Q: Why is it important to have an integrated e-commerce platform managing my company’s supply chain?
Neal Kaiser: An effective system is an integrated system. The more effective your system, the more competitive your company is and the more resources you have to invest in improvements. A good supply chain platform allows you to integrate from one end of your business to the other — from supplier relationships to customer management with the capability to seamlessly integrate with ERPs and accounting systems. When you integrate the systems managing your supply chain, it gives you access to data across the system — making you better equipped to satisfy business objectives, improve business processes and make informed fiscal decisions. For example, suppliers in Asia are recognizing the importance of integrated systems to improve their efficiency and responsiveness; communicating with partners as they improve their systems will help you become more agile and effective in meeting the demands of your customers. By synchronizing mission-critical data across an e-commerce platform, you can ensure that your data stays current and that everyone who needs access — to make forecasting decisions, to identify and implement improvements — has access to accurate information to help make your company more successful.