Costs-savings is one of the things that all companies try to achieve. Somehow, it doesn’t come easy, or cheap. But is it really true? While some might be quick to dismiss SCM software as unpractical or just downright too complicated to use, the fact of the matter at hand is that SCM software will most definitely help you save millions – if you can put it in place effectively.
In a nutshell
SCM software can help in the management of the entire value-add chain, from the supplier to the manufacturer to the retailer and finally to the customer. It takes a systematic approach to manage the entire flow of information, materials and services. SCM software solutions provide real-time systems that manage the flow of production and information throughout the supply chain network. What they do is to enhance operations by reducing manual tasks through automation. While there are close to ten different vendors providing SCM software applications catering to different functions, choosing the most appropriate software is easy with an SCM Reference Architecture, which works by segregating applications based on infrastructure applications (Integrations, Security, MDM) and business applications (Production Management, Procurement Management).
Unfortunately, SCM software happens to be the most fragmented group of software applications on the planet. Each of the six major supply chain domains have their own software. Organisations need to track supply, demand, manufacturing status, logistics and distribution on a real-time basis. They also need to share data with supply chain partners at an ever-increasing rate. Vendors assemble these different chunks of software under a single roof, but no single vendor will have a complete package that is right for every company.
Problems do not only arise on the technical side, but on the personnel side as well. Reluctant employees who resist change will be one of the problems faced. Instead of using SCM software, these employees might circumvent the system and continue using their old fashioned spreadsheets, fax machines and telephones to get the job done. Also not forgetting the fact that people are quick to abandon the system and point out its failings at the first sign of error. Vendors are another potential problem as they might not be interested in following the company’s adoption of the software unless it benefits them directly.
Solving the problem
What it takes to ensure that SCM software is implemented well is relatively simple, though time consuming. Employees require training that will show them the effectiveness of the software and how it will help to make their jobs even easier. Mindsets also have to change as no system is perfect, and mistakes will be made. Such initial errors do not mean that SCM software is unreliable, but that fine-tuning or better data is needed.
As mentioned earlier, while there are many different SCM software available out in the market, it is almost impossible to find one that will be 100 per cent compatible with your existing systems. In order to ensure the company finds software that fits its needs and requirements, proper research and decision-making should be done in advance and not at the last minute – which will result in chaos for both the company and the vendors. Moreover, when it comes to vendors, constant repetition about the benefits and how more business will come their way would certainly help in getting them on board with the idea of implementing SCM software. After all, no one will say no to having more revenue.
Worth your time
So is SCM software really that important? Yes. Though getting the perfect software for your organization is not going to be easy, it is definitely worth your time. SCM software is something that cannot be adopted lightly. Lots of careful planning and preparation are required and organizations must ensure employees, suppliers and existing infrastructure and technology are ready for it before implementation can be successful. All that’s left is to reap the massive savings it brings and increase the productivity and efficiency of the organisation.