A lot of where Supply Chain Management is by 2020 depends on things like the Cloud. Right now we are in the early days of cloud computing, with many companies taking their baby steps. But by 2020 Cloud will be the heart of the enterprise computing infrastructure. We have already told the story (Vision 20-20) of what will happen in Procurement by 2020. Collaboration will become more important as supply chains share data with customers and vendors. They will start acting like the virtual extended enterprise which they are.
What kind of systems do distributors use? We used to think that because wholesale distributors did not manufacture anything that they did not use ERP systems. However, many ERP vendors offer modules for distributors. There is a whole separate group of software companies that market warehouse management systems, or WMS.
They are a key part of the supply chain by controlling the movement and storage of materials within a warehouse. They process the logistical transactions, including shipping, receiving, putaway and picking. A WMS also directs and optimizes stock putaway based on real-time information about the status of bin utilization. This is sometimes referred to as wholesale distribution software. Well, aren’t distributors a candidate for CRM too?