have implemented agile supply chain solutions understand that real-time data means the sudden change in demand could occur without warning, which could undermine the relationship between suppliers. Therefore, these entities have sought to find ways to still arrive at the same finished product, but at a customized result for each order.
For example, a retail entity in fashion or textile printing may not print the actual materials until those materials have already been ordered by a consumer. However, this implies the printing on the materials would not be able to take place until an order has been created, and subsequently, the printing processes would need to take place as close as possible to the area where the order would be fulfilled. Ultimately, this SCM commerce interfaces critical point in the agile supply chain goes back to breaking down organizational silos and rigid structures to better meet the demands on a local level.
Supply chain management solutions have other advantages, too. For instance, it can free up supply chain employees to contribute to the business in ways that add more value. Better supply chain software systems that automate mundane tasks can equip supply chain professionals with the tools they need to successfully deliver the products and services the supply chain is designed around.
Major retailers are looking to connect their entire retail ecosystem on a single, cloud-based network and introduce real-time communication with supply chain partners from around the world. With Supply Chain Management software by CBX Software, now you can drive end-to-end transparency throughout the product development and delivery process, foster virtual collaboration with your global supply chain community, and bring pin-point accuracy to costing, scheduling, and optimization.
CBX Software can help implement retail supply chain management software that is tailored to your company. If you’re interested in learning more about how CBX can seamlessly integrate into your current workflow or have any questions about our software, reach out to us. We look forward to working with you andhelping your company achieve its true potential.
Talk to CBX to see which type of use is most suitable for your business to adapt. Contact Us
Regularly we’ll send you the latest supply chain news, insights, tools and tips. Subscribe to our newsletter!