The business activity known as global supply chain management has at its core the managing and monitoring of goods and products as they move through the manufacturing process to the end customer.
This business activity is being integrated with real-time ERP processes more and more. What this means is that Enterprise Resource Planning at the business is chopping the processes down into small parts so that it can be monitored at more places along the line. This system of checks helps in many ways.
First, and maybe foremost is quality. Not only can the manufacturing process be watched closer, quality standards can be monitored better, too. This helps manufacturers find and fix issues with quality it turns into even larger problems later on after the product has been made. Giving quality a preeminent position like this is good for customer satisfaction.
Speed of Manufacturing
Most businesses build to order. There are very few warehousing operations that hold finished goods that are waiting to be ordered by end customers. Because of the emphasis on real-time processes, the speed at which products are produced can increase (all things being equal). Being able to maintain quality at the same time helps businesses get products into the hands of customers sooner.
Customers can now be kept in closer touch with the manufacturing of the products that they order. Some companies even provide a portal from which a customer can monitor product manufacturing and their specific order as it moves along the way. This can be both good and bad in that the customer can see stops in the process which raises concerns about delivery dates, etc. Strong communications must exists between the two so that this does not turn into a disaster.
It does not end there, however. Once the manufacturing process is completed, then the deliver process begins. But, it is a seamless operation in that GPS Tracking takes up where RFID left off in the monitoring of the logistics process.
Semi trucks and trailers are the first step in the monitoring process. Trucks and trailers both include GPS Tracking systems to help monitor their progress. And, it is helpful to be able to track these units should they become the targets of thieves (which is happening in greater numbers these days).
Cargo containers are also being outfitted with GPS Tracking so that they can be tracked separately from the trucks and trailers.
Finally, many products that are banded together in the shipping process have a GPS Tracking device hidden among the boxes.
Not only is this good insurance for getting products where they need to be, but it allows for minute tracking which keeps the end customer and the shipper aware of the precise location of important deliveries. Schedules can be coordinated and marketing plans can be shifted to accommodate any delays or advances in shipping time lines. GPS tracking is a “must-have” item in the supply chain managers arsenal of customer service tools.