Investments in “The Responsible Supply Chain” are rising in 2023, and for good reason, according to the 2023 MHI Annual Industry Report

By “responsible supply chain,” MHI is referring to supply chain software that improves resiliency, transparency and sustainability – as well as solutions for the ongoing workforce shortage. According to the new report:

  • 74% of supply chain leaders are increasing their supply chain software and innovation investments
  • 90% are planning to spend over $1 million, an increase of 24% over last year
  • 36% plan to spend over $10 million, up 19% year-over-year

You can’t improve your supply chain’s resiliency, transparency, sustainability, and labor challenges if you don’t give your warehouse teams reliable tools. This has always been true, but now we’re also seeing alignment with an appreciation for the need and willingness to invest. 

Think about it. A wide variety of complex factors affect your business’s supply chain. So why even bother saying you have a “responsible supply chain” if you don’t have all the information quickly accessible to walk the talk?

Today, let’s examine how flexible, easy-to-use WMS systems provide the most efficient way to do this – and how they outperform rigid, paper-based inventory fulfillment in your ERP or legacy supply chain software.

ERPs can’t tell the whole story

In a recent report of omnichannel order fulfillment strategies and trends, at least 12% of retail leaders said they’ve over-invested in legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms, leaving little to spend on more advanced supply chain software solutions. According to the Retail Dive + Deposco report:

“Clinging to outdated or manual processes and systems only limits a retailer’s capabilities and holds them hostage to stagnation. Retailers without up-to-date technology can’t roll out new services, track inventory efficiently, or scale quickly to meet demand as it changes. 

Additionally, legacy supply chain software doesn’t always integrate well with other critical solutions, which results in a domino effect — one legacy system must rely on another legacy system to function”. 

👉  What technologies do your warehouse teams rely on to see new opportunities, adapt, and communicate those improvements to your customers? 

👉  What serious problems occur when they have to locate that information on their own [and it’s usually incorrect anyway]? 

👉  Are those problems getting easier as you grow, or harder? 

It’s worth doing a quick warehouse assessment, or financial analysis, to quantify what you’re spending in the long run with an ERP.

Many of these systems were born from M&A activity, which means they cannot be supported (well) without expensive consultants. Maintenance costs, upgrades, and transaction fees are unpredictable. 

Because development is a huge undertaking, the functionality of these suites is only updated once in a blue moon – and most of those efforts are really focused on Accounting needs. On the other hand, modern supply chain software systems are purpose-built to handle the chaos of today, tomorrow, and beyond. They can be updated as often as needed, with very little technical knowledge or time. Which means an overall more responsible choice for managing today’s dynamic supply chains.

The case for cloud supply chain software

End-to-end, cloud-native supply chain software brings all performance factors together into one platform, telling the whole picture — the real picture — at any given time. No ERP or legacy solution can do this!

Inventory fulfillment in these systems requires manual workflows and paper chasing. This never moves the needle like you need to in today’s cost-conscious consumer market.

Now that brands are ramping up their supply chain software investments, maybe you should, too? Deposco extends your throughput, mitigates human errors, solves tough labor challenges, and quickly reduces overhead. Request a demo of Deposco

Supply chain software shows problems (and prescribes fixes)

Competing in new arenas will require a new breed of instant, accurate, and accessible knowledge, along with automated decision-making in response to shifting consumer preferences. It’ll require highly efficient workflows and traceability. That’s very hard to do with inflexible ERPs or legacy supply chain software – If not impossible!

Take a look at your supply chain fulfillment solution for 2024:

👉  Is it bogging down your staff with paper-heavy processes?

👉  Is it laden with slow, incorrect, or hard-to-locate information about available inventory quantities and locations, causing irresponsible customer experiences?

👉  Does new functionality require custom coding, heavy IT resources, and tons of time to implement (therefore, causing you to delay projects or upgrades that are vital to making progress toward your responsible supply chain)? 

If yes to any of these, it’s probably not getting done when it needs to.

End-to-end dedicated WMS for the win

In the next year, we’ll see “responsible supply chains” emerge, excel, and win for both incumbents and new challengers.

Our bet is that ONLY the winners will get there supported by cloud-native supply chain software and WMS systems that bring everything into one spot. Built to strategically improve supply chain resilience, transparency, sustainable logistics, and labor efficiencies, these solutions bring end-to-end features such as:

  • Rich analytics and reporting to show how to ship optimally every time
  • Real-time auto-sync of inventory and order information across all locations or channels
  • Ability to manage the business’s most important KPIs in a simple-to-use dashboard
  • Automated workflows that free up staff to work on high-value priorities
  • Pre-built supply chain software integrations that accelerate new projects and reduce IT dependencies
  • Fast, easy onboarding for new and seasonal hires
  • Easy path to advanced order management and DOM capabilities

So who would win the match-up: inventory fulfillment in your ERP vs. a dedicated WMS system? Here’s an extensive guide to help you decide:

READ: What is the difference between ERP and WMS for inventory fulfillment?