Industry Blog

How to Overcome Metals Supply Chain Volatility

Our metals clients frequently tell us that one of their biggest challenges is supply chain management. Tracking inventory can be difficult in the best of circumstances, but the volatility of the past year has been anything but ordinary. Most businesses are feeling the pain of delayed deliveries and interrupted service but the pressures on the metals processing industry are growing, including both upstream and downstream supply chain challenges.

Caused by the current climate of economic instability, a global pandemic, and increased competition, supply chains have been under attack for well over a year. And pressures were already mounting in previous years as detailed in our article on supply chains.

For these reasons, there has never been a better time to evaluate a technology upgrade to cloud-based ERP. Only a cloud-based ERP system like RealSTEEL is designed to create an intelligent and sustainable supply chain for the metals industry.

What is An Intelligent Supply Chain?

Unlike manual processes and disjointed spreadsheets, an intelligent supply chain is one that can balance all the variables needed to automate and streamline your metals processing operations. Data is aggregated across your enterprise (including outside sources) in order to track all materials precisely and align with production scheduling.

Automated job routing optimizes the complex matrix of materials and resources needed to manage your supply chain at all times. It can even respond immediately to changes and unexpected events.

An intelligent supply chain can:

  • Enhance visibility, improve planning, and maximize productivity
  • Coordinate materials planning with downstream processes
  • Optimize inventory across all suppliers and warehouse locations
  • Manage outsourced processes including materials, semi-finished products, and finished goods
  • Predict and respond to any disruptions

In short, the intelligent supply chain optimizes planning, production inventory, warehousing, and transportation to maximize operational efficiency and productivity.

How Cloud ERP Fuels the Intelligent Supply Chain

Cloud-based ERP allows you to connect your entire organization, providing people with the information they need to manage the supply chain and respond to changes rapidly. By digitizing your metals business, you can harness your data and use it as a competitive asset to grow profits.

The key to better supply chain visibility is to centralize and use your data strategically so you can derive insights that deliver improvements for your entire company. Cloud-based ERP is built on shared data and comes with powerful analysis tools. All workers from management to production have access to the data they need to optimize performance and make proactive decisions.

Examples of this data include:

  • Monitor the status of all materials across suppliers, locations, and even outside processors
  • Pinpoint downtime, operator errors, and material problems on the shop floor
  • Analyze and predict the impact of supply chain interruptions on productions and profits

The cloud can transform the way data flows through your organization, providing visibility and control of your supply chain and beyond.

Intelligent Supply Chain Analytics

Cloud ERP harnesses the power of data to provide robust, real-time reporting and analytics. This allows you to make proactive decisions in purchasing, scheduling, and production. And to make the best use of resources, cloud-based ERP analytics can help you continuously evaluate supply chain activity and recommend action within given constraints.

With cloud-based ERP built on shared data, you can use powerful analysis tools to provide KPI dashboards with relevant real-time feedback for all workers by role. This has ramifications well beyond the supply chain and encompasses purchasing, finance, production, and more. From purchasing the right amount of inventory to scheduling machine operators, workers can make better and faster decisions if they have complete, up-to-date information from all departments.

Built on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform, RealSTEEL takes advantage of the Microsoft Power Platform which helps businesses automate unique workflows and processes, opening up greater visibility and insights. Using apps created with these tools, companies can analyze data and automate processes not only for their supply chain but for the entire business.

Want to Create and Intelligent Supply Chain in Your Business?

If you want to minimize supply chain volatility, the answer is cloud-based ERP. You owe it to yourself to check out RealSTEEL, a cloud-based ERP platform designed for the unique requirements of the metals industry. To learn more about how we can help you increase profits, contact us today.

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