According to a recent survey, nearly one-fifth of companies in the manufacturing sector believe that proper supply chain management is a strategically important part of a successful business plan while a further 40 percent acknowledge the issue as an essential component in an overall plan.
In part, this increasing emphasis on supply chain management results from the globalized world in which American companies now do business. Even small and medium-sized firms can beheavily impacted by events outside the nation when those events have consequences that cascade across their supply chains. Something that seems as distant as a series of floods in Thailand can cause a ripple effect that interferes with the supply chain of a needed material for a manufacturing line in New York or Massachusetts.
To manage a globalized supply chain better, companies both large and small are increasingly turning to specialized software suites. Often known as ‘supply chain collaboration platforms’, these programs can help firms engaged in manufacturing to coordinate better with their partners and suppliers. SCM software also offers tools that can be used to generate additional business intelligence, such as analytics and visualizations that occur in real-time.
Like all forms of software, supply chain management programs come in a variety of configurations, not all of which will suit a given company or organization. Rather than using trial and error to find the right platform for their own particular needs, small and medium sized businesses engaged in manufacturing should consider exploring their options with the help of with an IT consulting company.