Businesses cannot afford any disruption in their operations, most especially in the delivery of goods. Ensuring that the flow of products moves seamlessly from business, suppliers, and customers.
“With the explosion of e-commerce across markets, the need for a reliable and uninterrupted supply chain has increased,” said Abhimanyu Kashikar, co-founder and COO of Anchanto, in an email interview with Back End News. “Online consumers desire the receipt of correct products and quantities, at the right location, and within a specified period. A supply chain with suitable partners and technology can effectively sustain itself to meet customer needs and smoothen the product distribution process.”
Kashikar said proper technology is needed to achieve this.
The mobility restrictions during lockdowns because of the pandemic led businesses to realize that supply chains “cannot operate in silos,” according to Kashikar. He noted that in the Philippines, the focus shifted from the service sector to merchandise goods, which include basic necessities.
During the now popular and regular monthly sales of e-commerce platforms, the surge in sales is expected and businesses deal with multiple stakeholders and manage different systems: from procurements to payments to inventories.
“They need optimal connectivity during the entire process, from procurement to delivery,” he explained. “This will provide sufficient visibility at every level of distribution, real-time reports, and quick action that translates to more leads, better customer relationships, and growing sales.”
Online consumers demand faster delivery and satisfaction or dissatisfaction is instantly reflected with reviews and ratings, as required in some e-commerce platforms. No brand can afford a rating that can jeopardize the whole business. And in the Philippines, on-time delivery is a must for many consumers.
“With more and more businesses moving into the online sphere, the need to adapt to this changed behavior and preferences has been higher than ever,” Kashikar said. “This is when technology comes to the rescue. When businesses have a strong technology platform backing their operations, they can ensure faster deliveries, offer a wide range of products, and ensure they sell seamlessly across the region.”
Kashikar emphasized the need for companies to “shake up their supply chain strategies to become more resilient, collaborative, and networked with their stakeholders.”
Kashikar further explained how companies that offer Software as a Service (SaaS) have improved the technology to make it more agile and responsive to adapt to the changes in supply chain management brought about by the lockdowns.
“They also help supply chain actors to set up expectations in terms of SLAs and take the lead time into consideration,” he said. “Enterprises in the Philippines can approach and collaborate with shipping partners to optimize costs and consider forward-placing of inventory to beat surcharges and maintain economical operations. After which introducing technology is a must to ensure seamless progression.”
By enabling SaaS solutions to handle supply chain management, the number of tasks increased significantly making the process not just quick but more agile and efficient.
“SaaS has proven invaluable for streamlined business and transparent supply chains for today’s world of global, interconnected companies,” Kashikar said. “At Anchanto, we’ve developed our SaaS technology platforms (Anchanto OMS and Anchanto WMS) to not only support the functions of the supply chain but restructure certain aspects like warehouse sectioning, inventory placement, picking processes, and more. Our technology improves connectivity between businesses and all the platforms and partners they work with: marketplaces, web stores, ERPs, accounting tools, last-mile carriers, fulfillment centers, and more.”
Anchanto achieved supply chain connectivity through centralization, integrations, and the mapping of supply chain partners locally and globally. With the members of the supply chain using its software, customers gain uninterrupted visibility of their inventory at different levels. Anchanto’s SaaS technology also connects with the source of sales i.e., online and offline sales channels. That way, orders, and inventory can be centralized and synced for faster fulfillment.
WMS technology has the capability to assess stocks quickly and at different warehouses to ensure inventory levels are stable and order fulfillment is performed by fulfillment centers closest to the customers making purchases. This quick action ensures faster fulfillment and delivery and reduces costs significantly.
“Our offerings are much more than mere SaaS subscriptions.,” Kashikar said. “We understand that every business has its own set of challenges. Hence, we follow a proven process to create a ‘Solution Blueprint’ for each customer. Our product consultants and experts work with all relevant stakeholders to create an innovative solution specific to that business. Once we create the blueprint, we conduct a fit-gap analysis and then deliver a holistic implementation and training so that our customers achieve their desired success.”
“SaaS platforms like ours play a role in offering automation to businesses, resulting in smoother operations,” Kashikar said. “This will reduce the strain on supply chains, remove bottlenecks, and optimize overall operations using smart and intuitive technology.”
Companies that are in touch with consumer behavior have better chances to adapt to the changes quickly. For others, they need to review their processes and address operation gaps. Upon realizing loopholes in operations, they can then find solutions that fit their needs and requirements.
“The way I see it, digital transformation is the process to reshape business models to ensure they can capitalize on the power and impact of digital,” Kashikar said.