Supply Chains Benefit from Information Sharing

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In a report by SCM World, 49.1% of buyers and 40.8% of sellers believe information-sharing benefits supply chain efficiency.  Keeping the supplier up-to-date with buyer forecast and promotional plans will provide better lead times and enable the supplier to prepare for busy times.  The added lead times offers assurance that the buyer will get the products they need for their customers in a timely, and likely more affordable, manner.

In order to promote information-sharing, suppliers and manufacturers or distributors need to have the right enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solution in place.  Powerful software, like Microsoft Dynamics® GP, provides management capabilities for inventory control, manufacturing, and supply chain management, as well as other core business functions including financials, human resources, and business intelligence.  Using ERP software will capture and organize the right information that is worth sharing with the supply chain.  Using spreadsheets and disparate software for important data can lead to old and inaccurate data.  Sharing old or unreliable data could lead to even more problems within the supply chain, not less.

The Business Analyzer feature built in Microsoft Dynamics GP will provide more accurate inventory forecasts which will save you valuable cash in having to maintain buffer inventory or simply over-stocking the shelves.  Using more information than just historical data alone, you can determine what inventory you may want to have on hand at any given time.  Watching for trends in your customer buying habits, seasonal product sales, and other influencing factors will give you a better picture of what inventory to have on hand, when to have that inventory, and in reasonable quantities.  When you can be confident in what you need to satisfy your customer demands, then you can share information with your supply chain.  Know which suppliers can supply your inventory on time and within your budget.

This extra lead time should protect against backorders or missing inventory and save money from expensive short-term delivery fees.  When suppliers can have the extra lead time to provide you with the inventory you may need, they can better prepare for that order too.  Organizing their own logistics such as staffing, production, and setting-up deliveries ensures that they have the inventory, time, and people to prepare your order in accordance with your specifications.

Data sharing throughout the supply chain will streamline the collaboration required for all parties to be able to share their products with today’s consumers.  Getting high quality, affordable products into the marketplace can be easier when there is transparency and communication, as well as the right ERP software.  Contact Socius for more information about managing inventory and supply chain more effectively with Microsoft Dynamics GP.

By Socius, Ohio Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner

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