What Technology is Essential for Managing An International Supply Chain?


    What Technology is Essential for Managing An International Supply Chain?

    In the complex world of international supply chains, technology plays a pivotal role. We gathered insights from CEOs and Directors, asking them to highlight eight essential pieces of tech that have been game-changers for their operations. From implementing cloud-based ERP software to optimizing with a Transportation Management System, explore the eight key technologies that these experts rely on to manage their global networks.

    • Implement Cloud-Based ERP Software
    • Integrate IoT and Blockchain Technologies
    • Adopt Cloud-Based Supply Chain Management
    • Utilize Salesforce for Global Client Management
    • Leverage Tableau for Data-Driven Global Strategy
    • Embrace Blockchain for Supply Chain Transparency
    • Use Inventory Management for Global Stock Control
    • Optimize with a Transportation Management System

    Implement Cloud-Based ERP Software

    In managing our international supply chain, the implementation of cloud-based ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software has been instrumental. This technology allows for seamless integration across various departments, enabling real-time data access and enhanced coordination. By utilizing this system, we've significantly reduced turnaround times and minimized errors, directly contributing to a notable increase in our net-new revenue. My extensive experience with this technology underlines its importance in maintaining efficiency and driving growth in a competitive market.

    Ace Zhuo
    Ace ZhuoBusiness Development Director (Sales and Marketing), Tech & Finance Expert, TradingFXVPS

    Integrate IoT and Blockchain Technologies

    One time, when Spectup was helping a client scale their operations internationally, we realized how crucial real-time data visibility was for managing their complex supply chain. We decided to implement a robust supply-chain management system integrated with IoT sensors and blockchain technology. This setup revolutionized our approach.

    I remember the client facing issues with delayed shipments and lack of transparency, which was causing bottlenecks and increased costs. By integrating IoT sensors, we gained real-time insights into the location and condition of shipments. This allowed us to track inventory with precision, monitor environmental conditions, and respond swiftly to any disruptions.

    Moreover, blockchain technology provided an immutable record of transactions, enhancing trust and accountability across the entire supply chain. Every stakeholder, from suppliers to logistics providers, could access a single source of truth. This transparency not only improved efficiency but also strengthened relationships with partners by ensuring reliability and traceability.

    Niclas Schlopsna
    Niclas SchlopsnaManaging Consultant and CEO, spectup

    Adopt Cloud-Based Supply Chain Management

    Implementing a cloud-based supply-chain management system has been crucial. It offers real-time tracking, seamless communication with international partners, and efficient inventory management, ensuring smooth operations across borders.

    Nicolas Krauss
    Nicolas KraussFounder and CEO

    Utilize Salesforce for Global Client Management

    A critical technology in our arsenal is CRM software, particularly Salesforce. Although traditionally used for customer relationship management, Salesforce has been pivotal for us in managing the complexities of international digital service provision. It helps track all client interactions, manage marketing campaigns, and analyze data from various touchpoints, which is essential for delivering personalized experiences to clients across different markets. The ability to integrate other tools with Salesforce also allows us to maintain a seamless flow of information across our marketing, sales, and service departments, making it invaluable for keeping our global operations aligned.

    Jason Hennessey
    Jason HennesseyCEO, Hennessey Digital

    Leverage Tableau for Data-Driven Global Strategy

    A somewhat unconventional but crucial technology we use at our company is an AI-driven analytics platform, Tableau. This tool allows us to digest large amounts of data to uncover trends and insights that inform our global strategy. For example, analyzing user engagement across different regions helps us tailor our content and SEO strategies to better meet the unique needs of each market. This targeted approach not only improves effectiveness but also efficiency, by focusing resources on strategies and tactics that work best in each area, thus optimizing our digital supply chain.

    Marc Bishop
    Marc BishopDirector, Wytlabs

    Embrace Blockchain for Supply Chain Transparency

    Blockchain technology has revolutionized our international supply chain management. Its transparency ensures every transaction is traceable and verifiable, significantly reducing fraud and errors. By eliminating intermediaries, blockchain streamlines processes, enhancing efficiency and security. The real-time data availability it provides allows for more informed decision-making, strengthening our global logistics operations.

    Josh Ladick
    Josh LadickPresident, GSA Focus

    Use Inventory Management for Global Stock Control

    In handling our international supply chain, an Inventory Management System has proven indispensable. This real-time inventory tracking across all our global warehouses helps us make data-driven choices in how we stock and distribute inventory. The IMS will at all times inform us of the optimal level of inventory and when it should be reordered based on the threshold of our inventory holdings. This automation helps to reduce the chance of stockouts and overstock situations, especially when dealing with unpredictable international shipping times, which can be up to several months. By allowing the system to integrate with our suppliers' systems, it helps us to improve coordination and ensure better inventory management across regions.

    In addition, this enables demand forecasting and inventory optimization using advanced analytics. With historical sales data and marketing trends, we are able to forecast a more precise demand and align the inventory strategy accordingly. It has helped us to reduce carrying costs and improve our inventory turnover, allowing us to only have the right products on hand at the right time to keep up with demand. The IMS is also, as mentioned, a vital tool thanks to its streamlining of processes and uptick in accuracy to our international supply chain.

    Staci Anderson
    Staci AndersonDirector of Marketing, Raynor Garage Doors

    Optimize with a Transportation Management System

    Since we have an international supply chain, we have implemented a Transportation Management System (TMS), and believe me, we have everything under our control now. This technology allows us to plan, execute, and optimize the physical movement of goods across borders. It ensures that the items we ship reach their recipients for the lowest cost and in the shortest amount of time.

    It has greatly improved our shipping process by monitoring and controlling it with the implementation of TMS. Through live tracking and alerts, we already have real-time information on the state of the shipment, where we can act proactively to correct any problems. Ensuring this level of visibility is key to ensuring our logistics operations continue to run reliably and efficiently, particularly as we scale with more carriers and regions. One of the key advantages of the system is its automation and streamlined paperwork and compliance documentation, thereby reducing administrative burdens and ensuring that we meet all regulatory requirements without any delays.

    We also gained insights into our logistics performance through the analytics and reporting tools available in the TMS. With delivery time reports, freight costs, and carrier performance data, we can improve in various areas and negotiate better terms with our logistics partners. As a result, our global supply chain has become more competitive, since this endless cycle of improvement has helped to increase cost savings and service levels.

    Adam Bogle
    Adam BogleSenior Marketing-Coordinator, Richards-Wilcox Canada