How eCommerce has Changed Supply Chain Management


The Change of Modern Supply Chain Management

The arrival of eCommerce turned the tables for businesses. Where businesses once decided how the relationship with their customers would go, customers now hold all the cards. As the commerce world has moved online, customers have started to have a more significant say in how businesses operate. People used to go to stores to buy products. Now they have the merchandise brought to them. And it doesn’t stop there.

There have been demands for faster and more efficient delivery of products. This has forced sellers to innovate to keep up with consumers. One of these innovations was the modern supply chain management integrations. New and competent supply chain managers have emerged as the eCommerce industry, and supply chains, have grown. An increase in orders has led to an increased need for management. After all, it’s called a “chain” reaction for a reason. What are they and should we be scared? We’ll answer all that and more in the next few sections.

Safeguarding the System to Ensure Smooth and Uninterrupted Operation

What’s the Deal with SCM?

Putting it in laymen’s terms, supply chain management solution (SCM) manages and optimizes the supply chain. The supply chain is made up of everything that exists between the seller and the buyer. The supply chain is responsible for delivering goods or services to the hands of the consumer. Naturally, it is made up of many parts that are responsible for:

  • Sourcing
  • Producing
  • Labeling
  • Packing
  • Shipping
  • Returning

All of these parts work together to create a well-oiled machine. Supply chain integration is interconnected. Therefore, connection and communication between the different links in the chain are necessary. Supply chain management solution enables you to foresee and handle delays and inefficiency. You can also offer customers value, and cut down costs. It gives you a competitive edge in the market.

People make a common mistake when they focus on the idea and the product, but not the logistics. The uncrossed t’s and undotted i’s end up becoming kinks in the chain. This ultimately leads to a logistical nightmare with laggy delivery and wrong order fulfillment. The business collapses on itself if the supply chain integration cannot keep up with the customers. That’s why SCM is so essential.

Traditional supply chain management worked for brick-and-mortar stores. However, they were ill-equipped to handle the huge eCommerce industry. The manual processes of using spreadsheets or tracking inventory in warehouses were inefficient and unsustainable in eCommerce. Supply chain management sources evolved because customers expected the best. Nowadays, SCM is as complex as the supply chain. Many components come together to ensure a smooth business transaction.

Selecting the Ideal Third-Party for a Successful Integration

Three’s a Party

3PL, or Third-Party Logistics, is the best thing to happen to supply chain management sources since eCommerce itself. This magic wand took care of the hardest part: the fulfillment of orders. The customer can order a product online. The seller can manufacture or source it from a manufacturer or wholesale retailer. But how was the product supposed to make its way from the hands of the manufacturer to the hands of the consumer? Who was supposed to keep track of all this? Third-Party Logistics answered questions like these when they rose to the task.

There are several great 3PL companies in the market. However, there is never a lack of competition with new ones popping up regularly. While it is good to stick to known and reputable providers, partnering with a new provider could allow you higher negotiation power. There are many benefits of using 3PL, such as:

  • Opportunity for growth. You can scale your production when you’re ready without having to worry about logistics
  • Centralization. You’ll streamline the process, be on top of data, and not lose money with any hidden costs
  • Up-to-dateness. The supply chain management and industry are continuously evolving and keeping up with it is a job in itself. Luckily, with a 3PL, it’s not your headache anymore
  • Division of responsibility. You have more time and energy to focus on what you’re good at if you can outsource the nitty-gritty stuff to a professional
  • Flexibility. You can work at your own pace to fit the demands of your specific business model
Grasping Technological Innovations

Tech-knowledge-y is your Friend

If words like IoT (Internet of Things) and big data mean nothing to you, it’s time they do. As eCommerce has widened the scope of a business, the logistics have just gotten trickier. I know we all said we wouldn’t let robots take our jobs. But trust me, there are some tasks better left for technology.

There are many strategies that one can employ for their eCommerce business. However, it is hard to assess their viability due to all the data processing. Growing companies also have to keep up with a massive amount of orders. This widens the margin for error or delay. Luckily for us, computers don’t make mistakes.

It isn’t humanly possible to keep up with the massive amount of data involved in the running of a business. This is where technology comes in to make our life easier. Predictive analytics can help you plan and budget for your business.

Artificial intelligence and robotics have endless applications. They can process orders, answer customer support requests, stock inventory, and package products. Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data has eliminated the need for human supervision already. They analyze data and divide it into meaningful chunks. Traditional commerce barely had any of these resources available to it, so it could not grow at the scale eCommerce has grown and continues to grow. Innovative technology revolutionized supply chain management. Just like eCommerce, it opened doors we didn’t even know existed! Technology is the future, and it’s a glorious one.

How Clarity can Help

Manufacturing and Distribution eCommerce Experts

All good things come to an end. On the bright side, better things usually follow. The same thing happened when new and more efficient systems replaced old supply chain management sources. The new sources could keep up with the eCommerce industry’s demands. Supply chain management integrations have helped businesses maximize revenue and productivity.

Time and efficiency are the name of the game, and only the best can play. We don’t know what the future has in store for the supply chain management. However, we’re confident it has no way to go but up!

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