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By Dr Pieter Streicher, MD of BulkSMS.com. Uploaded on: 18 June 2009.
SMS technology enables companies to increase efficiencies within their supply
chain management and logistics operations. In using SMS for mission critical
communications within extended business processes, companies are able to
translate the implementation of SMS technology directly into cost benefits and
increased service levels.
While many larger companies may have already looked to integrating SMS into
their systems or have deployed third party software as a service (SaaS)
solutions with an automated SMS module, many small to medium sized companies
with a smaller IT budget can implement SMS into their daily operations without
incurring high overheads.
Many wireless application service providers (WASPs) offer SMS solutions that
allow staff to manage communications using messaging software downloaded to a
computer or to use their cellphone to send messages to specific parties. In
addition, WASPs support an SMS EAPI (electronic programming interface) that
enables software developers to integrate SMS in a company’s supply chain or
logistics management systems.
According to Dr Pieter Streicher, managing director at BulkSMS.com: “SMS makes
sense where companies are looking to provide value added interactions for
internal staff, suppliers or end clients where it is feasible and more
efficient to replace telephone, fax or email communications. This is especially
applicable where parties are contactable by cellphone, require real time
notifications, and the company needs to track and keep a digital record of all
There are a number of areas when SMS can benefit supply chain management and
logistics by increasing service levels. Suppliers can easily manage deliveries
by notifying distributors or stores via SMS when they can expect a shipment by
truck to arrive. Drivers too can receive their delivery schedule as an SMS
On the other end of the value chain, a client could initiate a new or repeat
order by sending an SMS to a shortcode which enables the incoming number and
details to be added to a centralised order system. Clients could also be
informed of the status of their order by sending out an SMS message.
Other applications of SMS technology are in promoting collaboration between
firms. Transport companies, for example, could use SMS to broadcast when there
is space for additional goods to be shipped to a specific location.
Communications of this nature would ensure that the overall cost of shipping
goods is reduced through better resource utilisation.