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How To Reduce Supply Chain Complexity Through Integrated Labeling

Supply chains can become complex very quickly. In recent years, supply chains have become ever more complex, with stipulations from states to conform to their COVID-19 regulations. As a result, many businesses have realized that simplifying their supply chains is one way they can develop more efficient processes. The common consensus is that labeling and product packaging go a long way towards reducing supply chain complexity. But how does a company leverage integrated labeling to make its supply chain simpler?

Labeling Standardization and Centralization in Large Supply Chains

Most businesses at the top of the pile in supply chain management demonstrate that labeling is one of the most critical areas for a company to improve its supply chain agility. While most non-specialists might not be aware of how crucial labeling is to a supply chain’s success, most experts are well aware. From warehousing to shipping to logistical planning, efficient labeling can help a business develop better-streamlined processes. Moreover, as companies expand, the importance of standardized labeling becomes even more of a pressing issue.

A business may have several offices operating worldwide. Having standardized labeling means that each of the company’s products carries the same information on them. This standardization means that no matter which manufacturing facility produces the item, the labels remain consistent across the board. It also serves as means of quality control. However, standardized labeling requires centralization, and the single best way to incorporate this into a business-wide implementation is to integrate it with ERP systems like SAP.

SAP’s Role in Centralized Labeling

As noted previously, if a business operates in different locales worldwide, standardized labeling would make it more adaptable. However, labeling, on its own, won’t address the data that underlies these goods. How can geographically disparate manufacturing compounds guarantee that their labels reflect the products accurately? SAP and other ERP solutions offer a centralized data store as a “single source of truth” that labels can reference. SAP’s centralized database helps with the automation and standardization of labels across geographically disparate manufacturing locations. Therefore, seamless integration with SAP can result in bi-directional data exchanges, keeping the database updated with each modification.

Immediately, most supply chain managers can spot that this will significantly improve the efficiency of processes.  With all data stored in a single centralized location, labels can be dynamically generated without the need for manual input. A random sample of labels will detect gross errors, but standard labels can conform to any region’s specific mandates on what should be included on the label. Since regulatory labeling is a dynamic field, responding to new requirements in an agile way is crucial to maintaining the company’s presence in a local market.

The Strategic Role of SAP in Simplifying the Supply Chain

Integrating SAP with business applications will ensure that its data is always up-to-date. This integration guarantees that the information on labels is also fully current. Contracting vendors used to working with SAP or other ERPs allow you to leverage their expertise in developing labels. Don’t spend money on infrastructure, but establish a system to scale across multiple manufacturing locations. The aim is not to make the system more complex through the addition of more individual processes but simplify it. That way, you can conduct operations through the simplicity of a single VoIP headset to reach out to each manufacturing location remotely.

 

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