We live in the era of customer-centricity, which has made it necessary for distributors across the hardware industry to cater to diverse customer needs. This has altered the relationship between suppliers and distributors in many ways.
The efficiency of an organization’s supply chain plays a crucial role in catering to consumer demands. Business owners are continually working on developing their supply chain capabilities year over year.
Analyzing and streamlining the supply chain can significantly help businesses respond to market changes and boost operational efficiency.
Consumers nowadays expect customized experiences and want businesses to address all their concerns. Industrial hardware suppliers are now working towards ramping up their supply chain, strengthening their distribution network, and ensuring hassle-free delivery. Technology is the driving force behind helping manufacturers and suppliers make their supply chain more efficient and customer-centric.
How Is Technology Helping Distributors Streamline Their Supply Chain?
Improving the efficiency of the supply chain and ensuring maximum productivity are now essential for the hardware industry to thrive. Here are seven ways industrial hardware wholesalers can make their supply chain more efficient and profitable by integrating cutting-edge technology.
1. Automate Information Flow
All data passes through several systems. These may include enterprise resource management systems, manufacturing resource planning systems, and financial systems.
Data integration in medium and small businesses is primarily facilitated through manual file uploads, batch updates, manual updates, or spreadsheets uploads. A study by Capgemini revealed data is a key factor in helping build a robust supply chain.
There’s no denying that manual data integration is time-consuming and prone to a wide range of manual errors. Integrating a workflow automation tool ensures seamless information flows and considerably improves the efficiency of the supply chain.
2. Monitor Advancements
A blockchain-powered supply chain can help hardware suppliers keep track of all their critical business information. This may include details about their existing inventory and supplier contracts.
The availability of information on a single platform improves traceability of the material supply chain, helps reduce losses from counterfeits and gray market, and increases visibility over outsourced contract manufacturing. As per a report by Deloitte, blockchain is revolutionizing supply chain management by driving supply chain transparency.
Blockchain-driven innovations in the hardware supply chain are expected to deliver massive business value by improving transparency in existing supply chains, thereby reducing risks and improving overall supply chain management.
Also read: 9 Best Tools Help In Supply Chain Management
3. Minimal Human Intervention and Reduced Costs
Automation is allowing hardware manufacturers and suppliers to improve overall process efficiency while minimizing manual interaction and intervention throughout the supply chain.
Supply chain automation also drives productivity by reducing direct and indirect operating costs. Further, it helps decrease costs incurred on labor, inventory warehousing, and overhead costs associated with inventory storage, such as energy and labor, by automating the entire process.
4. Elimination of Duplicate Data
Duplicate data entries considerably reduce the credibility and efficiency of the supply chain in the hardware industry.
Integration of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems helps eliminate identical data and build a centralized system, which is much easier to maintain. ERP systems also ease information flow across all channels and enhance customer service.
5. Supply Chain Visibility
Supply chain visibility helps in tracking goods from the manufacturer to their final destination. The goal of supply chain visibility is to strengthen the supply chain and overall distribution network by making data readily available across all touchpoints in the network.
According to a study, 68% of the product disruptions are a direct impact of poor demand signaling. Supply chain visibility technologies help manufacturers and suppliers quickly adapt to the change by enabling them to seamlessly analyze the existing market demand and take appropriate measures to reshape demand or redirect supply chains.
6. Manage Complex Supply Chains
Modern supply chains are multifaceted. There can be hundreds or even thousands of vendors providing supply and support operations. However, most organizations don’t have enough resources to manage multiple touchpoints across the supply chain. They also encounter issues with managing their respective contracts, tracking the services rendered, and generating invoices.
A procurement platform powered with real-time data can help industrial hardware wholesalers and suppliers accurately manage the vendor contracts, verify the services offered, and automate invoices and payments.
7. Pinpoint Diverse Supply Chain Partners
Supplier diversity ensures easy procurement of supplies and quick delivery. The strategy seems to secure a diversified supplier base for catering to consumer demands. However, it can be an arduous task for suppliers to differentiate spends and identify qualified suppliers across the supply chain network.
Optimization technology, powered by diversity analytics, enables business owners to track orders placed with each supplier as well as all monetary transactions over a single platform. This technology also ensures faster contracting with diverse partners and improved purchasing transparency.
There’s no denying that technology-powered supply chains perform with higher efficiency and save time as well as resources. Integrating a robust technology platform helps establish seamless communication across all channel intermediaries in a hardware supply chain and strengthens the entire network. It also ensures supply chain sustainability and provides customers with access to high-quality products.