Improve Supply Chain Execution with Better Technology

July 6, 2010
The importance of information to the success of supply chains is stronger than ever given economic conditions. Information is what links every node and enterprise of a supply chain. And that's where supply chain execution software and related data capture technologies come into the picture.

Supply chain execution solutions include enterprise resource planning (ERP), warehouse management systems (WMS), transportation management systems (TMS), warehouse control systems (WCS), and data capture systems. How they are combined depends on the situation. The trick is to match the right combination of how you collect, disseminate and apply information to the systems and operations that move the goods, according to a recent report from the Supply Chain Execution Systems & Technologies (SCE) Industry Group of Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA).

"The advantage to using data systems and getting information is it will move to scale," says KardexRemstar's Ed Romaine, chair of MHIA's SCE Industry Group. "When business is slow, you can use these systems to find efficiencies and reduce labor and inventory. When business is gangbusters they help you meet customer demand and expectations. Information flow within the SCE system allows you to work more efficiently, all the way from a work cell to a WMS and ERP system."

"Even with growth in the economy businesses won’t go back to the way they were," adds RedPrairie's Jim LeTart, an SCE Group member delegate. "It's time to press the reset button. There won't be fast growth any more. There will be more uncertainty about the price of fuel, for instance. As the world becomes more global, companies will need to stay on top of how these things affect their supply chain," adds RedPrairie's Jim LeTart, an SCE Group member delegate.

View the complete report here.