Technology & Innovation

The 8 essential supply chain systems every growing brand needs

Written by
Mar 13, 2023
8:59 pm
minute read

Is your brand’s supply chain a cluster? It doesn’t have to be.

The modern supply chain is complex and dynamic and requires robust software systems to manage its components. From sourcing raw materials to delivering finished goods, every step in the supply chain process involves coordination and synchronization across multiple parties. 

As a supply chain leader, you must keep track of multiple moving parts. Without systems in place, that’s an impossible task. To keep up with the ever-changing market demands, brands must leverage technology and software systems to streamline operations and enhance supply chain capabilities.

This blog post discusses the essential software systems every brand needs to run an effective and efficient supply chain. We’ll also explore each system's key features and benefits.

The eight essential supply chain systems

The types of supply chain software a brand may need will depend on its specific supply chain needs, size and complexity. However, here are some of the common types of supply chain software that you may need:

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software: An ERP helps you plan and manage your supply chain operations by improving efficiency and reducing costs by providing a centralized system for managing all aspects of your value chain. You can use an ERP to forecast demand, optimize inventory levels, plan production schedules and manage your logistics operations, including transportation and warehouse management.

Beyond the supply chain, ERP software is an integrated application suite that can manage various business functions. 

Inventory demand planning system: Demand planning software can help you forecast and plan for future customer demand for a company's products or services. Correlate your data from various sources, such as sales history and market trends, to create accurate demand forecasts that guide your production and inventory decisions, helping optimize your supply chain operations. 

Inventory management system (IMS): Inventory management software tracks and manages the flow of goods and materials within your supply chain. With an IMS, you can monitor stock levels, track inventory movements and generate reports on inventory status. 

Inventory management systems can help automate and streamline your processes, so you can better control inventory costs, improve customer service and make more informed business decisions. By implementing an IMS, you can better decide when to order products, how much to order and what to do with excess inventory.

Order management system (OMS) software: An order management system helps you manage and track customer orders in your value chain by capturing customer demand, processing and fulfilling orders and tracking order status throughout the entire order life cycle. Your OMS is typically integrated with other systems, such as your ERP, to provide a complete view of customer demand and inventory. 

Returns management system (RMS)/reverse logistics software: Returns management/reverse logistics software helps companies manage to return, refurbish and dispose of products sold to customers. This process can include everything from tracking the status of returned items to coordinating the transportation back to your warehouses or distribution centers to managing the repair or disposal of those items. 

Business analytics software: Business analytics software can help companies analyze supply chain data to identify trends, patterns and opportunities for improvement. Analytics software can help companies optimize inventory levels, reduce lead times and improve supply chain performance.

Transportation management system (TMS) software: TMS software can manage and optimize transportation operations, such as route planning, carrier selection, shipment tracking and freight auditing. TMS software can help companies reduce transportation costs, improve delivery times and enhance customer service.

Warehouse management system (WMS) software: A WMS helps brands manage and optimize warehouse operations. You can use your WMS to track inventory levels, manage stock movements and monitor the performance of your warehouse team. In addition, your WMS can integrate with your other systems, such as your ERP and TMS, to provide a more comprehensive view of the supply chain. 

Overall, a WMS can manage and optimize warehouse operations, such as inventory tracking, picking, packing and shipping, helping companies improve warehouse efficiency and accuracy, reduce lead times and lower inventory costs.

You don’t need the system. You need the functionality.

Your brand will need functionality in each of these systems as you scale. But sometimes, growing brands don’t have the time, money or resources to implement each of these systems. 

The good news is that you don’t need a dedicated system for each piece of functionality you need. Instead, some modern supply chain software can flex and grow with your brand. 

PorterLogic is the supply chain stack for ambitious brands. We help brands drive profitable and efficient growth by addressing gaps across your entire supply chain with one low-code application platform that creates the functionality you need when you need it.

Ready to embrace the modern supply chain? Read more about the supply chain stack.

Related posts

Subscribe for more

Thank you for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong. Please try again.

Latest posts

Subscribe to receive articles directly in your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong. Please try again.