How can ERP software improve supply chain management?

ZEST I-O ERP Software Supply Chain Management

A pre-requisite for successful supply chain management is having the right information at the right time. By utilising features and functionality within an ERP software, engineering and manufacturing businesses can achieve greater visibility of their operations and accurate data on which to base decisions in their supply chain management. You could say that an ERP system oils the cogs and the wheels of a sophisticated supply chain!

Proactive and responsive planning

With an ERP system, planning become a lot simpler and more process and data driven. Businesses can use information generated from their ERP system to decide in what order and priority they should run their orders, respond to demand and ensure that the purchasing and production requirements and managed.

An ERP system allows senior managers in a manufacturing company to plan, manage and execute better and faster, whilst interpreting constantly changing information from customers and suppliers.

Improved purchasing

With an ERP system and supply chain management working together, your purchasing or procurement team will be able to take advantage of just-in-time and other purchasing methodologies. Purchasing can also be automated, with built-in triggers set to automatically monitor shortages, create Request for Quotations (RFQs), place purchase orders with suppliers when inventory levels fall below a certain level, amalgamate purchase orders for a common supplier, and change and update dates quickly on the fly.

With improved visibility across all purchase orders and information on supplier lead times, inventory levels can be optimised, increasing cash flow and minimising fixed assets.

Supplier performance review

Each supplier and their incoming deliveries will be in the ERP system in accordance with outstanding purchase orders and expected delivery dates. Any changes that take place, whether on the customer or supplier front, will be updated live in the system. ERP software can track the performance of your suppliers using metrics such as cost, delivery time, traceability, quality reports, etc. allowing you to negotiate better rates or to justify switching suppliers.

Increased business process automation

Unnecessary tasks and approvals are not required. Employees can synchronise their activities in line with customer orders (whether firm or forecast), encourage collaboration and improve decision-making. As required, automatic or manual authorisations can be created based on the roles of the employees and workflows across all departments, which will enable increased business process automation in a manufacturing company.

Better and faster decision making

With real-time information, companies can manage and monitor their supply chain performance and analyse and quickly act on issues in sales orders, purchasing, replenishment of stock, incoming deliveries and shipments, customer orders, internal resource and capacity constraints. Engineering and manufacturing companies that implement a good ERP system are able to make decisions in a timely manner, mitigate risks, implement those decisions for completion of the products and facilitate fast growth.

Real-time KPIs and performance analysis

Because all the aforementioned information is integrated into the ERP system, it becomes much easier to track progress real-time against overall business objectives and enables companies to review processes and improve productivity and performance.

Improved information flow and communication

All related documents, reminders and communications whether they are verbal, written or electronic can be stored and tracked in the ERP system – information is shared and flows much more quickly to all parts of the organisation. The ERP system facilitates the reduction of the duplication and allows every company in the supply chain to be measured on their individual performance, especially delivery and quality.

Better quality control, documentation and compliance

For engineering and manufacturing companies, who operate in sectors such as oil & gas, aerospace and nuclear, customers demand strict quality controls, creation of quality documentation and certificates for traceability and compliance purposes. Quality control processes can easily be planned, managed and executed in the ERP system. Necessary documentation can be created and tracked resulting in assurance and compliance internally and externally.


The integration of ERP software and supply chain management will give your company a genuine competitive advantage within the industry and markets you operate in. By combining supplier relevant financial data, inventory management and other key data into an ERP system and then sharing that information across relevant departments, your company will improve performance, efficiency and overall customer satisfaction.

If you want to discover how ZEST I/O can help your business, please get in touch with our team. We will be delighted to discuss how our Cloud ERP software can help your business and improve how you manage your supply chain!

Please have a look at the following links for further information about supply chain management, trends, success stories, etc.


Supply Chain Digital