Choose Wisely – This could make all the difference!
It is no secret that a failed deployment for an SCM software can cause companies to bleed quantities in the millions of dollars as well as make top level executive’s head’s roll. In future posts we will explore how to mitigate risks by building the adequate team to support the effort, best practices to follow during the implementation and optimal support during go-live and beyond.
Today I want to focus the attention on the process where it all begins, the time where one bad decision can automatically drive your entire project towards failure. Choosing the right supply chain management software wisely can make all the difference for your company!
Vendors often claim that their out-of-the-box WMS system can support all types of Retail and E-commerce flows with a plug and play style approach. While many companies in the WMS market offer a robust out-of-the-box solution, they sometimes fall short. Understanding the unique processes for your company during the software selection process is important to the overall success of the implementation. With so many solutions tailored for different markets it is key that the selection team identifies the correct vendor to provide the adequate solution. A solution too big for a mid-size company might not guarantee the ROI required to justify the cost of the software and vice-versa, a solution too rigid for a highly customized client may prove to be the wrong choice in the long-run if you have to pay for custom software modifications for every process the company executes.
The software selection phase needs to be well-planned and may be considered one of the most meticulous phases of the entire implementation. Like the old saying goes – “if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” The plan for a successful software selection begins with setting SMART goals that are aligned with the business and overall direction of the company.
S – Specific
What is the overall end goal? Higher throughput? Handle Omni Channel? Labor reduction? Who are the key stake holders involved?
M – Measurable
Set a criteria to be able to measure the software in order to validate decision. Ex: Can software in question handle the throughput required?
A – Attainable
Setting the proper ground work in order to be able to achieve the specific goals set above.
R – Realistic
A goal can be HIGH but should still be realistic and aligned with the overall goal of the business. The goal may be to increase throughput by X in order to meet demand and thus drive an increase in revenue.
T – Time Bound
All goals must be grounded by a time frame. This helps keep the team motivated and can keep the up-to-date success of the project visible for all key stake holders involved
It is not uncommon to see companies hire on advisors or consultants to aid with this process. These experts provide unbiased advice based on years of experience dealing with various Supply Chain Management platforms. Knowing the pros and cons of each package and how they relate to the customers current needs is valuable. With top companies hiring the best in breed sales teams, it is essential to have advisors on your side that have completed numerous implementation cycles and can truly look after the customer’s best interest.