How integration supports the supply chain evolution

CIOs in the supply chain sector are investing in transformation projects to improve how they source, produce and move goods faster at a lower cost

The past few years have been tumultuous in the supply chain space. Organisations have commenced implementations using sensor-based Internet of Things (IoT) data for creating revolutionary new processes; 3D printing and artificial intelligence (AI) are entering pilot-mode at an increasing rate; and drone delivery and driverless vehicles may just be around the corner.

This has been fuelled by increasing globalisation, the digital economy and evolving customer demands. And as systems and information multiply, CIOs are investing in transformation projects to improve how they source, produce and move goods faster at a lower cost.

But a significant question remains: how can these investments be shaped into better customer experiences, and consequently, sustainable, long-term revenue streams?

Based on what I have seen in the supply chain space, organisations are differentiating themselves through transparency and flexibility across key systems – from enterprise resource planning (ERP) and warehouse management, to mobile scanners, customer relationship management (CRM), ecommerce portals and electronic data interchange (EDI) for automated transactions.

Leading organisations have therefore moved or are in the process of moving to cloud-based operational models that leverage integration to ensure consistency and visibility for employees and customers throughout the entire supply chain as part of an omni-channel experience.

For example, Australian third party logistics services provider for the automotive, commercial and industrial sectors, AMCAP, recently turned to cloud-based integration to consolidate multiple legacy systems into a unified platform.

Having shifted its IT environment from an outdated mainframe to a modern supply chain management system, it deployed an integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) to connect critical supply chain management applications, including its enterprise resource planning (ERP) and warehouse management systems.

As a result, the organisation’s employees now have granular control over supply chain processes and the data involved in these. All information is presented in a single interface without compromising data accuracy. This allows the company to respond to various customer demands much faster, demonstrated with its new real-time cycle count adjustments. Previously available on a weekly basis, its customer can now see to-the-minute updates on inventory information, speeding up order-to-delivery times.

As well as improving efficiency and visibility, other organisations which have gone down this route have achieved:

Read more: The role of integration in transforming university experiences

  • Accelerated trading partner on-boarding and automating electronic transactions;
  • Workflow automation for streamlined procurement, replenishment, credit limit and other processes;
  • Enhanced ecommerce portals with real-time stock availability data from ERP and warehouse management;
  • And improved in-person sales by enabling sales teams to showcase and order products and inventory when mobile or working remotely, based on real-time data.

These types of benefits cannot be delivered without the right technology and integration tools. Unfortunately, most CIOs are grappling with all kinds of strategic and tactical decisions for improving their supply chains. Many organisations still use outdated, costly and time-consuming on-premises middleware which inhibits their ability to move at a rate the market demands.

Additionally, there are still plenty of bait-and-switch scenarios fooling companies – legacy systems continue to be dressed up as pure cloud offerings, drawing organisations into significant investment without providing transparency into the limitations of these ‘solutions’. By modernising through a true cloud-based integration strategy, organisations can expect pivotal improvements across their businesses and the experience they are able to deliver to their customers.

Nathan Gower is an enterprise account executive at Dell Boomi.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

By Nathan Gower

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?