How the Connected World Impacts Business Operations: A Peek Behind the Curtain

by Kevin Beasley June 22, 2016
June 22, 2016

Within most industries today, discussions are occurring among leaders about connected customers and their needs. From healthcare to manufacturing and even the food industry, smart technologies have had a profound effect on business operations by directly putting the connected customer at the center of business decisions, and the supply chain is the ultimate glue holding it all together. This article will focus on the technologies behind the scenes that are helping enterprise operations stay efficient and cost effective, and we’ll also examine how today’s connected landscape has impacted everyday production processes.


As I mentioned in my last article, these smart devices, along with advances in mobile broadband and integrated business-class applications, are leaving a deep impression on the entire transactional buying, selling and distribution process. From tracking and analyzing sales to stocking retail shelves, businesses now have the capability to dissect each part of the sales and manufacturing cycle at a granular level to not only meet consumer expectation but drive business growth. Through a combination of two integral applications– Suggested Purchase Order (PO) and Materials Requirements Planning (MRP) – enterprises can satisfy all aspects of the sales cycle with more knowledgeable and actionable insights.


Sales Process Optimization


With a variety of connected technologies at consumers’ fingertips, logistics leaders are expected to cater to consumers’ every need. Smart devices have created an environment of instant gratification that requires every industry to both predict and deliver tailored on-demand services and merchandise.


Suggested PO systems, a subset of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, can make recommendations on what manufacturers and distributors should be purchasing based off past monitored behavioral patterns. It helps optimize the sales lifecycle, from analyzing previous sale trends to plugging in “what if” scenarios. Suggested PO can also project seasonal needs based on previous sales to ensure sales professionals are well-equipped to satisfy consumer demand. The less time spent on manually calculating each of these parts of the sales cycle, the more time can be spent on finding innovative ways to help boost the company’s bottom line.


Streamline Logistics and Supply Chain Operations


Although sales data is important to analyze, it’s also useful to look at outside data sources and predictive algorithms such as inclement weather affecting the delivery route or reports from other distributors and manufacturers that their inventory is low. Because these additional sources of information may cause some disruption in the production, distribution and sales cycle, they provide a critical layer of insight to help shape important decisions.


When information from a third party is received or a change to an aspect of the logistics and supply chain process is made, distributors and manufacturers can use Suggested PO and MRP software to adjust internal data as well as delivery data. Although Suggested PO helps logistics leaders with optimal purchase times and quantities, MRP is used to manage the entire manufacturing process from planning and scheduling to inventory control. When used in conjunction, Suggested PO and MRP provide a more holistic view of logistics and supply chain operations. Both enable a more streamlined way for logistics leaders to perform the vital business functions to decrease inefficiencies and increase productivity.


How the Connected World Impacts Business Operations: A Peek Behind the Curtain


Keeping your Customer Satisfied: The Bigger Picture


The combination of Suggested PO and MRP allows vendors to effectively set up an automation system that can be easily adjusted to keep inventory managed and stocked appropriately. And although optimizing sales and streamlining the logistics and supply chain processes are great for enterprises’ bottom line, both ultimately serve to benefit the most important part of businesses – the customer.


Because of these types of integrated connected technologies, stores have the capability to serve the customer at a higher level. After the first year of Suggested PO and MRP implementation, distributors and manufacturers can make predictions on a multitude of inventory-related issues ranging from replenishing products in retail outlets to ordering extra items during a certain time of the year. As customers have come to expect their favorite store will always have the exact product they’re looking for at any given time, retailers have taken note by working hand-in-hand with distributors and manufacturers to ensure profit margins are healthy and clientele are kept happy for repeat business.

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