How to Extend ERP to Supply Chain

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is an In-house system that sits behind the company firewall. All the core data needed for the day to day operation of the company lives in this system.

Supply chain is traditionally outside the company’s firewall. All external trading partners and suppliers are part of the supply chain.

So, there is a clear disconnect here. All the vital data needed for the effective supply chain operation is not available for the external supply chain.

Integrated Supply Chain and Visibility

Connecting the in-house ERP system to the external supply chain creates the perfect Integrated supply chain. Information flows seamless between in-house ERP systems and trading partners system. Real time update of changes and impact on either side is communicated without a considerable time lag. This reduces all the inconsistencies across the extended supply chain.

As seen in the above diagram, all key players in the supply chain – Suppliers, Customers, Logistics providers and Warehouse operators need to be connected into a single landscape the provides clear communication channels among the participants.

Supply Chain Visibility Portal

A supply chain visibility portal is essentially a ERP alike system that is available outside the company firewall that can be used by all players in the supply chain. It is like providing extended access to the in-house ERP to outside parties without the security risks associated.

Collaboration Opportunities with the Supply Chain Portal

A portal for the supply chain provides collaboration opportunities for the below processes

  1. Order Collaboration – Purchase orders execution is orchestrated in this collaboration. From the time the order is released from the ERP till it is executed fully, end to end visibility is provided to the suppliers.
  2. Inventory Collaboration – Visibility of inventory across all the locations in the supply chain is provided in the portal. Both inventory owners (suppliers) and inventory users (customers) can see the current and updated picture of the inventory position in the portal
  3. Forecast Collaboration – Forecast is an important forward looking crystal gazing tool in the supply chain. Suppliers can see shape of things to come and start preparing in advance. Sharing the current forecast and changes through the supply chain portal will help a coordinate long term view on the supply chain.

By providing a supply chain portal, an in-house ERP can be extended to the external world.

For more information on Supply chain collaboration portal, visit



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