Guide to Supply Chain Management (SCM) Software
Effective and efficient supply chain management is best achieved with the help of supply chain management (SCM) software. On top of connecting your business to its core supply chain functions and operational processes, SCM platforms allow you to lower costs while increasing your competitive advantage. That’s because supply chain management solutions oversee all the moving parts of your entire supply chain, giving you the ability to optimize performance and productivity, streamline your various shipping schedules, and drive revenue in a big way.
What is supply chain management (SCM) software?
Supply chain management software is used to execute supply chain transactions, manage supplier relationships, and control end-to-end business processes. Modern SCM software helps to digitize a wide range of ecommerce activities, from product development and manufacturing, to order fulfillment and delivery to the end customer. With the help of automated SCM systems, retailers can enjoy more strategic sourcing and production — thus enhancing their workflows, improving supply chain performance, and maximizing cost-efficiency.
What are the benefits of SCM software?
Supply chain management tools, like SCM software, offer a number of benefits for anyone who’s operating an ecommerce enterprise. Among the greatest perks of SCM software are: automating repetitive tasks, optimizing the supply chain, streamlining shipment, alleviating common risks, and boosting your inventory management strategy as a whole.
Automate repetitive tasks
These days, the best SCM software has a cloud-based approach, meaning updates to the system are available in real-time (so as not to impede your supply chain productivity). What’s more, most advanced SCM platforms are equipped with helpful automations to simplify your most tedious and time-consuming tasks, such as order processing, invoicing, and inventory tracking. Automating these repetitive responsibilities not only increases the capacity of your warehouse team, but it supports the accuracy of your supply chain operations, as well.
Optimize the supply chain
Ecommerce supply chains are in a constant state of flux given the neverending flow of order fulfillment and replenishment. With that in mind, the trick to really optimizing the supply chain process is to cut down on the time between manufacturing and final delivery. Fortunately, SCM software can help facilitate those efforts with ease. Because SCM systems provide supply chain visibility across your entire supplier network — storage spaces, distribution centers, etc — you can quickly coordinate all your ship dates, procurement of raw materials, and more.
When using SCM software, business owners have a real-time overview of the supply chain process from beginning to end. In other words, retailers can pinpoint costly bottlenecks and/or operational efficiencies to make improvements where needed. By making the necessary changes to promote synchronization and improve product flow, you’ll also streamline shipping at the same time. And this streamlined shipping translates to minimized delays, fewer late shipments, and perhaps most importantly, greater satisfaction from your customer base.
Decrease costs, increase profits
Advanced supply chain management software has the power to decrease your operational costs in several areas. For example, SCM programs can help you identify where you have excess inventory or materials, to then uncover significant cost-savings within your warehousing, manufacturing, and logistics processes. By recognizing (and subsequently eliminating) this waste, your company can reduce many of its overhead fees, as well as increase its profits and overall revenue without having to fundamentally change the way you operate.
Alleviate common risks
There’s no denying there are a variety of risks involved with managing a supply chain and running a product-based brand. The good news is, implementing SCM software can alleviate the most common (and costly) risks you might encounter. Using SCM solutions, you can notably improve how you respond to unforeseen disruptions — ranging from machine failures and missing goods, all the way to urgent orders and human errors. Without these risks looming over your company, you can provide better quality products and a higher level of customer service.
Boost inventory management
Cloud-based SCM software makes it easy to exercise inventory control within the product lifecycle, because you can make sure your goods aren’t sitting too long (and transitioning into dead stock). Supply chain management systems deliver precise details on an item’s location, giving you greater awareness around when goods are in production versus when it’s time to reorder. In that way, SCM software really boosts your inventory management, since it helps inform demand planning and allows for quick estimations on what (or how much) to produce.
Gain data-driven insights
Inventory forecasting is one of the most important functions associated with your inventory management strategy; thankfully, supply chain management software delivers data-driven insights that make it super simple to forecast customer demand. That’s because SCM systems help capture and convert data into comprehensive, predictive analytics that aid in your decision-making process. With these insights in tow, your company can make any number of supply chain planning decisions, since you have full knowledge of your available inventory.
Better accuracy of reporting
The reality is, your inventory reports don’t have much weight (i.e. value) if you can’t guarantee their accuracy. Whereas manual reporting or inventory counts are likely to be full of errors and inaccuracies, supply chain management applications offer tons of useful and trusted information on order transmission, order status, and more. Not only does this accuracy of reporting via SCM software help you make smarter purchasing decisions, but it also enables you to reorder or replenish your inventory within a shorter window (meaning deliveries happen on time, too).
What is the best supply chain management software?
Development of ecommerce software has certainly accelerated over the last few years, and with it, there’s been a dramatic rise in the number of SCM systems. But while there’s no shortage of supply chain management software on the market today, certain programs still stand out among the rest. A few of the best SCM software options include: Skubana, Anvyl, Deliverr, Omnae, ShipMonk, and TrueCommerce.
Skubana is an all-in-one operations software that supports ecommerce businesses in synchronizing their inventory data from multiple sales channels, warehouses, 3PLs, POS systems, purchase orders, and more. With the help of Skubana’s advanced supply chain management features, online retailers can automate repetitive tasks and transform multichannel complexity into singular clarity. Skubana’s real-time updates are an amazing resource to minimize storage costs, avoid stockouts, and even enhance your demand forecasting.
Skubana’s cloud-based ERP software is perfectly suited for multi-fulfillment sellers who need unmatched visibility into their sales and order fulfillment data. By teaming up with Skubana, you’ll have access to integrations with third-party logistics providers (including Amazon FBA), dropshipping features to facilitate fulfillment by vendors, order routing for greater speed and control over fulfillment, and fully customizable workflows which can adapt as your brand scales.
“We spent a lot of money trying to find everything that Skubana can do. I wish we found them earlier. The best part is to be able to forecast inventory needed across multiple fulfillment centers around the world. Best ERP...EVER!” — Nicholai J., CEO DTC Brand
Anvyl understands that the cornerstone of a successful ecommerce company is exceptional supply chain organization and product management. As a leading supplier relationship management software, Anvyl gives ecommerce retailers an opportunity to not only manage suppliers, but to oversee production and house historical product data from initial acquisition to its final fulfillment. Using Anvyl’s myriad of organizational tools, brands can readily take advantage of improved clarity, automation, and collaboration across all selling channels.
Deliverr is an FBA-like, multichannel fulfillment service for your Shopify, Walmart, Amazon, eBay, and BigCommerce business needs. The fast and affordable fulfillment from Deliverr helps boost sales while reducing order processing time, and can easily integrate with compatible inventory management systems (like Skubana) for optimal results and efficiency. Deliverr's all-inclusive platform lets you execute on your marketplace and shopping cart orders in no time at all, so you can delight your customers with reliable and predictable fulfillment on every order.
Omnae's mission is to enable your ecommerce company to organize its supply chain processes, simplify its complex operations, and continuously improve its product quality metrics. The Omnae system helps minimize manual tasks to really get your production under control, and offers tremendous visibility into features like order status and supplier management (and/or performance). What's more, Omnae can eliminate both miscommunication and human error, thus saving you time, money, and reducing your outsourcing risk to a notable degree.
ShipMonk is a third-party logistics provider that’s a viable choice for businesses of all sizes. The software from ShipMonk integrates inventory, order, and warehouse management systems (WMS) with enterprise-level order fulfillment and warehousing services. With fulfillment centers strategically located all over the U.S., ShipMonk empowers companies everywhere to elevate their order fulfillment, streamline their supply chain and transportation management, and scale their operations in a sustainable way. It’s no wonder their motto is: Stress Less, Grow More.
TrueCommerce from B2B Gateway is a cloud-based, fully-integrated EDI and API connectivity software solution. The TrueCommerce platform encourages a continuous exchange of business documents and relevant supply chain information like purchase orders, inventory updates, and advanced shipping notices (by way of any communication method). Because TrueCommerce is operated and maintained by its own developers, it gives them the ability to customize the program so it fits into any business model and satisfies the customer’s exact needs.
Skubana can help
Skubana’s innovative SaaS platform is ideal for multi-fulfillment sellers who need a holistic view of sales data, fulfillment data, and automated supply chain management for every SKU across every channel. In short, Skubana’s order management system powers inventory optimization, order fulfillment, and business intelligence for brands who want multichannel profitability. Lastly, Skubana synchronizes data from sales channels, CRM, warehouses, 3PLs, and POS systems to help minimize storage costs, free up capital, and provide a superior customer experience.
Schedule a free demo with Skubana, and get ready to optimize your supply chain in no time.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is supply chain management software?
Supply chain management (SCM) software is used to execute supply chain transactions, manage supplier relationships, and control end-to-end business processes. Using automated SCM systems, retailers can enjoy more strategic sourcing and production — thus enhancing their workflows, improving supply chain performance, and maximizing cost-efficiency.
How much does supply chain management software cost?
Supply chain management software can cost anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars each year. This pricing structure largely depends on the size of your business, the customizations you require, and whether you opt for a cloud-based or on-premise solution.
Is supply chain software vulnerable?
While supply chain software does present some vulnerabilities, there are protective measures you can take that’ll help limit this exposure. For example, you can carefully evaluate the platforms you partner with to decrease the amount (and impact) of security breaches.
Matthew Rickerby is the Director of Marketing at Skubana, the leading solution for multichannel, multi-warehouse D2C brands. For the past ten years, he’s covered e-commerce topics ranging from SEO to supply chain management.