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Creating a productive, responsive supply chain

Home Transport & Logistics Exports & Imports Creating a productive, responsive supply chain

TO maximise profitability, supply chains need to be as efficient as possible. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has posed significant challenges for supply chains, exposing vulnerabilities and magnifying problems that already existed in the supply chain.

That’s according to Heinrich de Leeuw, Managing Director, Seidor South Africa, who said businesses now need to find ways to make their supply chains more resilient, collaborative, and networked with customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders.

He identified warehousing and distribution as integral parts of the supply chain management system. He added that in both manufacturing and buy-to-sell businesses, material requirements planning (MRP) enables companies to plan material requirements for a manufacturing or procurement process based on the evaluation of existing inventory, demand and changing planning parameters such as lead time determination, make or buy decisions, and holiday planning.

“Storing excessive materials or goods ties down capital and limits the ability to react to changing conditions,” said De Leeuw.

“With SAP Business One MRP we enable businesses to calculate requirements based on existing inventory, sales orders, purchase orders, production orders, forecasts, and more. We implement MRP in a way that provides structure, but is still flexible, creating that vital balance between supply and demand.”

He said SAP Business One, coupled with an advanced warehouse management system (WMS), also enables companies to drive efficiency in the supply chain with optimised warehouse management.

“The WMS transforms logistics processes into operations that drive productivity and profitability in the supply-chain. It supports multiple warehouses and operators, processing high volumes of transactions. Whether it’s simple inventory transaction processes, or customer focused inventory allocation strategies, the WMS manages batch attributes, and complete backward and forward traceability.”

The WMS also offers improved functionality to help manage detailed warehouse data, track and record stock movements, and execute production orders, inventory and management. Where necessary, SAP Business One could be configured to easily integrate into suppliers’ third-party systems.

“The software monitors every change and consistently updates costs and quantity. It eliminates the need for manual inspection and reduces accounting errors. It also enables users to roll out warehouse mobility; employees can use smartphones or tablets to access SAP Business One from anywhere. It is easy to extend capabilities to mobile salespeople so that they can prepare quotations and capture order on their devices, and proof of delivery is paperless.”

De Leeuw said Seidor Africa recently won a proof of business case to develop an IoT-based stock management system. This solution is in the pipeline and the company views it as a key milestone in the journey towards the intelligent enterprise.

“Warehouse automation has been gaining traction for years. “COVID has sped up its adoption. As warehouses cope with adjusting inventory counts, making space for work in process, and speeding up order delivery, more businesses will turn to automated storage and retrieval systems to help improve their efficiencies.”

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