Using custom software development data for supply chain optimization

Written on
April 22, 2021

As the technological revolution advances at a rapid pace, enterprises are relying more and more on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform for supply chain optimization.  Driving this intensifying demand for high-tech innovation is an urgent, industrywide need to process, analyze, and share massive amounts of data acquired through a seemingly unending stream of current and still unimagined resources.  An antiquated inventory control and shipping process can quickly cripple an organization without a forward-thinking custom software development strategy already in place.

Supply chain optimization: Anticipating future shipping patterns

Demand pattern analysis is a newly emerging area of supply chain management (SCM) that involves the detailed evaluation of consumer purchasing patterns and variability demands.  When implementing demand pattern analysis to its maximum potential, companies utilizing demand-driven value networks (DDVN) can make predictions pertaining to inventory control and shipping requirements with pinpoint accuracy and across a broad range of time horizons.  

As a result, purchasing managers can secure and maintain necessary inventory levels through a smooth-running automation process.  They can also ensure optimal lead times for reordering based on varying interdepartmental protocols, such as “First In, First Out (FIFO),” “Last In, First Out (LIFO), “Just In Time (JIT),” and other company-specific protocols.

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform is quickly becoming the go-to solution of businesses seeking to jump aboard the demand pattern analysis bandwagon.  With a variety of custom software development features and capabilities, this Microsoft Suite allows enterprises to integrate Robot Process Automation, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI), power apps, and other supply chain optimization technologies with ease.   Furthermore, the Power Automate software helps businesses overcome traditionally labor-intensive challenges through customizable automation solutions to streamline every stage of the supply chain dynamic—from purchasing to warehousing and last-mile delivery.

Microsoft Dynamics also includes the Microsoft Azure software, which helps organizations coordinate between various remote servers, virtual private networks (VPNs), content delivery networks (CDNs), and ExpressRoute connections with little to no previous coding experience required.  The most successful companies also use Microsoft Azure for smooth integration with social media platforms, third-party vendor databases, in-house inventory databases, and numerous custom SaaS development assets.  Collecting and analyzing big, medium, and small data has never been easier.

Custom software development for inventory control automation

The logistics industry is already implementing automation solutions in their inventory control and shipping processes, and the levels of complexity and sophistication of these technologies are steadily increasing.  For example, FedEx and UPS are already automating many of their loading and unloading systems, including enhanced technological capacities that automatically foresee and circumvent potential delivery obstacles instantaneously.

Meanwhile, recent advancements in data processing now allow for the successful automation of tasks that were once believed to be too complex—like trailer loading and offloading at faster speeds. By improving loading and offloading times, customer satisfaction levels soar, and the company saves money simultaneously.  Below are just a few top trending technologies for custom software development and supply chain optimization in 2021 and beyond.

  • Robotics and Automation

Microsoft Power Automate is an easily customizable, cloud-based, no-code solution that allows organizations and line-of-business users to automate repetitive tasks quickly and easily.  When Microsoft transformed its previous Microsoft Flow software into the new-and-improved Power Automate in April 2020, it included some revolutionary upgrades related to Robot Process Automation (RPA). IT departments no longer worry about successfully integrating legacy applications and software with their new custom software development infrastructure because Power Automate’s recently upgraded UI-based capabilities make the digital transformation process quick and painless.

  • Internet of Things (IoT)

Many organizations already rely heavily on IoT-enhanced devices to authenticate the precise locations of customer packages while en route. Some technologies can even predict possible delivery delays due to weather or traffic congestion while offering contingency routes to the drivers automatically. In fact, with consistent use, these technologies can also allow businesses to identify and resolve potential bottlenecks and problematic patterns throughout the entire supply chain. 

  • Cloud-based technologies

Transitioning to the cloud can be a challenge for the best of companies.  Where does one begin?  Fortunately, Microsoft comes to the rescue once again.  Azure Cloud is incredibly convenient for the successful automation of supply chain data storage, data analytics, networking, and virtual computing.  This innovative software also provides a variety of easily customizable and infinitely scalable automation solutions related to Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) demands.

  • Data analytics and reporting

Any organization can collect piles and piles of data for supply chain optimization.  However, compiling this information into a coherent, easily sharable, and always up-to-date digital document is where most companies fall short.  The Microsoft Power BI platform is a cloud-based solution specializing in the analysis and reporting of small, medium, and big data in real-time.  In-house managers, warehouse supervisors, loading clerks, and even the delivery drivers can access the same statistical dashboards and interactive reports simultaneously and with up-to-the-second accuracy.  Gone are the days of multiple file versions, too.

Among digital transformation companies, Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the most sought-after platform for custom software development and supply chain optimization. With various sophisticated pre-built applications, optimal scalability capabilities, and a stellar reputation for seamless integration with legacy applications and authentication protocols, enterprises adopting the Microsoft Suite of products save time, money, and frustration.

The importance of strategic partnerships

Collaboration and strategic partnerships between companies within a supply chain are nothing new, especially regarding last-mile delivery protocols.  FedEx and DHL may be competitors, but they also collaboratively partner with the United States Post Office, over 200 international postal services, and innumerable smaller, localized delivery companies worldwide. Even with this vast amount of cooperative teamwork, inconsistencies still exist. The implementation of more consistent delivery standards industrywide remains the ultimate objective.

Until this dream is achieved, individual organizations are doing their part by adopting the latest technologies that promote these utopian ideals. When warehouse managers, suppliers, shippers, and third-party vendors utilize more and more of the same technologies, intercommunication and data sharing become more accessible and cost-effective for all.  However, to catch up with the latest technological advancements, some businesses may need an additional partner of their own.  

Microsoft Gold Partners for successful custom software development

Microsoft Solutions Consulting Companies help their clients understand the infinite possibilities of the Dynamics 365 platform.  After evaluating a company’s existing systems, applications, and infrastructures, TechFabric offers recommendations of specific Microsoft solutions based on the client’s desired goals and objectives. 

Instead of in-house IT staff wasting valuable resources on designing new web applications and integrating multiple legacy programs with these new technologies, forward-thinking enterprises “partner” with a reputable Microsoft specialist to save time and money. They also avoid possible disruptions in business continuity at the same time.

Top-rated digital transformation companies like TechFabric understand how difficult it can be for organizations facing supply chain optimization challenges to reach out and ask for help.  As a leading Microsoft Gold Partner, TechFabric guides businesses large and small through the entire custom software development process step-by-step. For more information on the most advanced supply chain optimization technologies, contact TechFabric today. 

Article written by
Leo Oliemans
Chief Revenue Officer

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