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  July 19th, 2022 | Written by

5 Essential Supply Chain Management Tools

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Before the pandemic, the supply chain stress index rested at 100. Currently, the supply chain stress index has reached 135. Supply chain stress shows no signs of slowing.

How can you reduce supply chain headaches to ensure efficiency and proactive planning?

Read on to learn about 5 essential supply chain management tools that can help you mitigate supply chain stress and strengthen your approach.

5 Essential Supply Chain Management Tools

Keep reading if you’re looking for better ways to manage your supply chain. Here, we will discuss the most valuable supply chain management tools that can help you to manage your data and automate supply chain processes.

Shipping Status Tools

One of the most challenging elements of supply chain management is keeping track of your orders. Larger supply chains can become complex and convoluted, particularly for businesses that must provide supply chain services on a global scale.

Shipping status tools help companies to review real-time updates on the status of their orders. RFID inventory management tools also help minimize the human error margin when documenting shipping status.

Shipping status tools update you on any changes in estimated delivery dates and notify you when your shipments are complete. The tool helps to simplify the shipping process and allows you to plan more effectively around your shipping schedule.

Manufacturing ERP Software

Manufacturing ERP software, or MRP, is an essential tool for those looking to streamline the manufacturing process in their supply chain. MRP software helps to give you complete visibility and traceability in the manufacturing process from start to finish. With MRP software, you gain complete insight into your material requirements, the quantity of the materials you need, and when your materials will be required.

Before using MRP software, you need to establish a bill of materials. The bill of materials is a sequential list of the materials, subparts, and parts you need for the finished product. The bill of materials specifies the order of parts and how much of each material is required. Once you have established your bill of materials, MRP software will be able to give you insight into the manufacturing process with the following features:

Live inventory management – with MRP software, you get an overview of your live inventory levels. You can also automate inventory restocking to ensure no stockouts. You can view your on-hand, expected, and committed inventory in several warehouses with MRP inventory management.

Master planning – you can assign workflows and prioritize manufacturing tasks based on inventory levels, demand, and other live information using MRP software. You can also automate manufacturing cost calculations utilizing this feature. Master planning ensures that your warehouse workers are aligned under a common and unified goal.

Purchase order management – you can keep track of your purchase orders and identify any purchase orders that are received in parts. Purchase order management allows you to keep track of your material and inventory requirements, ensuring you can
meet demand at all times. Procurement software has a range of features in helping companies of all sizes and in a variety of industries manage their purchasing process for goods and services.

Accurate costing – your bill of materials will inform the MRP software of the cost of each manufacturing process, material, and part. You can view precise costing information to make more informed pricing decisions.

Demand Forecasting Tools

Demand forecasting is an essential element of any effective supply chain management strategy.

Accurate forecasting capabilities will allow you to plan your inventory in line with trends in demand. Demand forecasting tools automate the forecasting process, allowing you better insight into your demand trends without manual effort. The tool simply identifies month-on-month and year-on-year trends in sales and orders, enabling you to plan more effectively for peaks in demand.

Security Tools

Your profit margins depend on your ability to keep your supply chain warehouses secure and reduce the risk of shrinkage due to employee and third-party theft. So, evaluate the building
security of your supply chain warehouses and look for:

● Surveillance – your warehouses should be equipped with surveillance installed by experts. There should be no blind spots, ensuring quick identification of employees and third-party theft.

● Access control – there should be a system to ensure that only authorized personnel can enter the warehouses where your goods are stored.

● Cybersecurity – your supply chain data needs to be secure. Ensure your warehouses provide their employees with cybersecurity training and implement cybersecurity measures to keep data safe.

● Alarm systems – your warehouses need to be equipped with alarm systems which notify security staff when a security breach occurs.

Compliance Tools

You need to use tools to meet the growing demand for more compliance and transparency regarding manufacturing and supply chain processes. Compliance tools ensure that you meet industry, government, and consumer standards, helping your business gain a more substantial reputation.


Managing your supply chain can become overwhelming. You can gain more organization and efficiency by automating processes and using software and technologies that support supply chain management. Consider which of these supply chain management tools would best benefit your enterprise.