Improving supply chain management with better software

Posted by Justin Hesser on August 6, 2012

According to a recent Financial Times article on the International Security Forum's new project with supply chain data, consideration of this aspect of business has become critical to operate a competent organization in today's marketplace. But, while many experts in the United Kingdom may be focused on providing additional supply chain security, the Global Market Development Center (GMDC) based in Boston is concentrating on ways a company can improve its overall supply chain management with the use of better technology.

"With so many economic variables outside people's direct control, the best news from the survey is that there are specific actions that companies in the consumer goods supply chain can take today, like modernizing their forecasting tools, to improve their ability to raise profitability and service levels," says Mark Deuschle, chief marketing officer at GMDC.

According to a survey conducted by the group, 74 percent of managers would prefer a bottom-up supply chain forecast deriving from key customer and point-of-sale data. But, more than half of respondents don't actually have a forecast system in place beyond Excel spreadsheets, which may not allow them to effectively plan and coordinate with their partners. Furthermore, 41 percent of respondents said that at least one-third of their volume comes from advertising and trade promotions that will directly impact baseline forecasts.

It's clear that being able to accurately track and forecast supply chain demands requires technology beyond just a standard spreadsheet. In order to keep up with this burgeoning requirement, managers may want to consult a FileMaker developer to create a custom database software that fits their needs.

By maintaining such key figures as advertising and promotions demands, fill rates and in-stock numbers as well as point-of-sale data with a more dynamic database software, companies will gain much more visibility into their supply chain.