BEST SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT (SCM) FOR AEROSPACE AND DEFENSE

Evolving customer expectations have forced supply chains to grow in size and scale, and keeping them running as smoothly as possible has become a major challenge for companies in all industries, including aerospace. To overcome this challenge, supply chain managers must be able to access every point of the supply chain, which is possible only with a powerful supply chain management (SMC) software solution. 

Luckily for them, the global supply chain management software market is projected to reach $24,532 million by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 9.7% from 2018 to 2025. Already, there are many excellent SCM software solutions capable of meeting the complex needs of the aerospace industry. In this article, we list the top 20 such solutions and provide a brief introduction to supply chain management and its role in the aerospace industry. 

What Is Supply Chain Management (SCM)?

Supply chain management deals with the blood vessels of a business. From the raw components all the way to delivering the final product to the consumer, supply chain management handles the entire production flow of a good or service and includes all processes that transform raw components into final products.

In addition to ensuring that goods and services make it from the point of origin to the point of consumption, one of the chief goals of supply chain management is to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace and maximize customer value by actively streamlining a business’s supply-side activities.

The term supply chain management was introduced in 1982 by Keith Oliver, a consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, in an interview for the Financial Times. Supply chain management became one of the most popular business subjects in the 1990s, and it has remained so to this day. 

Supply Chain Management (SCM) in Aerospace & Defense industry

Without effective and efficient supply chains, aerospace companies couldn’t meet their strategic and financial goals. Poorly optimized supply chains lead to dissatisfied customers, long delays, and high costs. 

To optimize the sourcing of raw materials, mitigate supply disruption risks, cope with modernization and emerging technologies, and deal with the ongoing shortage of skilled workers, companies in the aerospace industry are building agile and resilient supply chains with the help of modern supply chain management tools.  

Supply chain management tools help aerospace companies improve supply chain visibility and see the true reality when it comes to material availability, inventory capacity, and other variables of the end-to-end supply chain.

Main Features of Supply Chain Management (SCM) Tools         

Modern supply chain management tools come with a whole host of features and capabilities that make them extremely valuable to all aerospace companies:

  • Real-time alerts: Supply chain management tools can provide real-time information on shipping activities, keeping supply chain managers in the know and allowing them to respond to problems in a timely manner.
  • Order processing: By directly capturing order data, supply chain management tools can automate most order processing activities and reduce the time it would take to process an order manually. 
  • Warehouse management: Some supply chain management tools feature warehouse management capabilities that allow their users to effortlessly receive supplies, track products, and plan routes, among other things. 
  • Demand forecasting: Supply chain management tools can analyze past trends to anticipate future demand, providing essential information to decision-makers and helping them better plan production and reliably meet demand. 
  • Reporting: All modern companies produce large amounts of data. When properly analyzed, this data can provide visibility into the entire supply chain and uncover sources of delays and errors. Supply chain management tools can transform gathered data into reports or interactive dashboards. 

Other important features of supply chain management tools include inventory optimization, procurement, supplier management, reorientation of supply network around demand needs, supply network coordination, expense logging, cost analysis, creating pricing and product configurations, route optimization, automation of warehouse operation, customer analysis, pricing and promotion tracking, and product lifecycle oversight. 

How to Select a Supply Chain Management (SCM) Tool?           

When selecting a supply chain management tool, it’s important to talk to all partners and suppliers about potential technical and compatibility issues. The reality is that smaller companies often don’t get to choose which supply chain management tool to buy. 

While there are many different supply chain management tools to choose from, not all of them are developed with the needs of the aerospace industry in mind. Always select a supply chain management tool capable of addressing your company’s unique needs. 

Instead of focusing only on the features and capabilities of supply chain management tools, make sure to also consider the vendor behind them. It’s never a good idea to choose a supply chain management tool from an unreliable vendor that may not even be around in a year or two. 

Top 20 Best Supply Chain Management (SCM) Tools for Aerospace

We have rounded up 20 of the best supply chain management tools for aerospace to help supply chain managers find those that are a good fit for them. All tools featured below come from respected companies that have earned a good reputation not only in the aerospace industry. 

1. SAP SCM

SAP’s supply chain management solution helps companies increase business agility and provide full visibility and advanced analytics to respond effectively to market needs by harnessing new technologies such as AI and the Internet of Things. Other capabilities include forecasting and demand management, inventory optimization, sales and operations planning, response and supply planning, demand-driven replenishment, real-time collaboration, dashboards for status monitoring, rapid onboarding functionality, and robust compliance features. 

2. Oracle SCM

Oracle is a huge name in the aerospace industry, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that its supply chain management products have received a lot of praise. Enabling businesses to manage their supply chains with the scale, security, innovation, and agility that modern markets require, Oracle SCM Cloud is a great choice for all aerospace companies that are ready to embrace the Industry 4.0 and use state-of-the-art business technology to take advantage of all supply chain opportunities. 

3. Epicor SCM

From forecasting to fulfillment, Epicor SCM helps companies manage all aspects of their supply chains more efficiently. It facilitates seamless collaboration with business partners anywhere in the world, improves safety, security, efficiency, and compliance with automatic barcoding, and easily manages purchases just in time (JIT) for reduced inventory and work in process (WIP), among many other things. 

4. Infor SCM

Infor’s CloudSuite SCM helps companies digitally transform and optimize their supply chain network end-to-end by connecting them to their supply chain partners, connecting systems, and devices. It supports data-driven decision-making and combines rich data with predictive and prescriptive insights from Infor Coleman AI. Infor is a multi-national enterprise software company headquartered in New York, and its software products are known for their polish and sophisticated capabilities.  

5. Sage X3

Sage X3 is an enterprise resource planning product with extensive supply chain management capabilities that help companies keep up with demand and ensure optimal efficiency through real-time monitoring of inventory status. Its capabilities include supplier and product category management, pricing and discounts, purchase planning, ordering, and requests, requests for proposals, multi-level signature management, and supplier invoice entry and returns. 

6. Manhattan SCM

From suppliers’ loading docks to customers’ front doors, Manhattan SCM breaks down silos and enables supply chains to serve top-line growth without sacrificing the bottom-line performance. This sophisticated supply chain management solution helps companies respond and manage to challenges like fluctuating fuel prices, utilization of equipment, and changing customer demand while respecting their unique way of doing things. 

7. JDA Software

By tapping into the power of AI and machine learning optimization, JDA’s supply chain management solution addresses the complexities of today’s global and consumer-driven marketplace and provides AI-driven business insights. This powerful end-to-end platform helps orchestrate global resources, materials, and assets to meet demand with minimal waste and expense, ensures that inventory arrives in optimal destinations, and provides consumer-centric insights. 

8. OMP Plus

OMP Plus strives to achieve three main objectives: make complexity manageable, add value all the way, and boost know-how by introducing AI to the equation. Independent surveys confirm that User satisfaction for OMP customers amounts to a solid 79%, which is significantly higher than companies opting for other vendors. 

9. Jaggaer Direct Supply Chain Management

Covering everything from ordering to goods receipt to invoicing, Jaggaer Direct Supply Chain Management reduces costs and accelerates lead times while adhering to all industry standards. It offers real-time communication with suppliers, workflows that manage deviations and exceptions, excellent ease of use, and many other capabilities that all companies wishing to digitize their supply chain are guaranteed to appreciate. 

10. E2open

Providing a unified supply chain management platform, E2open features everything from supply chain monitoring and supply chain analytics to order processing management, sourcing and procurement, inventory management, and warehouse management. 

11. Logility

12. Kinaxis

13. Basware SCM

14. Dassault Systemes SCM

15. Descartes SCM

16. Highjump SCM

17. IBM Watson Supply Chain

18. BluJay SCM

19. IFS

20. Coupa Software

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One of Aerospace Export’s main guideline is to promote innovative content targeting the Aerospace and Defense industry. Following this guideline, we have been working on few other software reviews that you could directly access here:

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