Supply Chain Software
The demand for supply chain software is growing now the holdback to deal with Y2K issues is over and the need to consider the implications of e-business are driving organisations to review what they do and how they do it.
We have already seen the explosion in b2b (business-to-business) activity : SCM (supply chain management) software is a part of the overall switch in emphasis - getting the back end right to better serve the customer. But all this change poses problems. Many organisations are finding it difficult to find stable sources of supply in this changing environment. So, is this the time to consider SCM software? Yes, if that software is designed to work in, and help organisations cope with, this changing world!
Other changes are apparent. There is a gradual though accelerating switch to operating supply chains on a global, or at least pan-European, basis. This is the result of the general trend towards globalisation, and of the introduction of the Euro.
The impact of the web cannot be ignored. This has accelerated globalisation - who cares now where organisations are physically located? - and has offered a kind of lingua franca for software front-ends. Any SCM software without a web front end, and links through to the wider web, would appear to be doomed.
This suggests, quite properly, that SCM is just a part of the general move towards e-business and towards the kinds of network connectivity that allow organisations to communicate with each other, to co-operate and to act as if they were a co-ordinated, even integrated, single entity.
SCM is increasingly fluid and flexible (see the Hot Topic Supply Chain Innovation) and requires different forms of supporting software.
Should the choice be SCM as part of ERP (Enterprise Resource
Planning) or as stand-alone?
Is there a particular (set of) product(s) that serves
the specific needs of your industry?
Do you have the skills to implement a complex solution - or do you need a business partner to guide you through? It is important that any partner understands the technology and the change processes requited to support its effective introduction.
What is the backward and forward development path of the
Can the operation be outsourced?
The following is a list of suppliers useful as a start point. Also try a web search on supply chain management !!
In recent announcements, business collaboration facilitators EC Outlook and Ariba have unveiled features in enhanced products that should help manufacturers to streamline supply chain processes. Both companies hope that firms will now start to overcome what seems a natural reluctance to a
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