Understanding Supply Chain Technology

supply chain technologySupply chain technology is not the type of thing that stems naturally from having efficient IT tools in place. Case in point – there’s a great article right now on the Wall Street Journal that’s worth a read. Joel Schectman covers a scenario we’re all too familiar with – auditing companies to find they have a great IT setup but a supply chain process that doesn’t make sense.

“If you build it, they will come.” Some of us are unfortunate enough to believe this about our businesses. We find out the hard way that creating a business means little if you don’t have the right technologies in place to run it. In a technologically advancing world, IT processes make all the difference. Unfortunately, business owners may find out too little, too late that the right IT setup and advanced tools don’t necessarily make for streamlined supply chain processes.

The Supply Chain Technology Difference

For all businesses, information technology is a tool. Like a hammer or a saw, if you try to cut lumber with the hammer, it’s going to be difficult. Big companies need business process integration to effectively utilize their technology systems and make sure products are moved the way they need to be. Not having these systems in place can product a multitude of problems for business owners.

Understanding Risk

Without supply chain technology systems in place, risk is difficult to identify. The risk can range anywhere from spotting and correctly working with a defective product to failing to recognize particular processes that could result in citations or fines when regulating bodies come in to audit your business. Without a way to automate and understand the data that’s part of your particular supply chain, you never know when you’ll need data or products that will be missing at a critical moment.

Missed Opportunity

With a lack of ability to identify whether your processes are working for you, missed opportunities are very possible. Data you track through your supply chain process can provide interesting and ample insight into other areas of your business. The inability to track the data that leads you to come to these types of conclusions can end up a missed opportunity for your business.

Big business can’t rely on simple IT technology to regulate the supply chain. It’s time for businesses to ensure the details aren’t lost in the data by engaging with supply chain technology in a resourceful, appropriate way.


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  1. Simple IT is not enough for large corporations. They need large “big data” systems. The back bone of supply chain management is analytics.