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Do your homework before choosing supply chain management software
So, you’re interested in installing (or, potentially, upgrading) the supply chain management software used in your organization.
That’s a good idea – an efficient, well-organized supply chain is critical to the financial success of business. But, supply chain management software (whether you’re installing or upgrading) can be expensive. Some of the biggest options such as Oracle and SAP don’t come cheap. But the more you need your supply chain management software to do, typically, the more it is going to cost.
Before committing to a pricey installation ask yourself some critical questions. What do I need from supply chain management software? Do I need to be more nimble when adapting to customer needs? Do I need to do a better job maintaining – or reducing – my production costs? Or, is my problem more holistic: Do I just need better control of my entire supply chain?
Well, there’s good news – supply chain management software can do all of the above. Supply chain management software will give you better visibility and control with factories and retailers, as well as improves logistics and financial forecasting.
Of course, the ability to do many things doesn’t mean all supplier software options are created equal. A critical issue to consider when making your decision is integration. For example, what accounting software does the supply chain management software integrate with? Understand this integration aspect thoroughly – it will make for easier collaboration across your various systems and your numerous external networks.
Benefits of supply management software
But don’t just take it from me. Over at allsupplychain.com, Steve Heistand has compiled a persuasive list of reasons you should adopt (or upgrade) your supply chain management software.
Here are a few of my favourites:
- Supply Chain and Your Values: If your company values efficiency, support and leadership (among many other traits, surely) then shouldn’t your software help you achieve those goals?
- Inventories in Sync With Customer Demands: Software will give your company greater ability to forecast what your customer wants, and will want in the future. Meeting that demand – whatever it may be – is critical to the long-term success of an organization. In business, nothing stays the same. Don’t fall behind.
- Governance, Reporting and Visibility: There are many different groups that influence your supply chain management. And each of those groups (governments, banks, shareholders etc.) have different reasons for needing access to a company’s financials. Suppier management software captures, stores and packages all the data these groups may want, in an efficient manner.
- System Costs: More and more, supply chain management software is based on the Software as a Service (SaaS) model, which eliminates the need for in-house maintenance and expensive installations. The most recent innovation in this field is the use of cloud technology, which further cuts down on the need for installations and maintenance.
- There’s never a bad time to gain better visibility and control of your supply chain. As I said at the outset of this post, a well-oiled supply chain will benefit your business. But what software will you choose to accomplish those goals? Of course, that’s up to you. But before you make your choice, ask yourself the aforementioned questions. Choose once, and choose correctly. It will mean a lot to your business.