Information has become an integral part of modern management planning and control. Since the early days of logistics and supply chain management, computers and information technology have played a significant role. As a result, information technology is a key factor that will impact the future development of logistics and supply chain management.
A supply chain’s information technology consists of tools to gain awareness of, analyze and act on information. As a result of access to supply chain information, we can make optimal decisions at all three levels of decision-making: strategy, planning and operations. With information management expertise and tools, we can monitor and control the primary supply chain drivers: facilities, inventory, transportation, sourcing and pricing.
However, accurate and detailed information is critical to improving service levels and the production cycle, reducing warehouse inventory, maximizing cash flow, increasing firm profitability and improving enterprise productivity.
Current Trends in Supply Chain Management Information Systems
Information drives modern supply chain management and logistics systems and is part of day-to-day operations and systems, as well as in problem-solving. Today, these systems rely on automation, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Information as a Supply Chain Driver. Information tools give managers visibility into logistical elements, including what customers want, how they use products and stock levels to optimize cash flow with availability and on-time deliveries. These tools provide insight into order status, shipment tracking updates and more. To support effective decision-making, information must be accurate, fully detailed, immediately accessible and updated in real time. From the customer’s perspective, this is about being understood, communicating promptly and receiving products within expected timeframes.
Enterprise Resource Planning. Managing, controlling and measuring logistics activities within a specific firm as well as across the entire supply chain is accomplished using logistics information systems. In addition to computers and servers, hardware includes internet technologies, barcodes and RF devices and components for communication channels and storage devices. Integrating and leveraging technology makes firms more successful than firms without such capabilities. Enterprise resource planning software systems integrate the software modules that run all these functions with e-commerce software. Quick response (QR), just-in-time (JIT) and efficient consumer response (ECR) systems integrate information-based technologies to speed up response times and reduce supply chain inventory.
Decision Support Systems. Decision support systems support logistics and supply chain executive decision-making, offering data on customers such as service histories and sales forecasts, as well as on suppliers including, sourcing, production planning and purchase histories. Nearly all firms involved in complex supply chain management use decision support systems, which executives can learn to use in programs like the Master of Science (M.S.) Management Information Systems (MIS) from the University of Illinois Springfield.
Digital Order Processing. The nerve center of a logistics and supply chain system is the digital order processing system. A customer order initiates the logistics process. Without optimizing communication costs and operational efficiency through information management, a company can experience manufacturing inefficiencies due to frequent production line changes, incur excessive transportation charges, run up inventory and storage costs and eventually lose customers. Modern systems are streamlined and competitive. Firms cannot afford to be poor at managing these systems.
Graduates Become Supply Chain MIS Leaders
The AACSB-accredited M.S. MIS is an interdisciplinary degree focused on people, processes and information systems. Students analyze, design and implement information systems using the System Development Life Cycle as well as various diagramming techniques and decision analysis concepts. They learn to manage supply chain logistics strategies with a thorough understanding of the role of IT. Hands-on experience with Oracle Applications and Database, Python and Microsoft SQL Server, among other systems and technologies, readies graduates for management, executive and specialist roles. Courses, including Management Information Systems, Management of Database Systems and System Analysis and Design and MIS Design and Research Methods, provide the information management foundation for a logistics and supply chain leadership career.
The innovative program came from a collaboration with leading employers. If you are ready to take your career into management and leadership, this program offers state-of-the-art training and methodologies to enable you to design and manage optimal logistics and supply chain processes and information technologies.