Written by
David Koke
Senior Marketing Manager

Beacon’s supply chain visibility and collaboration platform empowers organizations to achieve more efficient, reliable and sustainable supply chains.

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Published: 
June 3, 2024

8 confusing terms in supply chain technology

Supply chain technology is always changing, and as it does it likes to drop new words into the supply chain technology lexicon. Here are some of the most commonly misunderstood terms in supply chain technology...

Digital Twin

A digital twin is a virtual replica of a physical object or system used to simulate, predict, and optimize performance. In supply chains, digital twins can model logistics networks, warehouse operations, and production processes. The advanced simulation capabilities and data integration requirements can make this a highly complex concept.

Supply Chain Visibility Software

Supply chain visibility software is designed to provide real-time insights into every aspect of the supply chain, from raw materials to finished products. Visibility software helps businesses track and monitor the status and location of goods at every stage of the supply chain, and often features other tools to aid in the flow of goods through the supply chain.

SCM (Supply Chain Management) Software

SCM software encompasses a range of tools designed to manage and optimize supply chain operations. These tools typically include modules for procurement, production, distribution, and logistics. The breadth of functionality and the need for customization and integration with other systems often make SCM software difficult to fully understand and utilize.

TMS (Transportation Management System)

A TMS is a type of SCM software focused specifically on optimizing transportation operations. It helps plan, execute, and analyze the movement of goods. The specialized features and integration with other systems can make TMS challenging to implement and manage.

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)

ERP systems integrate various business processes, including demand planning, supply chain management and accounting into a single comprehensive system. While ERPs enhance efficiency and data accuracy, the extensive modules and high implementation costs make them complex and challenging to navigate.

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification)

RFID technology uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects. It enhances inventory management by providing real-time data on the location of products. The technical aspects and cost considerations of RFID implementation can be perplexing.

EDI (Electronic Data Interchange)

EDI is the electronic exchange of business documents in a standardized format between trading partners. It replaces traditional paper-based methods, improving speed and accuracy. However, the setup and specific formats required for EDI can be daunting for many.

WMS (Warehouse Management System)

A Warehouse Management System (WMS) is software designed to optimize and manage warehouse operations, including slotting, inventory management, picking, packing, and shipping. A WMS enhances efficiency by automating tasks, improving accuracy, and providing real-time data on inventory levels.

Improve your supply chain technology vocabulary with our Supply Chain Glossary.