Supply Chain Planning & Execution systems such as APS, ERP and WMS are not a silver bullet that can solve all organisational problems – however, a comprehensive and mature approach to their selection and implementation will ensure your organisation gets the best possible return from these tools.
The implementation and use of supply chain software such as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), APS (Advanced Planning System) software and WMS (Warehouse Management Systems) software is littered with issues and missed opportunities. Some common occurrences include:
- Tools and software that do not meet business requirements
- Improperly managed implementation projects resulting in organisations not getting the full capability out of the chosen tool
- Reliance on internally developed tools and processes (including excel spread-sheets) – often built as a work around to solve particular issues, these become embedded and impede productivity
- Tools and software that supports organisational silos rather than drive the optimal outcome for the organisation
- Fickle tools that require high manual work, are complicated to understand, and drive poor outcomes
- Lack of transparency and poor information availability
- Tools and software that have become ‘out of tune’ with the business
- Frustration, stress and loss of trust in the system
Supply Chain Planning & Execution systems such as APS, ERP and WMS are often highly complex, and require appropriate fact-based decisions regarding selection and configuration as well as maintenance to keep the system ‘in tune’ with the business.
In order to drive the best result for your organisation, Software Selection and Implementation should be interconnected – otherwise you risk losing sight of needs, requirements and priorities, and ultimately fail to get the most out of the chosen tool.
The review and selection of tools and software is a rare opportunity to get this right and ensure that planning systems are optimally configured to support the business goals, operating environment, planning processes and get the best return possible on your technology investment.
To develop an understanding of current capability and build the most appropriate path forward, GRA assesses the following within businesses:
- Corporate IT and Supply Chain Strategy & Maturity review
- Review of Current Systems capability and configuration – are you getting the maximum return from your toolset?
- Identification of business planning requirements
- Data quality assessment
- Gap analysis between current system and business requirements
Should this process determine the need to select or upgrade your ERP, APS or WMS Software, a typical approach would involve:
- Requirements Determination, including: Strategy: Process Vision; Functional Needs; Technical Requirements; Accountabilities; System Integration
- Business Case, including: Service, Cost & Capital Benefits Estimates; Stakeholder Engagement; Evaluation Methodology
- RFP / RFI Construction, including: Functional Requirements; Non-Functional Requirements (including Legal and Contractual considerations); Document Authoring
- Vendor Research and Selection, including: Market Research; Vendor Engagement; Response Review & Evaluation; Application Demonstrations
- Negotiations, including: Statements of Work; Contracts; Licensing
- Implementation Support, including: Training; Change Management; Data Management and Migration; Testing
This process aims to deliver the maximum possible return on your investment in supply chain planning systems, to transfer the knowledge for planning system configuration and maintenance to your team and help your organisation manage the risk of selecting, amending or upgrading your systems.
By rigorously and objectively assessing the trade-offs between various options, this process will provide:
- The right tool or solution for your organisation
- The most appropriate configuration
- A robust implementation plan
- A methodology to update the system to ensure it remains ‘in tune’ with your business
Typical benefits from a successful software implementation or modification include:
- Increased ROI on Software Investment
- Integration of business strategy with operational requirements
- Organisational Effectiveness; increased focus on real issues via greater insight and clarity
- Reduced issues such as out-of-stocks, expedited orders, write-offs etc.
- Consistency and transparency of outputs; greater confidence in system
- Improved Data Availability
– BACK TO CONSULTING
GRA’s consultants are clever, system-savvy, ex-Planning Managers from industry – who have hands-on experience in the planning requirements of FMCG. Their engaging, logical, and disarming approach meant that our planning team were happy to cooperate with GRA in full, and also happy to hear GRA’s list of suggested improvements.
– Danny Mellon, GM Planning, Logistics & Procurement, Simplot
- 20-40% inventory investment reduction
- increased service levels ranging up to 99.9%
- 10%-15% reduction in supply chain operating costs
- 5%-20% spend management savings
- the ability to fund business initiatives from operating cash flow (OCF) improvements
- improved return on capital employed (ROCE)
- a minimum 3:1 ROI (10:1 to 30:1 typical)