Supply chain management is an important aspect of the manufacturing process. Where once supply chains were prone to hiccups due to suppliers acting according to their own interests, interested parties now operate with more of a coordinated effort to ensure the maximum profits for everybody. One of the driving factors in making this coordination a reality is enterprise resource planning systems like Dynamics NAV.

Locate the best suppliers
An ERP allows manufacturers and suppliers to act in concert with each other, thereby providing a more efficient and effective use of assets. Supervisors can use an an inventory management system to define the criteria to specify which suppliers they want to use and why they want to use them. Managers can note which suppliers provide the lowest costs or the fastest shipping.

By recording the precise details of every order, those in charge of inventory can track the delivery metrics to check whether a supplier is consistently adhering to their contractual obligations. Supervisors can set up alerts establishing a compliance threshold that notifies the appropriate individuals if a particular vendor consistently falls short of any previously agreed upon delivery stipulations. Using the ERP system to measure and monitor how suppliers perform their duties and respond to requests will help managers choose the best option for their supply chain needs. Having access to all stages of the shipping and delivery of raw materials and products will ultimately make a company leaner and more competitive.

Utilize the system's data
An ERP system stores all the data gathered from supply chain systems, sales and marketing, customer service, internal database information and interactions with customers. Managers can analyze and utilize this data to identify buying patterns which leads to more customized products and services. These measurement capabilities can create entirely new metrics, key performance indicators and benchmarks, which can provide advance warning of shortfalls or possible obstacles.

The data provided by the ERP system can enable supervisors to implement a consistent standardization process across the entire organization, which allows them to more accurately monitor the supply chain in its entirety. By doing so, the executives can compare old and new measures to determine their benefits or detriments.

Customize the system
One of the biggest hindrances to supply chain flexibility and efficiency is the on-premise ERP system's limitations to its customization. This means many companies need to work around this system instead of having it align with the current business process. Thankfully, many of the cloud-based models allow more tweaks and modifications. According to Supply Chain Digital, customizing a cloud-based ERP system to act in accordance with pre-designed business processes provides additional cost and time savings. This also helps companies build an integrated and highly visible system of record that allows for more collaboration and innovation across the entire supply chain.

Managers can take advantage of ERP systems to find the best possible suppliers, customize the company's products and services based on the system's data and streamline the business processes necessary to make the supply chain more efficient. These features have the potential to make a company more competitive and profitable.