One of the main decisions companies should make in their supply chain management (SCM) is partner selection. In fact, selecting a partner means involving an “outsider” to fine-tooth comb through your supply chain decisions and needs.
Making the right choice when selecting a supply chain partner means so much more than short term gain, it’s reduction in worries for months and potentially years in the future.
So, sit back and join us as we dive into the five considerations you should keep in mind during the process of service provider selection:
- Proven track record and customer experience for your business size
A positive customer experience from the solution provider is the key to a greater return on investment. From the initial consultation on solution discussion until the solution is implemented in the production, businesses require considerable support from their service provider. There are several supply chain management solution providers popping up in the market, many of these are still in the early stage where they may have not supported a client that is the same size as you. Be sure to choose an organization that has a proven track record of clients and high-quality industry references.
- Support and willingness to discuss custom solutions
Support is important in all stages of a project, especially during evaluation, project planning, gap analysis, implementation, configuration and post-live application support phases.
As part of the due diligence, a critical piece of information to uncover is whether the chosen vendor’s support team has the resources to respond to requests in a reasonable time.
Each business is unique, even though they deal with similar products and use similar distribution strategies. Therefore, custom solutions in supply chain is one of the most important differentiating factors when choosing a SCM partner. Double check vendors can provide additional services without limiting resources.
- Variety of services offered
Avoid choosing a software provider that limits your capabilities and your company’s growth. Your software should enhance your business in all stages, not hinder it. The software you choose should have the specialized capabilities necessary to address any and all business requirements for not only your company but also, your industry.
Look for a provider that can cover several important bases at once, this will allow for less downtime waiting for emails to get answered and individuals to collaborate.
- Compatibility and ease of integration with existing system
Good business is highly dependent on good communication. SCM systems automate the processes in business into single, easily managed, streams. This means that existing software and systems must either be replaced with a component or module in SCM or it must be integrated with the SCM system to allow data to flow from one system to another.
Replacing the existing system/software is more time consuming and requires more money upfront than integrating it with the SCM system. When considering which SCM system to choose for your business, we highly recommended you check the compatibility of your existing system and software, user friendliness is more than a nice-to-have consideration.
- Offers scalability technology
Let’s say you’ve made the decision to implement an SCM platform and have rolled it out to your workforce around all your offices, 5 years later they are no longer supporting your software and no updates will occur in the future. Do you really want to have to repeat that process every five years? You can avoid this by keeping in mind scalability when selecting an SCM solution that will grow with your company. Evaluate any potential solution carefully and ask questions with long-term intentions to determine whether it’s built on technology that’s designed to scale as your company grows.
If your supply chain service providers aren’t hitting the above considerations, it’s time to look for the company that can offer you these features. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get help on identifying the right supply chain management partner for your business.
Contributor: Brahmini Reddy, Supply Chain Consultant at Bricz