How to Use Collaborative Supply Chain Software to Get More Done

Our supply chain data inputs are expanding, and variables are changing more frequently. Dramatic technology shifts are increasing product complexity by expanding portfolios, parts and services, like with Ford and GM planning to produce both gas and electric vehicles until at least 2030.

Rapid market changes, from the 2008 Great Recession to the 2011 Earthquake/Tsunami stressed and, in some cases, broke supply chains, costing companies billions of dollars. Likewise, the 2018 US tariffs, current economic recession and the recent increase in consumer eCommerce spending have demonstrated that the pace of change is accelerating.

One of the major software tools that powers our supply chains, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, only captures a single linear “Plan A” and it breaks as soon as variables change. Simply put, ERP systems weren’t built to handle the complexity of today’s evolving global supply chains.

Complicating matters further for supply chain leaders, up to 90 percent of the data that goes into managing and executing day-to-day supply chain operations is stored in spreadsheets. This offline data causes costly increased workload, analysis delays and supply disruption when change inevitably happens.

As the amount of our data continues to grow exponentially, so do the challenges to manage it. Leaders need to strengthen their teams with collaborative productivity software tools to empower them to make better decisions, faster.

The Evolving Landscape of Purpose-Built Software Tools

Navigating unpredictable work is a key enabler to realizing an Agile supply chain. Further, supply chain professionals’ ability to receive, analyze, exchange and act on new data heavily influences company financial performance. Today, the challenge isn’t which supply chain optimization areas to focus on, but the lack of available time to act on cost savings opportunities.

The dilemma of which, freeing teams’ time or realizing cost savings, has led manufacturers to spend $30 billion annually in the US on supply chain consultants for extra bandwidth to realize cost savings more quickly. Hiring freezes and budget constraints have resulted in leaders seeking more cost-effective productivity tools that’ll allow their teams to execute at a higher level.

In this quest to improve people productivity, many manufacturers are now turning to Supply Execution Systems (SES), sometimes referred to as Supply Chain Execution Systems (SCES) and/or Supply Performance Systems (SPS). These systems are similar to Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), except focused on increasing team collaboration and daily productivity of supply chain execution. Newer, purpose-built SES cloud software can be deployed quickly and connected to arcane, on-premises or modern, cloud ERP systems.

Leaders should expect up to a 20 percent people productivity improvement within four weeks of deploying SES software. Through focusing on addressing the true bottleneck, people bandwidth, leaders will quickly see a compounding cost savings effect by accomplishing more supply chain cost reduction initiatives. The result is that SES software deployments tend to have a much shorter pay-back period, three months on average, than traditional supply chain software.

How SES Software Enables Teams to Get More Done

1. Real-Time Dashboards

2. Customizable Automated Plan for Every Part

3. Agile Project & Task Management

4. Synergistic Supplier Data Management


Supply Chain for Tomorrow’s Technology. Ann Arbor, MI.