Artificial intelligence, cloud technologies, and robotics are heavily influencing the advancements made in supply chain management.
Another increasing influence that is charting its way upwards is the user experience.
Yet with the advancement of so many technologies, the challenges of building more customer-centric requirements are becoming greater.
Nevertheless, an improved user experience would help to improve a platform’s user-friendly environment throughout its inventory system, order planning system, customer portals, transport systems, and payment systems.
These improvements contribute to users making more efficient decisions through enhanced usability and greater transparency.
When it comes to building better supply chain management systems, first you need to understand the answers to a couple of fundamental questions.
Questions such as:
- Who are the different sets of users of a company’s supply chain management system?
- What current tasks are consuming too much time?
- Is forecasting presented in a way that is easily understood by the platform’s users?
- How are users managing with excess delays, backorders, and product shortages?
Once these questions are answered, the design phase can be explored to work out proper solutions that work for the specific company.
These solutions will look different depending on the area of the supply chain management system.
Inventory system. In the absence of an efficient system that is not user friendly, planners will have issues managing complicated inventory scenarios. This could lead to blocked productivity and lower user adoption, which inevitably impact revenue streams.
Order planning. Having the right amount of stock in your inventory requires real time data on stock levels. Being overstocked may lead to carrying extra costs while being understocked may lead to being temporarily shut down. A strong user experience would make available user-centric summaries of data related to demand forecasting, backorders, levels of stock.
Supplier performance. Part of a supply chain management system’s capabilities is to track the performance of suppliers. A strong UX will keep visibility on a number of indicators such as the quality of the goods, the quantity of goods, and the requested time of delivery.
Demand forecasting. If data is not presented well, insight is lost among the noise of numbers. Forecasting demand becomes unnecessarily complicated. The role of the user experience is to present data in a highly user-friendly way that facilitates informed decisions of planners through digestible visualizations and timeframe graphs.
Transportation. Once the product is ready, delivery is next up. This requires a well-developed transport network system to deliver products at almost any location to any customer. The user experience can draw a clearer picture of certain aspects, such as cost and time efficiencies, modes of transport, delivery times, and drop shipping availability.
Supply chains are modernly complex and innovative, with the user experience falling between the roles of business, technology, and people. A strong user experience makes it easier to carry out tasks that involve complex technology.
However, the most difficult part of the user experience is making it simple. That’s what makes it such an art.