How ERP will evolve to keep pace with changes in the supply chain

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Categories: Distribution / Supply Chain, ERP
July 20, 2017

Today’s supply chain looks entirely different than it did ten years ago — or even five years ago for that matter. Changing customer expectations, the cloud, social, mobile and the Internet of Things (IoT) have all disrupted the supply chain and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Most importantly for the supply chain, ERP is evolving as well to accommodate developments.

As IoT devices increase in adoption, there are exciting possibilities for the supply chain.

Technology for optimizing service parts inventory management is advancing.

Although managing service parts inventory is critical for developing positive customer relationships, many enterprises are still failing. For companies that sell complex products (like heavy machinery), this is particularly challenging.

With advanced analytics, companies can optimize parts inventory and create systems to monitor the supply chain and ship to customers quickly. Studies show that companies with effective Supply Chain Visibility (SCV) systems delivered average inventory turns 30% faster.

Predictive analytics are penetrating the supply chain

In recent years businesses have collected massive amounts of data on customers and internal operations. The advent of predictive analytics will convert this data into actionable business insights. By 2020, predictive analytics will be worth $9.2 billion globally. Predictive analytics will impact the supply chain by enabling forecasting and trend analyses that can be used in real-time decision-making, not just post hoc analysis.

Imagine, for example, that a particular product tends to trend during the summer month. In combination with a robust ERP system, predictive analytics can help you prepare for that with laser-like precision.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is reshaping the supply chain

As IoT devices increase in adoption, there are exciting possibilities for the supply chain. IoT devices will affect fleet management, shipment tracking, and inventory management (among others). As today’s customers expect faster service and have less patience for mistakes, IoT devices will enable enterprises to enhance the supply chain with speed and agility to meet these demands.

Automation will grow further

Driverless vehicles are becoming a reality. By 2020, an estimated 10 million driverless cars will be on the road. Driverless trucks will undoubtedly impact the supply chain. Automation within warehouses is also becoming common, and ERP will have a role in tracking this distribution method.

Businesses are expanding into new markets

Economic growth in China and India means that major markets are opening up to new possibilities, but also posing new challenges. Businesses will need to arrange supply chain logistics, determine how new customers differ from existing customers and develop strategies for competing in increasingly crowded markets.

Smart ERP: the key to the new supply chain

In the years to come, “smart” ERP will help businesses optimize the new supply chain. These ERP platforms go beyond data storage repositories to provide business data-driven insights. Cloud-based ERP is growing enabling access to more data than ever, in real-time. Companies who are quick to embrace smart ERP will better serve customers and bring products to market much more quickly.

Successfully implementing ERP is challenging. Your organization could use a partner to help you select and implement a smart ERP system that meets your needs. NexTec Group has experience implementing Acumatica, Sage X3, Microsoft Dynamics, and other ERP systems. Contact us today for more information.