For the first time, the spotlight of worldwide logistics industry is on India as the global logistics industry is poised for growth in emerging markets in 2016 as per a survey by the 2016 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index. India holds a special mention as the country with the most growth potential, even overtaking China. Essa Al-Saleh, President and CEO of Agility Global Integrated Logistics, is of the view that “… the fundamentals driving growth remain constant – a rising middle class with spending power, progress in poverty reduction, growing populations. That’s why we are still positive on the outlook for emerging markets and see them driving global growth”. In such a buoyant scenario, the role of SCM or Supply Chain Management is enhanced as Supply Chain Management can directly influence and enable the verticals of delivery, cost reduction and customer satisfaction.
Import of SCM Software
There is the evident growth in the logistics sector however for sustaining this growth, the supply chain sector in India needs three basic aspects:
- ℹ Improvement in performance,
- (ii) Provide manpower support and
- (iii) Incorporate best global practices; according to KPMG India.
And for SCM to function effectively, an updated SCM software is a key requirement. In the logistics management bizmeth, an updated SCM software is integral to growth and expansion objectives.
Key Factors of SCM Software
Broadly speaking, the SCM software envelops planning and execution applications of four core areas, viz. Transport Management System (TMS), Warehouse Management System (WMS), Procurement and Supply Management; using advanced algorithms for order filling and tracking status of goods. SCM includes overseeing the efficient flow of product, information and finance from supplier to manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer and eventually to consumer. SCM software coordinates and integrates these processes effectively by smooth functioning of movement of goods from supplier to customer and back, tracking orders and status of delivery along with payment schedules and consignment arrangement. Hence, the software for SCM is more of an investment for future-ready companies rather than just an additional requirement for the company.
Selection of SCM Software
The market is flooded with various software’s for SCM. Freightview, Path guide, Procurify and eBidExchange are a few common SCM software’s. However, the selection of the right supply chain software can be like finding a needle in the haystack unless you choose the one that matches your specific requirements. The right software should be an integrated one that supports you in both enhancing productivity as well as streamlining processes.
But before you go about the selection process of software, an essential pre-requisite is that you should make a comprehensive list of all the features that you think are necessary for smooth functioning of your company, such as value-added processing, in-built accounting or billing and inventory control benefits among others. You should also choose an experienced vendor as it will help in after-sales service as well. It is important to explain the nature and scale of your business (whether your business is regional, national or global).
3 Tips for Software Selection
- Capability to Manage Inventory Management at Various Locations – A cloud-based software can act upon the information that is fed into it but it doesn’t have the skill for operating at multiple locations. The ideal software should be able to handle multi-location operations and inventory management. For instance, Gati was the first Indian logistic company to receive ISO 9001 certification, has an EMS that matches its scale of operations and includes tracking system, customers’ facilities, WMS (EbizNet) along with a full-fledged disaster recovery site and VTS enabled vehicles.
- Assimilate the Needs of Customers and Suppliers – The customers and suppliers have their own set of systems so your software should be interoperable such that your processes flow smoothly along with their data requirements. This holds true for processes and data within the company as well as this aspect caters to information flow of SCM.
- Manufacturer-focused ERP software – A centralized ERP software may be expensive so you should go in for individual SCM systems. Moreover, the TMS is also integrated in such systems.
So now that you have the tips and pre-requisites to choose SCM software, make sure that you select one that maximizes efficiency in order to sustain the uptick in India’s GDP, transport infrastructure, e-commerce growth and initiatives like “Make in India”.