Throughout our many years of working with clients along their “Supply Chain Technology Transformation” journeys, there is a trap that many fall into. That is, over time the quality of the solution decays such that the intended value is not realized. A few of the reasons are called out in the Solution Quality Decay graphic below.
But like the human body, muscles that are not used regularly will atrophy and not function as needed.
“The Go-Live is not the end of the journey - it is a new beginning!”
An important concept for clients to fully grasp is “Stewardship” of newly stood up technologies.
The Go-Live is not the end of the journey - it is a new beginning!
Stewardship is about protecting the investment you have made.
- Ensure new policies and procedures are adhered to;
- Set up or re-jigger your organization to manage data and tariffs;
- Perform analytics, and ensure adoption of the change;
- Be aware of ancillary technology (ERP, WMS, etc.) updates that may impact quality and timeliness of generated solutions.
The business must ‘own’ the technology, as much if not more than the IT group.
One of our clients understood the importance of this concept very early on and has people and processes in place specifically tasked with maintaining solution integrity.
“Dedication to improvement with the end goal in mind.”
But wait, there’s more!
Recall in Back to the Future Doc dreamt up and installed an invention in a 1982 DMC DeLorean (not the best vehicle ever made, but it looked cool). He did not just strap a jet engine to a rust bucket like the 1976 AMC Pacer in Wayne’s World.
Time travel as a concept was possible with a fully vetted plan to best utilize the tools at his disposal (stewardship). Yet, to achieve his goals Doc needed to hit the accelerator in a unique and creative way, hence the Flux Capacitor.
Dedication to improvement with the end goal in mind.
This is what we call Accelerate - essentially how do we achieve excess returns beyond good stewardship. We look for opportunities to leverage technology investment in creative ways.
- We model
- We optimize
- We search for opportunities in the data
- We bring best practices from peers and competitors
- We look up and around discrete functional areas
- We see what is happening across the business
Several of our clients have come back to us to leverage our knowledge of their business and environment to drive results that had not been considered during implementation.
Essentially, we hit the button on the nitro booster and they are speeding into the future ahead of the competition.
A capable implementation partner will get you to Go-Live. A good consultant will help you understand the value of proper care and feeding of the technology and organization. An exceptional advisor will be there to help mash the gas pedal and accelerate return on investment.
“It takes vision, planning and dedication to maximize return on investment.”
If you are puttering around in an old Pacer, think about what your vehicle and flux capacitor can truly be.
- Do you have internal capabilities and a forward thinking team?
- Have you socialized your value across the business?
- Perhaps an outside perspective will help uncover nuggets that will drive continuous improvement?
Regardless, do not fall into the trap of assuming technology tools will self-adapt and will deliver the same value years down the road as they did after Go-Live. It takes vision, planning and dedication to maximize return on investment.
Dennis Heppner is a Principal at JBF Consulting. Dennis’ expertise in transportation, logistics and supply chain operations, and third-party providers spans 25+ years. His experience is broad-based, spanning entire supply chains, including business process redesign, sourcing, distribution network design, transportation management, distribution operations, outsourcing selection, and business strategy for major manufacturers, distributors, retailers including eCommerce, and service organizations.
About JBF Consulting
Since 2003, we’ve been helping shippers of all sizes and across many industries select, implement and squeeze as much value as possible out of their logistics systems. We speak your language — not consultant-speak – and we get to know you. Our leadership team has over 70 years of logistics and TMS implementation experience. Because we operate in a niche — we’re not all things to all people — our team members have a very specialized skill set: logistics operations experience + transportation technology + communication and problem-solving skills + a bunch of other cool stuff.