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Supply Chain World-For years, the supply chain for small and medium-sized businesses has followed the same tired formula. A business owner or buyer creates a purchase order. There is some back-and-forth via email or telephone, and when the items are ready to ship, the supplier contacts a freight company to transport the goods. This practice, though it has served us well for years, is now woefully out of date.
As nearly any business owner will tell you, an efficient supply chain is measured by when the correct goods are delivered on time in the right quantity — to the precise location. The key to much of this efficiency is technology.
Large Companies Have Been Using Supply Chain Tech For Years
Taking advantage of the latest technology is nothing new. It’s something that the “big guys” have been doing for years. It’s particularly evident in the supply chains of the world’s largest retailers. However, many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) don’t handle inventory on the same scale as larger companies. That’s why another, more accessible, solution is needed. Thankfully, technology is finally catching up.
Technology will only continue to grow at a rapid pace. As more tech startups enter the supply chain management space, it is vital that SMBs embrace technology so as to not be left behind in the digital dust.
Making Supply Chain Tech Accessible For SMBs
Fortunately for many SMBs, the supply chain management industry is continually adapting to the needs of businesses. The downside is that it isn’t happening as fast as many would like. I feel that it is incumbent on everyone in the industry to make the most of technology and revolutionize the way SMBs handle supply chain management.
Imagine a software application that fuses all of the functions of the supply chain in one central location — a program that combines purchase order management, transportation management and supply chain optimization. The industry isn’t as far from achieving this goal. Here are three solutions currently tackling that goal in the industry:
1. Automation Is Trying To Tackle Transportation
There is no shortage of players invested in supply chain innovation. There are established companies trying to either purchase these startups or create their own technology to better compete with them. Transportation continues to be the biggest wild card. This is largely due to the complexities of varying regulations around the world. Often, you are dealing with the regulations of two different countries, and they might not match up.