Effective enterprise solutions like supply chain management systems does not come without an abundance of relief and benefits. Today, enterprises are shifting their focus toward supply chain management software development for a number of reasons such as efficiency, workflow management, uninterrupted communications, and cost reduction.
According to a study, the supply chain management market stood at US$18,699.45 million in 2020 and is anticipated to total $52,632.37 million by 2030, with a CAGR of 10.7%. Such software solutions play an integral role in establishing a continuous flow of stock, minimize the scope for bottlenecks, address the pain points of management, and promote efficiency in every nook and cranny of the operations. They also help strengthen the terms between the companies and suppliers – a brownie point in the long run.
The rise in the popularity of supply chain management solutions has led to a massive influx of investment in enterprise software development from businesses across the globe. Companies big and small are trying to build custom supply chain management solutions to streamline their processes and automate their workflows. And if your company is one of them, then this is the blog for you! In this blog we will discuss how to build supply chain management software and how much does it cost. We will also take a look at some of the key features you can add to a solution like this. ?
- Supply Chain Management software helps carry out a set of decisions and activities that help effectively integrate suppliers, manufacturers, warehouses, transporters, retailers, and customers.
- The supply chain management market stood at US$18,699.45 million in 2020.
- Warehouse management, distribution planning, real-time tracking, and inventory management are some of the key features of SCM software.
What is Supply Chain Management Software and How Does It Work?
Supply Chain Management software or SCM software refers to a tool used to carry out a set of decisions and activities that help effectively integrate suppliers, manufacturers, warehouses, transporters, retailers, and customers and make sure that the products and services are distributed at the right quantities, to the right locations and at the right time.
The online supply chain management system ensures the reduction of system-wide costs and effective practices while successfully achieving customer service level requirements.
SCM software applications feature real-time analytical systems that help manage the flow of products and all sorts of information throughout the supply chain network. The software is designed to improve SCM operations which involves production planning, supplier sourcing, inventory planning, transportation planning, and more.
In simple words, supply management software development can help you manage supply chain transactions and activities, supplier relationships, flow of data, and many other activities as smoothly as possible. These enterprise solutions works just as per the criteria of an ideal supply chain and you can incorporate them into all processes starting from the product development stage to the logistics, checking into operations such as warehousing, and inventory management.
Must-Have Features of Supply Chain Management Software
When planning to build a supply chain management software, it is crucial to tap into the feature segment and determine the essential features you’re going to need for your platform. Before finalizing the list of features for your solution, you must take analyze your business needs and only pick those features that are essetial or will elevate or streamline your processes in any way.
We’ve listed the most important features of supply chain management software to consider. Let’s have a look:
Purchase management is a feature that allows you to streamline your operations related to inventory purchases. It eases the workload using automation and collaboration which enables you to minimize the cost and amp up the profit margins.
Distribution planning is one of the core features to keep in mind during supply chain management software development. Given the fact that making the delivery of goods more effective is the prime idea behind building this software, it is essential that you implement a feature that looks after the planning and management of distribution and the requirements associated with it.
This feature allows you to understand when goods are required. It also lets you check the required quantity of goods.
Advanced Material Management
Advanced Material Management is one of the most important features of supply chain management software solutions. This feature helps companies keep an eye on the movement of the inventory. Apart from that, advanced material management also allows you to monitor the work in progress. Using this feature, you can effectively generate electronic material requirement requests.
When you are building a supply chain management software, you’d obviously expect increased efficiency in the overall process of inventory management. The inventory management feature helps warehouse managers keep track of the movement of their inventory and also allows them to manage it. Additionally, the SCM software with inventory feature makes sure that you are able to deal with inventory issues such as asset tracking, re-ordering, demand forecasting, etc. more easily.
AI inventory management modules in SCM solutions keep track of the entire inventory and places orders for goods that are running low. The AI is also programmed to deduce the quantity of the goods that is to be ordered based on product purchase history and customer demands.
The next one on the list of key features of SCM software solutions has to be warehouse management. This feature deals with various errands that come within the warehouse realm of your work. By implementing the warehouse management feature in your SCM software development, you can make things smooth for the managers as it will help them manage the storage of the goods in the warehouse effectively and they will be able to track the movement of the goods without a fuss.
Shipment & Delivery of Goods
The shipment and delivery of goods are the most critical aspects of any supply chain management process. As you are building enterprise solutions to improve your supply chain management, you can implement the shipment and delivery features in it to enhance the overall coordination between various transport channels.
Apart from shipment and delivery features, return management feature plays an important role in your supply chain management software operations. You must incorporate this feature in your SCM software development as it helps you manage the defective goods in a more efficient manner. Not just that, the return management feature also ensures the fast-paced processing of refund and insurance claims.
Since you’re planning to build an SCM software solution that streamlines your supply chain management operations and makes things more effective than ever, it’d be incomplete without asset tracking. This feature helps managers keep track of the warehouse goods using barcodes, serial numbers, or Radio Frequency Identification numbers.
Fleet Tracking & Management
Just like asset tracking, fleet tracking is also an essential part of SCM software solutions. This feature helps you keep track of your fleets. Moreover, it helps you effectively manage them and make sure that your supplies make it to the destination on time.
Supplier Relation Management
The supplier relation management feature is a function that helps you coordinate as well as the interact with the suppliers effectively. This feature makes sure that your plan, goals, and objectives are totally in sync with the suppliers’ work and performance.
The forecast feature is yet another key feature to consider for enterprise solutions like SCM. This feature allows you to anticipate market and customer demands. Moreover, it helps your business keep its distance from any damage. By anticipating the market scenario and demands, you will also be able to plan toward making sure that there’s no shortage and wastage of resources.
Order & Invoicing
With order and invoicing features in your supply chain software solution, you will be able to carry out the delivery process of the orders more efficiently. This feature also helps maintain invoices with an inbuilt chatting system. Using this feature, your employees will be able to interact with each other more specific and share important details in real-time.
Fund Flow Management
The fund flow management feature helps you see the comparison in the balance sheet maintained by the company throughout the year. It also helps keep a record of any changes in the sheet which can be useful later.
Assigning User Roles
This feature helps keep control of the accessibility each user has to the organizational data. It helps you provide access to individuals based on their roles and responsibilities.
Report & Analytics
Report and analytics are the must-have features of SCM software as you can use them to perform various tasks like generating inventory reports, goods history reports, order reports, etc. Moreover, managers get to work with better efficiency and productivity with the help of the reports.
You can implement the dashboard feature in your enterprise solution to make sure that the stakeholders have all the relevant insights available at their fingertips. This feature can work tremendously to deliver up-to-date status and track of all processes, simplifying the management.
Real-time notifications make for a wonderful feature to have in your SCM software as it delivers every update related to all supply chain activities in real-time. It can be quite useful in making sure that your stakeholders are always informed about every step of the way which can make it quick for them to respond whenever any change is required or any confusion occurs.
A supply chain network involves multiple teams working in collaboration. It demands that there remains seamless communication between all of them to keep things orderly. The portal feature is a function that eradicates the communication gap faced by members, allowing them to share any information and plan whenever they want.
Data security is one of the biggest considerations during enterprise software development as it can make or break your project. While planning the project with your supply chain management software development company, you must meditate on functions like data encryption, network monitoring, audit trail, and fault tolerance. Moreover, you must make sure that necessary for a secure flow of communications between authorized parties is established, and that all technology-related compliance is being maintained.
Steps to Develop a Supply Chain Management Software
Now that you have an idea of what features to implement in your software and you’re ready to gear up your plan for the next stage, let’s learn how to build a reliable supply chain management software. But before that, it is must to understand a couple of things about enterprise software development. Broadly speaking, there are two ways to develop a custom SCM solution: In-house development or looking for software development services from an external party.
While in-house development gives you more control over your project, it is also very costly and complex. You will have to hire an entire team of talented people on a full-time basis and provide them cutting-edge infrastructure. Furthermore, you will also have to maintain the infrastructure and take care of all the other requirements. All of this combines to make a pretty costly affair and new startups or companies on a tight-budget can’t handle.
That is why, it is economically smarter to look for a technology partner like Matellio that can provide quality development services at cost-effective rates.
But if you still want to develop your SCM solution in-house, then you can make a small core team of full-time talent and look for software development staff augmentation services to plug in skill gaps as needs arise. This way, you will be able to scale your team up and down based on your budget and requirements.
Research and Plan
Researching and planning is a fundamental phase of a supply chain management software development plan and you need not hurry at this stage. You must create a detailed description of your plan and prepare a roadmap for what you’re going to need to keep in mind while building the software.
Your plan must include essential checkpoints such as the current market trends, competitors, core features, and the user problems you’re addressing with your software. To develop a successful plan, you must discuss it all with the supply chain management software development company.
Design and Development
Once you have your plan ready, your next step is to focus on the UI/ UX design of your software. This phase needs a keen eye for detail as it basically makes or breaks the standing of software in the users’ minds. The development stage of SCM software involves coding, programming, and implementing overall IT infrastructure.
The post-development phase of the SCM software plan is as crucial as the discovery phase. Before you unveil your product to the world, you’d want to make sure that there are no bugs sticking to your software. Checking up on the overall performance of your software and making it error-free is why the testing phase is a must.
After enterprise software development, comes software maintenance, a phase that never really ends. This post-development step involves the software routinely undergoing maintenance practices that ensure a good user experience.
Supply Chain Management Software Development Cost
When planning to build SCM software, the development cost can turn out to be a major factor affecting the strategy. Know that the cost of supply chain management software development is determined by various aspects such as:
- The set of features
- Development team
- Marketing and Maintenance
So, it is best that you plan your project in as much detail as possible so as to avoid any recurrence of steps, and errors and gain a better view of cost estimation.
Read More: MVP Development Guide for Business
Custom SCM development is all about developing a solution from the basics and partnering with the right SCM software development company has its own important role to play in it. The team of experienced engineers helps you look at your plan from a broader perspective, and assists you in deciding what features to include in your solution, the type of technology it will need, and more.
If you are looking for the right partner to help develop the best SCM software, Matellio is here to help you. As a leading software development and DevOps consulting company, we can assist you with the best services in this domain and unravel the best outcomes as per your vision and goals. If you want to learn more about our SCM development services, schedule a call with our experts.
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