Enterprise Labeling: Where Data Management Enters Physical Space

by Bob Brown, on April 29, 2019

How does enterprise labeling bridge the gap between ERP and the supply chain?
How does enterprise labeling bridge the gap between ERP and the supply chain?

Today's supply chains exist in two worlds simultaneously: The physical goods moving between various stages of manufacturing, shipping and retail sales represent half of the equation, while rich data about these items forms the second, digital side of logistics.

Ensuring all the information flowing through supply chains' systems is accurate and consistent is one of the highest priorities for modern organizations. Moreover, making sure that data corresponds exactly to the nature and position of physical products is also a necessity.

Creating data consistency usually means employing a modern enterprise resource planning system - one that will act as a source of truth for the organization's information. Connecting that data to real-world shipments is a job for Enterprise Labeling systems. These are the solutions that integrate with ERP and other data repositories to ensure the content on every label reflects the latest updates, creating a clear picture of goods in motion and allowing heavily automated logistics processes to work quickly and efficiently.

The Digital State of Supply Chains

As supply chains sprawl around the world and become increasingly complicated, it has become more important than ever before for companies to link their systems together via centralized enterprise applications including ERPs and WMS systems. Organizations that silo their data by department or office may find their records are inconsistent, inaccurate or out of date. Every part of a company must be working from a central source of truth to ensure accurate and consistent data.

Toolbox for IT specified that modern cloud-based ERP systems are ideal for ensuring data visibility across the enterprise. These systems are equally accessible from an organization's facilities, and information stored in them is standardized for everyone who views it.

These solutions are replacing older options which involved sending information back and forth, potentially creating duplicates or letting outdated information proliferate. Organizations seeking more coordination between multiple offices and other facilities should inspect cloud options.

Two of the most popular cloud-based ERP tools are those produced by SAP and Oracle. These are major technology deployments, ones that have seen prominent business use for years. Technology Advice compared the supply chain utility of these two ERP offerings, noting that both companies have added capabilities such as big data analytics in recent years. SAP offers predictive insights, while Oracle has integrated blockchain technology into its latest versions.

Committing to consistent data across a whole supply chain ecosystem is a great first step for companies of all kinds. The more widely dispersed an organization's operations are, the more acute that business's need for data standardization will be.

Once the organization breaks down the silos between departments and locations, it's time to ensure that the supply chain labels being applied to products in transit accurately reflect the newly centralized data. This is where Enterprise Labeling systems enter the picture.

A user points to an ERP data visualization.What does a modern cloud-based ERP entail?

Enterprise Labeling's Role in Logistics

When looking for Enterprise Labeling Solutions, supply chain leaders will want to ensure they don't sacrifice the data consistency, accessibility and visibility they've achieved by implementing a modern ERP tool. The best way to fuse the ERP's data reserves with labeling is to purchase a solution that integrates directly with the source of data truth. This linkage will ensure labels are accurate and up to date.

Centralizing labeling and linking the label system to the company's main database enables facilities all over the world to work from the same set of information when labeling their shipments. These industrial barcode labels, as they're scanned at various points around the world, will feed accurate and consistent data back into the system, granting visibility into the exact location and progress of goods that are being manufactured, as well as finished items being shipped out for retail sale.

When it's time to make a change to a label - whether the goal is to add a new product to the line or to keep up with regulatory requirements - it pays to have a centralized labeling tool connected to a central source of data. Such a flexible system can adapt and scale up as needed, without creating duplicated or outdated records.

Creating a consistent and effective data environment depends on reliable input from the physical goods moving through the supply chain, as well as a centralized repository for that information. This is why cloud-based ERP and Enterprise Labeling are a perfect match.

With these two systems in place, companies create a cycle of consistent label creation based on accurate information, with those standardized labels then providing a real-time view of the logistics process in action.

Supply Chains Must Keep Up to Date

While some supply chain leaders may believe they don't need to upgrade to modern ERP and Enterprise Labeling solutions because their legacy systems technically still work, they're missing out on the potential for efficiency and visibility upgrades.

Committing to up-to-date cloud-based software can get operations on the right track, from digital information storage to the labeling that keeps items moving around the globe accurately and efficiently.

Find out more about the integrating your labeling with your business applications and the many other benefits Enterprise Labeling has to offer, check out the Enterprise Labeling for Dummies ebook today!

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Topics:Supply ChainSAPOracle

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