Supply Chain Blog

FMCG Supply Chain IT : ERP and WMS – use it or lose it Mr CEO!

Posted by Dave Jordan on Wed, Feb 19, 2014

In a development similar to buying your first colour TV (yes my dear daughter, we watched black & white telly) or the first microwave cooker, I have finally bought a Smartphone. This is a significant step as my previous sets have all been robust, no nonsense sensible equipment which could probably survive a nuclear attack. The new telephone has a huge screen and the sales lady in the Vodafone shop told me it had the latest hemorrhoid operating system and piles of apps, or something like that anyway.

CEO Supply Chain IT resized 600Now I can access the internet, use Skype, check my email, see where I am on a map, store files in the cloud and even call people. Tapping numbers on a screen rather than depressing buttons is very new to me and this is providing an unexpected hazard. After ending a call I find that I inadvertently activate call-back dialing when I place the telephone in my pocket. While I am blissfully unaware other people and children in particular can hear my wife shouting “Dave, Dave you’ve done it again, stop calling me back”. The innocent and confused children ask “Mummy, why is there a girly voice coming from that man’s trousers?”

While I have so much extra functionality at my fingertips I doubt I will progress much past looking at the football scores on the internet. To be honest this is likely to be the situation until our daughter returns from university and shows me what to do.

All that technology, functionality and connectivity simply wasted. No, not me and the new Smartphone but you Mr. CEO; you and your Supply Chain IT purchases. In global companies there is usually a corporate IT buying strategy that all units have to adopt without argument and without the ability to “localise” the offering. Smaller companies can have more flexibility in their choice of IT supplier and they could and should certainly receive a bespoke solution tailored to their specific needs.

Yet last week I was surprised to see FMCG company XYZ had purchased various SAP modules including APO but had failed to install the software. Similarly, a new WMS was sitting in a virtual shiny box on the bookshelf. When you think about it, that is quite an investment which has not returned even 0.01% of the purchase price.  Why would you do this? Your employees are struggling along with an ERP that Noah rejected for its lack of numeracy power and Excel files the size of a small village. And guess what? Your in-market performance is continuing to slide down into an abyss from where even Bear Grylls could not escape.

Take the cellophane off the boxes and get your software installed before both your career and the IT become obsolete. Call me if you need any help.

By the way, I have purchased the same Smartphone for my wife. Be afraid children, be very afraid!

Image courtesy of anankkml at freedigitalphotos.net freedigitalphotos.net

 


 

Tagss: Dave Jordan, CEO, Telecoms, WMS, ERP/SAP