Supply chain management is no easy task. Transporting goods from one location to another, tracking inventory levels and ensuring that the operations in place are as efficient as possible are just a few of the duties of a manager concerned with supply chain processes.
Luckily, managing the flow of goods or materials does not need to be frustrating, as managers now have access to a plethora of cloud-based field activity management software that makes their jobs much easier.
While each software package is different, here are a few aspects of supply chain management that an effective software suite should cover.
1. Location Monitoring
What many would consider the primary purpose of supply chain management, monitoring the location of goods in transit is easy with Field Activity Management Software. Managers at a central hub can get location updates in real time from representatives in the field who are using the GPS function on their smartphone or tablet. Having real-time access to product shipments and employee locations is useful to both managers and the businesses they are dealing with—particularly retailers. Employees utilizing the latest mobile devices and software can send geo-tagged photos back to managers, showing them product locations in store and ensuring that each step of the supply process is satisfactory.
For small businesses and entrepreneurs dealing with larger retailers, meeting the constant demand for stock updates is difficult if the correct technology is not being leveraged. Field Activity Management Software allows representatives in retail locations to perform quick inventory audits, informing managers of what is in stock and what needs to be replenished.
3. Purchase Ordering
If employees performing retail audits realize that the retailer needs to re-order, they will require the ability to perform purchase orders. In stark contrast to the old system of printing out paper forms unique to each retailer and then manually delivering them to a central location, Field Activity Management Software allows employees to record purchase orders from retail locations using customizable digital forms. This means that reps only need to look through those items which are carried in each location when completing a form, and can apply tax and discounts to individual orders easily. The new way of performing purchase orders also has the added benefit of real-time communication with managers which means that warehouse workers or production teams can be made aware of the order as soon as a representative hits submit.
For organizations worried about maintaining cross-functional relationships with retailers and suppliers, having an effective software solution in place can help everyone sleep better at night. The evolution of Field Activity Management Software means that organizations are no longer restricted to expensive CRM or supply-chain specific software packages, and smaller businesses can now leverage many of the tools that the giants of industry have been using for years.