While distribution logistics grabs the headlines when it comes to optimising the supply chain, there is one area that is often neglected: the inbound supply chain, which extends from the suppliers to the in-house production centres of industrial enterprises or the logistics centres of retailers. A new white paper by software provider AEB explains how businesses can become more competitive by streamlining their inbound supply chain. Titled “Successful inbound supply chain management”, the white paper can be downloaded free of charge from AEB’s website on www.aeb.com/uk/media/white-paper-inbound-scm.php.
Global supply chains are getting ever longer and more complicated and improvement measures often target isolated areas. In an effort to increase supply chain efficiency, many companies focus on distribution logistics and on optimising their outbound process chain because it represents the direct link to the end customer. However, they tend to overlook the untapped potential of the inbound supply chain. Its management , i.e. controlling all workflows, from procurement and goods receipt to the supply of production or distribution centres ,still holds huge potential for optimisation, particularly in five specific areas:
Freight cost management
Integrated loading dock management
Inbound customs management
Supply chain visibility and collaboration
AEB’s white paper “Successful inbound supply chain management” provides an insight into how these areas can be optimised. It shows why companies should take control of their inbound transportation, analyse their inbound freight cost management processes, integrate their loading dock management with transport partners, as well as organise their own import processes and increase transparent and standardised collaboration on all inbound movements.
Companies who manage their inbound supply chains efficiently benefit from increased transparency across the process chain, greater control over their national and international supply chain, better capabilities for responding to unexpected disruptions, an improved quality of internal planning, higher cost efficiency and control, better information to pass along to customers, and the efficient utilisation of the capacities of service providers and carriers. These benefits can be even more easily realised by using the right software. When choosing an IT solution, particular attention should be paid to end to end system integration. Managing the entire inbound process ,from transport, customs, and loading dock management to complete visibility over all processes , in one system reduces and eliminates interfaces, data redundancies and the likelihood of errors while ensuring transparency, efficiency, speed, and stability. This in turn increases a company’s competitive advantage ,a major factor in today’s fast paced, globalised markets.