SMTA International Conference Proceedings


Author: Mel Smith
Company: Kent Electronics Corp.
Date Published: 9/12/1999   Conference: SMTA International

Abstract: Suppliers continue to forge strong links in the value chain by adding new functions and processes. Many of these companies believe that their efforts at efficiency have tapped all the distribution value that the supply chain has to offer. They could not be further from the truth.

Efficient distribution, the largest cost function in the supply chain after raw materials are purchased, affects the productivity and profitability of every link in chain. Collecting distribution data in the most efficient and economical method possible and sharing that information with manufacturing partners should be a mission critical activity for every electronic distributor.

Sharing distribution information enhances the integration, sequencing, and synchronization of supply chain activities. According to the global supply chain management consulting firm Ernest & Young, efficient distribution management will “supercharge” the supply chain by cutting costs, reducing inventories, and improving decision making.1

As one the most efficient methods of disseminating distribution data, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) continues to streamline internal processes, enabling them to work better with external processes. When combined with powerful new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, advanced planning and scheduling (APS) programs and the instantaneous communication of the Internet, company Intranets and supply chain-partner Extranets, distributors have a powerful front- and back-end tool for implementing supply chain logistics.

This paper will demonstrate how electronic communication of distribution data enables products to flow seamlessly from supplier to distributor to OEM or contract manufacturing customer. Specific examples of the financial benefits of supply chain management and EDI for OEMs and their partners will be provided. Also included are functional descriptions of ERP, APS, and warehouse management software packages. Finally, examples of infopartnering and supply chain management solutions being used now to add value to distribution functions will be discussed.

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