Heard & overheard
There are probably as many ways to implement a supply chain management (SCM) system as there are companies doing the implementing, but according to Rick Duris — editor of the Rick Duris Unplugged e-newsletter — there are seven surefire ways guaranteed to botch up the whole process.
1. Don’t control your vendors, service providers and customers. You need to have a definitive level of organized control of your relationships before launching into a supply chain initiative, Duris says. SCM solutions can help you enforce these relationships, but you’ve got to have that control already.
2. Don’t manage your trading partner relationships. You need to be able to manage your supply chain relationships collectively — in mass or in groups — so that you can get some leverage from the process, says Duris.
3. Don’t define what supply chain technology is. Define your expectations by identifying the specific functionality of the software packages under consideration; the return on investment you expect to achieve from the system; and your SCM system requirements.
4. Lack of executive appreciation. You need to educate your management, Duris says, which means actively engaging in an PR campaign to help them make the right decisions (i.e., the decisions you need them to make).
5. Don’t establish a foundation of trust. The more information you withhold, the more your SCM system will be compromised.
6. Be overwhelmed by the number of SCM options available. Find out exactly what you need first.
7. Delay any decisions until you achieve full collaboration with your partners. As Duris says, don’t hold your breath waiting for your partners to do anything.