In ancient days, men tried to store grain for impeding drought and traded with other cultures for goods and services. Much of the cuneiform of Assyria was the metrics of supplies. Although a beginning, this was a hit or miss deal for centuries, sometimes affecting countries and wars and influencing history from ancient Egypt the story of Joseph to Marie Antoinette and France.
Fredrick Taylor, who wrote The Principles of Scientific Management in 1911, and started the movement of supply chain management and engineering. During World War II, the concept of supply and demand was recognized as vital to logistics and could determine the outcome of any conflict by limiting scarcity.
As each decade moved forward, different aspects of the process took precedence from the use of the “unit load” concept, when pallets became popular, to the use of computers in the ’80s. Now, the industry is stepping into a new phase, with complex but streamline supply chain software becoming what drives and influences, and tracks. These software applications can be complex and at times difficult to use, but it creates massives amounts of critical data and metrics. The ability to have vast metrics at a logician’s fingertips gives him the element of magic and wizardry in the hands of a master.
What makes a good supply chain software?
A good supply chain software incorporates and coordinates all the aspects of the supply chain cycle.
The 5 critical components of supply chain management are:
- The plan or strategy to create and deliver the products
- The source which is either raw materials or services
- Manufacturing of the good which focuses on productivity and efficiency
- Delivery and logistics and who is responsible for each step.
- The return system for when there are unwanted products or defective products or services.
What does supply chain software do?
It doesn’t make your coffee, but it does make the job of moving large shipments easy by tracking all the components that create a smooth set of transitions. Supply-chain-management software, or SCMS as its acronym is called, is a series of modules and units used in accomplishing the procedures of supply chain transactions while managing supplier relationships. It also tracks any associated business transaction Forbes talks about the future software holds for supply chain management and that it will help create a global scale business for even a small business.
Supply Chain Management Review has a whole category discussing the various kinds of software and their uses.
Tips to pick the right software for your company.
Make sure the software is customized for your industry and needs. Determine whether the software can integrate with what you already have for other software and for how your company, large or small runs. More complex software doesn’t necessarily do the job.
Consider your software vendor as you would any other vendor. Are they reliable? Do they give you support?