e-Supply Chain Planning for Process Automation: An environmental analysis

e-supply chain

Globalization challenges change end customers’ expectations and product proliferation, and increases in the complexity of value networks which are pushing more companies to examine how they run their supply chains and what the appropriate investments in SCP technology might be. The increase in complexity, volatility and unpredictability of an enterprise’s supply chain environment will continue to fuel investments in SCP technologies over the coming years.

SCP for Process Automation Solutions is one of biggest trends in Supply Chain. Supply Chain Technologies providers are aiming at aligning end-users supply chain goals and priorities, shows that demand volatility and forecast accuracy is the No. 1 issue preventing companies from achieving their supply chain goals. It also revealed that improving SCP processes is the top investment target essential to achieving supply chain business goals.

While the majority of small and medium businesses realize the importance of having standardized process in place, these same organizations are not well equipped to deploy advanced supply chain process and technology competencies. In addition, the majority of SMB’s do not have confidence in the ability to quickly to any sudden changes in customer demand due to lack of visibility.

Business Drivers & Directions

Business Driver Problem What it will help SMB’s to reach
Lack of Visibility – Current IT infrastructure does not address SMB’s needs.- Lack of visibility within the pipeline causes organizations a lot of pains to Management.- Current solutions are costly and inefficient- Not a 360-degree view of SC activities – Solutions that increases SC readiness to enable organizations to react swiftly when unforeseen events occur.- SC Solutions that improves key stakeholder’s confidence within the chain due to the large coverage of visibility deployed.- Solution that increases communication with suppliers, logistics providers, brokers and carriers in real time.
Lack of compliance, governance and risk practices/technologies Lack of metrics that help businesses  to reduce the risk on noncompliance  Document management and information governance solutions to comply with federal procedures (Business processes automation applications (BPAA) & governance, risk and compliance (GRC) software.Solutions that manage electronic records to support all types of data such as electronic documents, physical records and messages.Solutions that provides transparency, credibility, and integrity in the implementation of policies and procedure to mitigate risk of noncompliance.
Lack of Metrics to measure, monitor supply chain maturity, performance and supply chain confidence There is a lack of metrics to monitor and improve supply chain overall performance. Metrics are an essential principle of SCM as it rewards achievement or disclose failures, but can also be used to determine the maximum mark for potential leverage. Solutions with the ability to spot companies current-state supply chain performance, identify their relative position of maturity against the competition and envision the process and performance improvements needed. Implementations such as  key performance indicators (KPI’s) and Six Sigma are a must.
Business Process Automation End users are building an SCP process foundation as a means to leverage more innovative technology as their supply chain strategies mature and evolve. Deployment of new technologies entails the evaluation and characterization of the design and automation of new business processes. The deployment of technology must be reliable and accurate.
Stand-alone application Current Solutions offer complete suites that are too expensive for SMB’s.Clients are increasingly looking for ways to put everything together in a more cohesive and affordable way. SCP vendors will focus their product development activities on bringing once innovative, stand-alone functionality down and into their SCP suites (for example, support for a basic sales and operations planning [S&OP] process and inventory optimization). ERP vendors’ SCP solutions are becoming more sophisticated, with the availability of additional SCP modules.
Reporting and analytics Reporting and analytics capabilities are limited. Clients are looking for tools with the ability to measure the effectiveness of SCM program to empower administrators to track performance and measure ROI.
Improve efficiency and productivity
  • Users need to improve supply chain efficiency and productivity in terms of trade, inventory and resource utilization, while optimizing and streamlining their supply bases.
Globalization Globalization efforts by end-user organizations require more robust, integrated SCP processes across more complex networks at a regional or a global level.
Technology Upgrades – Upgrades from spreadsheet-based, or core-ERP-based, planning.- Upgrades from departmental or plant-level planning solutions to a centralized one.
Collaboration and Communication IT support gap is a major challenge among organizations.Lack of deployments of web-based applications.Streamline real time collaboration and information with key customers, suppliers and partners is a key ingredient for business collaboration. Provide all partners with access to data and information in real-time such as forecasts, sales data, and plans helps business benefit as it enhance their communication process and broad their channel support.Adoption of cutting-edge collaborative technologies to trackand record real-time supplier – related activities to improve supplier reliability.
Employee Training and Development Lack of trained and qualified supply chain professionals, therefore training is an imperative in supply chain. Organizations are looking for sophisticated SCM professionals that provide leading-edge concepts and ideas to the organizations. Training is the best way to coordinate collaborative activities within the supply chain
Change Management Resistance to change mainly from baby boomers. Implementation of change management strategies that enable organizations to align the people with the systems of recruiting, training, measuring, and rewarding to drive the new organizational behaviors required to support the change
Lack of Integration with web 2.0 technologies and Social Media

Diana Esparza

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