The best way to handle any situation is to anticipate its arrival- the same holds true in the software world. It should be assumed that any implementation brings with it some level of risk, but knowing what those risks could possibly be will help you proactively manage potential risks and issues before they become so big that they ruin the entire project. Here are 6 factors that commonly affect supply chain management software implementation and how you can steer clear of them.
1. Uncooperative suppliers and partners.
It is very possible you will run into issues with your supply chain members so it is important to have the discussion with them about your project early. You need to sell them on it before investing your time and money into your supply chain software. It is important to show then how their company will benefit, not yours. Be willing to compromise to help them meet their goals as well as your own.
2. Lack of enthusiasm internally.
This is a common problem for all software projects, not just supply chain. Many employees will have a hard time adjusting to the idea of changing the way they have been doing things. Be sure you tell them not just how the change will benefit the company as a whole, but how it will make their lives better as an individual.
3. Lack of Training.
Identify the changes your project will cause, who will be affected by them, and train accordingly- PRIOR to project completion! You may not be able to get the team fully trained without the actual project being complete- but you can get them ready. Let them know what will change and how they should manage that change. If possible give them time to get used to the software prior to go-live. Encourage employees to ask questions throughout the project as well as after completion and be sure to completely.
4. Communication breakdown.
Communication is extremely important with both your internal and external employees! Keeping everyone on the same page and answering all questions a concerns will make your project go smoothly and help everyone take the change in stride.
5. Upset customers.
Sure, you are implementing this supply chain management software system for the benefit of your company- but your customers will be affected as well. Communicate with your customers before the project is finished to let them know the change is happening and how to contact you with any questions, concerns, or issues. By staying in contact with your customers you can keep them updated and informed on any changes they may see and this will keep them happy and hopefully make them more understanding of any problems or bugs should they arise during or after the project.
6. Rushed selection & implementation.
There are a number of steps involved with properly selecting and implementing supply chain management software so take your time and cover all the bases. You will be glad you did. The topic of selection and implementation deserves a few blogs of its very own, so let’s not get too deep into this right now, but here are a few of the steps you will need to take during supply chain management software selection & implementation.
• Assess supply chain opportunities
• Develop a vision and goals
• Develop a strategy to meet that vision
• Translate that strategy into action
• Measure success
(there is much more where that came from- Keep your eyes peeled for more detailed blogs on this topic in the near future!)