In his article, Defining Supply Chain Management, JT Menzer provides the following definition: “Supply chain management is the systematic, strategic coordination of the traditional business functions and the tactics across these business functions within a particular company and across businesses within the supply chain, for the purposes of improving the long-term performance of the individual companies and the supply chain as a whole.”
Going beyond this definition, Supply Chain Integration is the use of technology to underpin the coordination of these business functions. Businesses implementing Supply Chain Integration use a common platform like Celtrino’s Smart Admin, to provide a way to connect the disparate systems at each business and the transactional workflow required to move from raw materials to saleable product and the data interchange between each supplier in the process.
In the past, every step of the supply chain required manual intervention to process and progress orders and generate the paperwork required to keep track of each interaction. The supplier of raw materials would receive a manual purchase order from the manufacturer and in return create a manual invoice. Several documents would then change hands at every point of the initial purchase process to keep everything on track and ensure an accurate audit trail of the sale. This flurry of documents is then repeated at every step along the supply chain right up to the final sale.
Supply Chain Integration reduces the amount of paper changing hands, replacing them with electronic versions which are presented directly into the accounts system of each supplier and buyer. Often the full details of each transaction are also available through a B2B Supply Chain Management Portal, allowing all parties in the supply chain to see the details of their interactions and allowing for historical analysis of the financial implications of the relationship.