While bigger organizations with financial resources and emergency funds are better equipped and more resilient to handle supply chain challenges, small and medium enterprises lack that capability. Such disruptions result in loss of market share, increased costs and loss of revenue.
Fortunately, small businesses can create a leveled playing field with larger organizations by adopting automation technologies for procurement and demand planning and build the required supply chain resilience. Such future-proof cloud ERP applications include Acumatica, which provides real-time insights and reliable analytics for better supply chain visibility.
This post looks at how you can mitigate supply chain challenges using cloud ERP applications. Let’s jump right in!
1. Real and Forecasted Demand Planning
You cannot enjoy a seamless supply chain with proper demand planning. In this, you’ll consider both real and forecasted demand. Actual demand comes from real customer orders, while forecasted demand is from statistical forecast models and sales projections.
Demand planning strategies deal with sales orders, retail and commerce, inventory management and demand forecasting.
Since sales reps and blanket contracts create real orders for now and the future, you should be on the look out for ways to improve the sales process and thus reduce supply chain interruptions. This is how cloud ERP will help you achieve that goal:
- Matrix items for creating sale orders by item attributes for more product accuracy.
- Avoiding stockouts with substitute item suggestions
- Uploading item photos for improved order accuracy for customers and in-house sales through connected storefronts
- Grouping items by categories to help in product identification
- Reserve stock for customers from sales order entry
- Get long-term commitments with blanket sales orders
- Set up discounts and customer price sheets for higher volume purchases during off-peak seasons
- Review the sales history for better repeat order accuracy
- Embed CRM to gain a 360-degree view of customer interactions
- Automation for faster order processing. This includes fulfillment partners, service executives, hands-off to the warehouse, construction teams, and project partners for faster order processing.
- Intercompany transactions which involve automatically creating a sales order in one company from a purchase order in another.
You can mitigate supply chain challenges when you have visibility into your stock in all warehouses and you simplify the inventory processes. Cloud ERP applications like Acumatica will help you to:
- Establish replenishment profiles to know how planned transfer orders affect inventory in each warehouse
- Inquiries provide valuable insights into the old stock that should be removed from the inventory
- Sales for kits offer visibility into demand for kit components
- With item class hierarchy definitions, you can set defaults for sales orders for improved data accuracy
- With Connected Quality Management, you can identify suspect inventory to isolate it from on-hand calculations with the best corrective actions.
Retail and Commerce
When disconnection exists between commerce applications and the point of sale, demand visibility is limited, resulting in inaccurate plans. You can improve this through Acumatica, and this is how it will help you:
- Native Commerce Connectors that synchronize data between Acumatica and storefront apps like Shopify and BigCommerce for accurate demand planning on a single platform.
- Embedded point of sale applications for businesses with retail locations and showrooms. They use Acumatica point of sale for sales connected to sales order applications and inventory.
Historical data is used in forecasts for improved demand planning. For a smooth supply chain, you can use Acumatica in several ways for demand forecasting. This includes:
- Native demand planning through Acumatica which supports seasonality, lead times, order quantities, safety stock, reorder points, economic minimum or maximum, and moving average forecasts.
- Connected Demand Forecasting with certified apps like Netstock and EazyStock to offer advanced statistical demand forecasts.
2. Supply Management
While demand planning is important in mitigating supply chain interruptions, it’s just part of the equation. You’ll need a reliable and working supply chain management strategies and applications to merge the commerce, distribution, manufacturing, retail and construction operations.
With a modern ERP platform, you can manage vendor relationships by automating the procurement process and embedding the CRM. Acumatica helps in supply management in two major ways namely:
- Inventory Management
- Sourcing and Purchasing
You can use existing inventory for manufacturing production orders, construction jobs and service appointments. Since you want your stock to fill immediate orders for the customers, you need a reliable ERP application, and that’s where Acumatica comes in. It helps in the following ways:
- Efficiently manage inventory wit connected purchasing, sales, service, production, project accounting, financial, and construction applications.
- Use a physical inventory app for stock accuracy and ensure better order management
- Automation of warehouse transactions with mobile WMS application for picking, shipping, packing, receipt and put-away.
- Acumatica supports lead times, economic order quantities, safety stock, reorder points, seasonality, moving average forecasts and min/maximum to support timely replenishment.
- Set up warehouse transfers for replenishment by having profiles between locations to see how planned transfers increase supply in every warehouse.
Purchasing and Sourcing
Here, you’ll use the Acumatica ERP application to enhance supplier relationships with embedded CRM, discover new vendors and implement vendor-managed strategies. Specifically, this is how Acumatica will help you:
- Automate vendor bidding and approvals for non-stock and stock items
- Create purchase orders, copy them from templates or previous orders or automate them based on stock levels
- Import vendor product catalogs with contacts, billing details and price-lists
- Be transparent with vendors about future demand by setting blanket orders for long-term contracts
- Vendor-managed inventory that provides unlimited cloud and user licensing framework for vendors to securely monitor inventory levels for supplies they make to your company.
- Proper consigned inventory management until stock is used or sold.
- Improve vendor relationships by procure-to-pay automation that’s powered by AI with machine learning.
Get the Full Playbook to Learn More: Mitigate Supply Chain Disruption with Acumatica Cloud ERP
As long as the global supply chain has existed, so have supply chain disruptions. But the disruptions of the last few years have been particularly challenging, especially for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) that don’t have the financial resources of their larger competitors to counteract the costs. But there is something that can help: modern ERP applications—like Acumatica—that offer demand planning, procurement, and connected solutions for real-time insights and increased visibility.
In Mitigate Supply Chain Disruption with Acumatica Cloud ERP, business leaders will learn:
- How to balance supply and demand with Acumatica’s comprehensive cloud ERP solution.
- How vulnerable their supply chain is (or isn’t).
- How 13 advanced supply chain strategies work in tandem with cloud-based business management technology to overcome supply chain disruptions.
Click here to download now.
MIBAR Can Help
The great supply chain disruption is forcing organizations and industries to adopt new tools and processes that help leaders react to and anticipate changes. Businesses that adopt cloud-based ERP solutions, like Acumatica Cloud ERP, will be more resilient and agile during ongoing and future supply chain disruptions.
As a leading Acumatica partner, MIBAR helps companies work smarter and grow faster with cloud ERP. With our 30 years of experience in transforming businesses, we are excited to help you meet your supply chain challenges head on. Watch our Acumatica demo to learn more.