In the first blog of this series we looked at definitions of SCM, Food Supply Chain and discussed some key ideas. In the second part here we will discuss current trends for SCM Software in the IT Marketplace.
SCM Software Trends
Traditionally SCM software in general consists of one or more of different systems which are ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), WMS (Warehouse Management System) and TMS (Transportation Management System). As can be understood these different systems are used by organizations based on their business requirements and their function in a value chain. For example, a manufacturing company may need an ERP and WMS systems while as a logistics company may need TMS system. Additionally, there are some packages which may combine all these functionalities into one or have add-ons to provide a single solution. Some of the common packages used are SAP ECC, JD Edwards, Microsoft Dynamics AX etc.
As the internet-based economy grows, there are more and more requirements related to collaboration, e-SCM, omni-channel retailing and real time visibility. We find more SCM software are going beyond EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) for connectivity and now moving towards a fully internet based one.
Speed and Integration
In a study conducted by “Software Advice” it shows that 37% of large & mid-size companies and 24% of small-sized companies are evaluating new SCM software because they want to automate more tasks. Automation here is majorly related to increase the speed of the operations in a Supply Chain.
It also shows that 27% of large & mid-size and 16% of small-sized companies are evaluating SCM software because of growing needs of Integration in an internet based economy.
Product Tracking using RFID & Barcoding
One of the major trends in SCM chain, is product trace-ability and tracking. An increasing number of businesses are installing RFID on their products or pellets to track and trace them. This is now becoming common on a warehouse as well as during transportation. Therefore, many customers would like to have such functionalities in their WMS or TMS systems. The above-mentioned study indicates that 20% of large & mid-size businesses would like to have RFID functionalities in their WMS systems. Many others are requiring barcoding functionalities as well.
Current studies show a shift of SCM software towards an internet based system which provides complete collaborative environment with multiple players and can be integrated easily. There is growing need for speed of delivery and tracking of goods. These trends are general in nature across industries and not restricted only to food industry.