After recent data breaches at major retailers and at Sony, most businesses would be concerned about the theft of customer or employee data. Obviously credit card, social security, and other personal information is very valuable to cybercriminals. However, how important is your supply chain and how much value does your supplier-related information have to your business or your customers? This information may not have direct monetary value but it could be valuable to your competitors.
As indicated in “Sony & Cybersecurity: Supply Chain Concerns,” posted by Kevin O’Marah on Forbes.com, few supply chain professionals appear to rate cybersecurity amongst the top concerns for supply chain risk. According to a 2014 study that sought to rate 15 supply chain risks, the highest concerns included safety or quality incidents and customer demand volatility. Data security or cyber-criminal activity was rated sixth on the list. The business sectors that rated cybersecurity as a higher risk included aerospace, finance, and media and telecommunications. These industries may place a higher value on their supply chain data such as proprietary or strategic data that could give competitors an edge. O’Marah suggests that some supply chain leaders might underestimate the importance of safeguarding this data.
Insight and control over your supply chain is an important part of your business. When managed in a secure enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, you can have access to the key supplier data you need, when you need it. You can manage inventory, demand and forecast planning, shipping and logistics, and warehouse operations from a single, integrated ERP solution. You can then use this data to ensure that you have the quality inventory you need for your customers, in the right quantities, when it’s needed.
A robust ERP solution can also automate order processing and provide workflows that can alert or notify key employees and managers as tasks are being completed. Added insight into customer purchasing behaviors can further improve strategic procurement decisions as well as customer satisfaction. You may discover replenishment trends, for example, and save money on inventory purchases and deliveries.
You may not realize how valuable your supply chain can be until you can monitor and measure its profitability. Contact The Resource Group for more information about finding value in and securing your supply chain with ERP.
By The Resource Group, a Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner out of Washington