The global market for supply chain software and services is on track to exceed a whopping $19B by the year 2021. This market space is fueled by the high level of adoption pertaining to SaaS-based applications and cloud platforms. This has resulted in supply chain leaders having a sleuth of options pertaining to technology architecture. These tools offer companies the ability to optimize their supply chain strategies to a level not seen before. But for these tools to succeed, the business and technology strategies must be indistinguishable, where the business fully embraces technologies to build more responsible operations.
However, implementing a successful supply chain tech stack is most challenging due to the coverage required across the entire value chain. The tricky part comes when one must determine what is needed as a priority and when. One needs to evaluate a solution that allows the company to grow without being burdened by high costs or resources. An example of this dilemma is a company evaluating an ERP system vs using a combination of Microsoft Dynamics, Slack, Klaviyo, Quickbooks, etc.
The following are the key success factors that are driving the inflection point of supply chain technology stacks, driving them to be more customer-centric and responsive than ever before:
What most differentiates the success of supply chain tech stacks are the end goals and company objectives they were onboarded to meet. Below are some of the integral success factors seen by us and our customers: –
· Access to reliable real-time communication with no lags – This point centers around the experience of the user. The communication channel between factories, vendors, shippers across continents must be real-time. Any form of delay or lag can have a drastic impact on user experience leading to the delay inflow of product. The technology stack and architectures supporting such products assume a critical role in alleviating concerns.
· Cross-device compliance and file sharing – About 80% of users in the supply chain space refrain from using laptops or computers as their primary device at work. They rely on tablets, mobile phones on the factory floor as their main devices for file sharing and communication. With such an overwhelming majority, it seems intuitive that product and technology teams aiming to build successful supply chain collaboration systems must invest in engineering teams to build native iPhone and Android applications that support smart file sharing.
· Real-time visibility pertaining to finances – It is essential that one has track of their expenses through accounting software. This aids in any possible independent contracts and for different supplier invoices. Having the tech stack sync to an accounting system is important to understand financial viability.
· Effective knowledge sharing across the entire supplier network – The quicker a supplier network can share a customer orders, forecasts, or potential stock/backlog notifications, the more productive a supply chain tech stack is. Having a customer-based data sharing foundation combined with elements of integration. Visibility, decision-making support, business strategy, makes the entire supply value chain more strong, robust and efficient.
In the interest of determining the correct option, supply chain leaders should consider the application of that software in their business model. Does the tool configure according to your supply chain’s different phases? Does the implementation of the tool involve excessive use of your workforce’s time and resources? What type of customer service is provided by the software company? If the business model pivots, is your tech stack ready to adjust its operations to service you? The provider can integrate with your existing tech stack successfully? The level of diligence undertaken while implementing technology is important so that no investment purchase is short-lived and ends in failure.
Shikha is the Marketing Manager at Suuchi Inc. with over over five years of experience working majorly for start-ups across digital marketing, product marketing, content, business development, inbound and outbound sales.