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Signs It Is Time for a New Supply Chain Management Software

Many manufacturing firms have had supply chain management software in place for quite some time. And, while these software systems are providing significant value in terms of increased operational productivity, improved cost-efficiency, and enhanced product quality, many companies wonder if it’s time to upgrade to a more powerful and robust supply chain management software application.

How do you know if you are ready for bigger and better supply chain management software? As yourself the following questions:

Is My Current System Scaling Well As My Organization Grows?

As your supply chain operations expand, your supply chain management software will need to do the same. For example, the addition of new employees will require increased user capacity; the opening of new facilities will require better site-to-site integration and complete visibility into activities across all locations; and new relationships with additional suppliers, distributors, and other partners will require more advanced collaboration capabilities. If the existing supply chain management software you have can’t support your growth strategy, then it’s time for a switch.

Does It Support Complex Outsourcing Strategies?

Many supply chain management software systems are great for managing supply chains when the majority of key stakeholders exist within the boundaries of an organization. But, as manufacturing firms grow, they often outsource numerous critical functions to third-party providers. This approach helps the business keep its focus on its core competencies, while dramatically cutting costs.

If your company will begin outsourcing key supply chain functions any time in the near future, you’ll need to take a close look at your existing supply chain management software application to make sure it has the features needed to support your new business model.

How Quickly and Accurately Can I Forecast Demand?

As the demand for a company’s products increases, the ability to predict the volume of incoming sales orders and to adjust production output levels accordingly becomes more and more critical. But, not all supply chain management software packages offer the same caliber of forecasting capabilities. If your inability to accurately forecast sales is hindering you from properly planning for anticipated demand, then it’s time to consider replacing your current supply chain management software application.

Do You Need Real-Time Alerts?

A shipment is due from a supplier, but it has not yet arrived. A distributor’s truck has broken down and will be late delivering products to a retail store. Quality assurance processes have detected unacceptable defect levels on a certain production line. If your organization currently experiences any of the scenarios mentioned above, consider finding a new software system that can provide the alerts you need to prevent and manage any unexpected events.

How Quickly Do You Need to Know?

Some – but not all – supply chain management software includes dynamic event management capabilities. These features allow users to set pre-determined threshold levels for specific business conditions and to receive instantaneous alerts when those levels are reached. If time is of the essence, and you need to know immediately when problems occur in your supply chain operations, then you’ll need to look for a supply chain package that includes event management functionality.