Business Logistics & SCM

Get to Know about Logistics and the Industry

What does supply chain management software do? March 22, 2007

Filed under: Supply Chain Management — SUKUMARAN @ 3:40 am

Supply chain management software is possibly the most fractured group of software applications on the planet. Each of the five major supply chain steps (Plan, Source, Make, Deliver, Return composes dozens of specific tasks, many of which have their own specific software.

Some vendors have assembled many of these different chunks of software together under a single roof, but no one has a complete package that is right for every company.
For example, most companies need to track demand, supply, manufacturing status, logistics (i.e. where things are in the supply chain), and distribution. They also need to share data with supply chain partners at an ever increasing rate.

While products from large ERP vendors like SAP’s Advanced Planner and Optimizer (APO) can perform many or all of these tasks, because each industry’s supply chain has a unique set of challenges, many companies decide to go with targeted best of breed products instead, even if some integration is an inevitable consequence.

It’s worth mentioning that the old adage about systems only being as good as the information that they contain applies doubly to SCM. If the information entered into a demand forecasting application is not accurate then you will get an inaccurate forecast.
Similarly, if employees bypass the supply chain systems and try to manage things manually, then even the most expensive systems will provide an incomplete picture of what is happening in a company’s supply chain.



One Response to “What does supply chain management software do?”

  1. We see people “opting out” of their supply chain systems all the time and relying on spreadsheets. The reason – changes in demand, product and supply are happening simultaneously and at such high frequency that they need to respond in order to satisfy customers and meet internal objectives. Existing supply chain systems were not designed for this reality. Supply chain systems are focused on planning or execution, and were not designed for rapid response to change. New systems that are purpose-built for this response process are required to meet this urgent need.

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