Mr.Sanket Seth is the Founder & Managing Director of Elixia Tech Solutions Limited. Mr.Seth brings his experience across logistic tech and financial services businesses in his role at Elixia Tech and has deep functional experience in Product Development, Operations, Analytics, Strategy, and Sales & Services. Prior to Elixia, Mr. Seth was associated with Kuber Wealth Management Private Limited and MS Village Home Concept Private Ltd as a Director. Mr.Seth holds a Masters in Computer Science from Arizona State University, a Bachelor in Computer Science from Mumbai University.
Supply chains have been the veins of businesses even before the term “supply chain” was coined. Management of supply chains involves handling complex multiple activities, that are simultaneously in action, to ensure timely delivery of goods and services to the end customer.
Irrespective of the type of industry/business, the success of a supply chain depends upon the successful coordination and integration of the three flows of Supply Chain Management: Product, Information & Finance. The emergence of highly capable technology solutions has been a driving force in simplifying & organizing all these three flows of SCM. Let us understand more about this in detail.
(i) Product Flow
In ancient times, trade began with a barter system where goods were exchanged. Gradually manufacturers, distributors, warehouses came into existence. Now, we are in the era of the fast-paced business of e-commerce. With every advancement, the number of contact points increased and so did the complexity, but the fundamentals of the supply chain essentially remain the same.
Logistics & Supply Chain software has played a crucial role here. These solutions use IoT, AI & ML to study ongoing transactions and then automate the order booking & billing process to ensure seamless communication between all stakeholders. Cloud-based solutions also provide one common platform with customized access for all the involved parties. All the information related to vendors, suppliers, and supporting entities is also safely stored and required information can be retrieved at the time of need.
Thus product flow is easily mapped, monitored, and managed now with software solutions for the common benefit of all; supplier, vendor & customer’s end.
(ii) Information Flow
“The purpose of the information is not knowledge, it is being able to take the right action.” – Peter Drucker.
From suppliers to middle managers, vendors, and finally customers, everyone needs end-to-end visibility about the status of their orders. This is not possible without having efficient software solutions that can capture, process, and analyze information and give actionable insights. Tracking of goods, Reporting deliveries, capturing deviations/ anomalies, sending real-time alerts, compliance reports, and notifications are some of the most common requirements when it comes to processing logistics and supply chain information.
Even when it comes to tracking, we have evolved from basic GPS-based tracking solutions to wireless, SIM-card, mobile-based tracking options. These solutions not only track the location of vehicles but also provide other advantages like geofencing, temperature sensor integration, traffic alerts, route deviation alerts, etc. which bring in ceaseless visibility at your fingertips.
Staying on top of all information helps you tackle both avoidable and unavoidable incidents in a better way and thus, help build long-term trust with customers and vendors.
(iii) Financial flow
The Supply Chain overall involves a lot of exchange of information that forms the basis of payment processing. Earlier logistics managers used to travel miles just to verify the transactions & collect payments. Now, with the internet, advanced banking, and efficient software, the verification process has become faster and payments are evaluated and processed simultaneously on agreed terms and conditions.
Consider one scenario of proof of delivery for logistics, a lot of transporters, even today rely on physical proof of deliveries to record delivery confirmation and then process payments. This can take days and even months sometimes as the requirement is to submit the original signed copy by the driver who completed the trip. Now, with the help of a software solution, PoDs can be generated, shared, and signed digitally and can also be immediately uploaded in the system for instant approvals & faster processing of payments.
Hence, supply chain finances can now be easily monitored and managed with the help of software solutions that can facilitate real-time capturing of data, approvals & confirmation, reminders for balance payments, and finally balance sheet creation & updation.
This is just an overview of the areas where supply chain software solutions have made their place. Diving deeper into each of these categories will help us understand what formed the basis of different software solutions like ERP, Inventory management, Demand planning, Warehousing, Return logistics, and many more. These softwares are still in the development phase and are expected to become even more advanced with the increasing requirement of the logistics & supply chain industry.