As the world is busy contending with the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies have to make rapid changes and find ways to reduce spending to adjust company operations, maintain profitability and prepare their supply chain for the next shift. When COVID first hit, the biggest roadblock most companies and industries faced pertained to project management. Innovative companies always invested in new principles of lean concepts, Six Sigma, and other tools to enhance their project management processes, but no one had the preparedness to combat a virus epidemic that turned pandemic in a month. As companies continue to invest in digitalization initiatives that drive a robust and prepared supply chain, effective project management is the key that will define their bottom line for the time ahead.
What is Project Management?
Project management is the required application of processes, techniques, tools, and skills to achieve specific goals or meet a particular success criterion in a finite time. Project management includes various stages that span the length of the entire supply chain lifecycle.
How does COVID change the Project Management landscape?
Project management is a broad concept that spans the entire value chain. The principle governs manufacturing, distribution, warehouse management, supplier and vendor relations, demand planning – virtually every business unit that impacts the bottom line. With the onset of COVID, companies had to scramble to make their bare ends meet. The project management principles used in the past never considered the possibility of a life-changing shift. For companies to survive, they realized they needed to move up their value chain software investments. Manual processes and archaic forms of communication are so rooted in the business world, and companies struggled to control their entire supply chain in almost a completely virtual world. As project management touches the whole value chain, companies now have to rethink and invest in digital solutions that revamp their existing processes and give them full transparency and increased efficiency without the risk of another supply chain-related disruption.
How to enforce a Robust Project Management Process?
Embracing change is the first step for companies as overhauling a vast process takes time, resources, and the willingness to explore new ideas. At Suuchi, we help over 300+ companies simplify this process by increasing efficiency, driving remote collaboration, effectively increasing the speed to market, and much more. We understand that no supply chain problem statement is the same and strives to create configured solutions that drive you the most value. Below are some best practices that we share with companies who are thinking on the lines of exploring a new system:
- A solution for the future: Investing in any system is a huge decision, and, in this case, companies need to plan out a future with a system that fits the bill. There are many systems out there that provide functionality but do not address all of the value chain participants. When investing in a project management system, companies need an agile solution to use for all participants while ensuring that the software provider understands their problem statement and future goals. Companies need to see a viable future with a provider for a match to be a potential success for the time ahead.
- Accessibility: Evaluating a solution on paper is great, but have you thought about how implementation and integration will be on your company’s resources and if every employee will be able to operate the system to their best capacity successfully? Innovative companies are increasingly seeking out solutions that are easy to implement, have a UI/UX that is simple and easy to boot, and creates a solution that fits their exact problem statements.
- Casting a wide net: Many systems out there provide certain project management features as they go deep into one part of the value chain. While this is great, it forces companies to increase their technology spend into different systems, adding another layer of integrating them. Having a single system that spans your entire product lifecycle allows you to reduce cost overheads and manage project requirements effectively and with ease.
- Configurability: Having a configured solution is extremely important. It follows your supply chain stages, allowing you to gain actionable insights that lead to a much more robust supply chain that drives repeatable efficiencies.
- Integration: Supply chains transcend continents and boundaries, and each team managing a specific part of the project has its own set of preferences when it comes to systems. Email, Excel, WhatsApp, and WeChat are a handful of examples of preferred systems for external suppliers and vendors. Companies need to vet if software integrates with their existing tech stack, as all critical project data needs to be captured and reported in the central system. Every piece of data is an essential piece to the puzzle, and capturing all of it has to be a priority.
The world we live in has changed, and companies need to establish a robust supply chain tech stack. A first step to achieve this is investing in a project management tool that can serve as an all-encompassing solution for each supply chain phase. An agile and configurable solution allows companies to pivot quickly for micro and macro-economic factors. Having a system that plans for the future in tandem with the organization’s plan is the key to having increased efficiency and bottom-line impact.
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Shikha Singh brings a fresh perspective to the Suuchi Inc. Marketing team. She leads a team of Business Development specialists to help businesses digitize their supply chains through next-gen technology. Learn more about Shikha.