Technology & Innovation

How to unlock flexibility with a supply chain tech stack 

Written by
Feb 3, 2023
8:34 pm
minute read

Managing a supply chain isn’t easy. You’re dealing with unpredictable customer orders, delays and order errors – all while trying to keep up with the constantly changing market demands. There's a lot happening, and sometimes your legacy systems are just getting in the way.

Most supply chain leaders are stuck using outdated spreadsheets and legacy software that don’t talk to each other, leaving them feeling overwhelmed and unable to keep up. As the modern supply chain grows, supply chain leaders often look for ways to increase their agility and flexibility.

Brands, especially high-growth ones, need modern, agile supply chains to grow. Your brand cannot afford slow reactions or cumbersome processes caused by outdated software systems or manual data entry errors that come from depending on spreadsheets and out-of-date systems. 

You need an end-to-end supply chain, aka a tech stack – an integrated suite of technologies that work together to make operations more efficient. In this article, we will discuss what a tech stack is, how it can help supply chain leaders and some of the benefits associated with using one.

What is a tech stack?

Tech stacks are the different systems your company uses to operate and serve your customers. Tech stacks give you an edge by allowing you to select the best-in-class solutions for every aspect of your business – from customer relationship management (CRM) systems, e-commerce platforms, accounting software, marketing automation tools and more. By leveraging these multiple applications together in one unified stack, you can create a streamlined workflow across your entire organization.

The same concept applies within the supply chain world. Traditionally, supply chain teams work with different pieces of technology and systems that make up your entire supply chain network, including inventory management systems, transportation management systems (TMS), warehouse management systems (WMS) and demand forecasting tools and solutions. 

These systems operate independently from each other, but they’re part of the same process and need to share data. That’s where a tech stack comes in. Leveraging these technologies together in one stack allows you to control your entire supply chain from end to end while also providing visibility into each stage of the process, which helps you identify potential issues or bottlenecks before they become real problems down the road and fulfill orders quicker.

Benefits of using tech stacks

For supply chain leaders, having a tech stack in place can help them make better decisions faster by providing real-time data on inventory levels, demand forecasts, sales trends and more. 

The benefits associated with using a tech stack include:

  • Increased efficiency through automation
  • Improved decision-making through access to real-time data
  • Better collaboration between teams
  • Improved visibility into the entire supply chain process
  • Reduced errors due to automation eliminating manual tasks across different departments or locations

Tech stacks can also help you scale quickly and easily as your business grows without worrying about compatibility issues or training new employees on different software packages. This improved scalability helps you easily adapt when new technologies emerge, or customer needs change. 

Flexibility is another key benefit of using tech stacks. You can have greater flexibility when dealing with changes in your supply chain network, such as new customer requirements or shifts in demand for certain products/services. 

Plus, stacks help you better manage inventory levels since most tech stacks come integrated with forecasting tools that analyze past data and trends, which can then help you determine when/how much stock needs to be ordered or shipped out at any given time. 

Having an integrated system allows for better collaboration between teams and improved visibility into the entire supply chain process from end to end. This makes it easier for leaders to identify any potential problems or weak spots before they become major issues down the line.Having all these different pieces of technology connected via one unified system can increase collaboration between departments, which makes it easier for everyone involved in the process (from operations staff all the way up top executives) to access the information you need quickly and easily while also helping reduce costs associated with running multiple disparate systems. 

All your data in one place

An invaluable benefit is having all your data in one place. This makes it much easier for you to track orders and analyze performance metrics quickly and efficiently. You can create an integrated supply chain with tech stacks.

Plus, by integrating various solutions into one platform, your organization can save time by avoiding manual processes or complex integrations between separate systems. Having access to real-time data allows your organizations to plan and better anticipate customer demand while also providing insights into potential areas for improvement within their supply chains.

Because tech stacks can integrate different technologies into one unified system, your companies can now gain insights from multiple sources without having to manually input data or transfer information from one system to another. Using a unified platform helps reduce IT costs due to decreased maintenance requirements for separate systems that would otherwise have been required if each application was managed separately.

Tips for getting started with your tech stack

When getting started with your own tech stack there are several key steps you need to take to ensure success:

1. Identify your needs. First and foremost, you need to clearly identify the technology solutions you need to support your supply chain operations; from hardware solutions like IoT devices or RFID readers to software solutions such as ERP or WMS systems.

2. Evaluate vendors. Once you have identified which technologies best serve your needs, then it's time to start evaluating vendors who offer them. Make sure they have experience working with similar businesses in similar industries so that they understand exactly what it takes for you to succeed.

3. Integrate solutions. Once you have chosen the right vendor, it’s time to integrate their solutions into your existing infrastructure. This will require thorough testing before going live but is essential if you want the most out of your new systems. 

Keep pace with the modern supply chain

The modern supply chain requires agility, and your brand cannot afford slow reactions or cumbersome processes caused by outdated software systems or manual data entry errors that often result from trying to keep track of everything with spreadsheets alone. By leveraging technology stacks in their operations, you can stay ahead of the competition by being able to quickly respond to changes in customer demands or market conditions without having issues related to compatibility among different applications or hardware components getting in the way. 

Plus, these integrated systems often provide additional features such as predictive analytics which allow companies better anticipate customer needs before they arise – saving time and money overall while keeping customers happy. If you’re looking for ways to improve upon existing processes within your organization, investing in a supply chain tech stack might be worth considering. 

If you are interested in learning more about PorterLogic’s modern supply chain tech stack, check out our website and subscribe to our non-spammy, non- salesy newsletter to stay in touch.

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