Tips for Success

OK, so we've identified the barriers to successful supply chain projects. But how do you overcome them?

  • Gain support from senior executives and departmental managers.

  • Ensure that the company is ready for the software project, with adequate resources, re-engineered processes and high- quality data.

  • Recognize that the supply chain software market is immature and more than one vendor may be required.

  • Define the requirements before evaluating various software products.

  • Test software products for scalability before purchasing.

  • Simplify the supply chain network by reducing the number of suppliers, then form close relationships with carefully selected suppliers. Not all supply chain partners are equal.

  • Start with a pilot project involving one or two suppliers and limited transactional data sharing.

  • Consider outside hosting services for business- to-business collaboration systems.

  • Encourage open and honest information-sharing.

Sources: Gartner Inc., Stamford, Conn.; Center for Advanced Purchasing Studies, Tempe, Ariz.

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