Choosing SCM software can be among the most important decisions you make as a logistics manager, but it can also be one of the most overwhelming decisions as well. If you choose the right SCM software you gain insight into your supply chain, avoid stock-outs, improve fulfillment, and maximize your production resources. On the other hand, if you choose the wrong system, things can very quickly go the other way- so how do you choose the right system?
There are a few things you can do to make an informed decision about your SCM software selection. When you are evaluating solutions and vendors be sure to keep the following questions in mind:
The Vendor: Researching your vendor is just as important as researching the solution itself since they will become an extension of your team. You want to choose a vendor who is experienced, knowledgeable, and trustworthy.
- Does the vendor understand your needs? Working with a vendor that understands not only the needs in your industry but the needs specific to the way your company works is crucial.
- How successful has the vendor been in past implementations? Where do they compare to other vendors in the industry in terms of average completed, successful, and failed projects?
- Are their customers happy with ongoing service from the vendor? Ask for references, if they will not give them to you it is time to move on to the next vendor on your list.
The SCM software: needs and wants will change from company to company the list below is only a short list to get you started. Developing your own list of questions, needs, wants, and requirements should absolutely be a part of your process.
- Does the solution provide real-time information? This will eliminate barriers to information and allow you to make decisions based on the most accurate and up-to date data as possible.
- Does the system make collaboration with partners easy?
- Does the SCM software have a powerful RFQ system?
- Are sales order systems fast and flexible enough to allow customers to place orders how they want to?
- Does the system auto-send order confirmations and delivery information to customers?
- Does the system pull up customer order preferences, specials, and credit history?
- Does the system allow you to see your inventory at any point in the lifecycle?
- Are purchase processes linked so you have access to all information including purchase history, sales demands, inventory levels, RFQs, and development requirements?
When you are evaluating your vendor and solutions remember to keep the big picture in mind. You’re looking for a solution and a vendor that gives you synchronization, visibility, control, and confidence in your supply chain so you can better serve your customers.
What other features and functions are important in SCM software and vendor selection?