The world is still in a reflective state of what an ever-changing post-pandemic world looks like, particularly for supply chains. While steps are being taken to rebuild supply chains, the impacts of shutdowns and new regulations are still being felt. Have you seen baren shelves and limits on purchases both in-store and online recently?
The fact remains that these issues existed well before 2020, but the pandemic exacerbated them. Think about it. You enter a supermarket in the summer of 2019. Do you recall seeing a note on the shelves by the eggs stating a shortage due to supply chain issues? This shortage was a small-scale example of the problems that caused these widespread shortages to happen now.
Many organizations were on the path to digitization before 2020 to solve these problems, but to thrive, there is a well-needed focus on discipline and execution of supply chain management software. As we emerge from our reflection and start taking action in 2021, it is clear to me that the systems that offer the most benefit (like the GRID) have one mentality in common:
Configurations are key!
While there are industry standards for processing, the intricacies make each of our customers succeed because there is no one size fits ALL process. For the purpose of this blog, I will use the GRID as an example of a configurable SCM solution. Since the GRID spans numerous industries, we challenge our product and engineering teams to take particular workflows and expand them across multiple sectors through configurations. This challenge allows us to institute process workflows, but it also allows us to draw insights from our customers that would be difficult to gather otherwise.
For the GRID to be fully configurable software, we start with the process configuration and review a customer’s workflows simultaneously. The combined approach allows our customers to see the multiple points across their supply chains where the GRID brings immediate and long-term value.
One of the challenges when working with so many industries is normalizing content and ensuring that all configuration points make sense to different sectors. If we take a traditional approach, our databases will become extremely wide, and we will introduce complexities downstream. These complexities are common in legacy systems and the exact opposite of the GRID’s foundational tenants. If you were to review the API documentation from your legacy software vendors, there are almost always several fields that do no make sense to your flow and will never be used.
While software providers cannot just remove these fields (no matter how low the use), there are ways to work around it and configure those fields to benefit all customers. Our teams’ planning allows us to unify our databases while driving impact for each of our customers. The result? More efficient and speedier delivery to our customers. While we work hard for this unification, our customers receive data constructs and process flows to meet their needs.
As digitization remains a top priority for executives in 2021, it is essential to find a solution that will allow you these configuration points to reduce implementation friction and create fewer headaches in software maintenance over time. It also allows you to get ahead of your value chain issues and be aware of potential delays before they hinder your business. As more and more brands digitize their flows, gone will be the days of a little note in the supermarket’s egg section.
Andrew McKenna is the VP of Product at Suuchi Inc. After spending 10+ years in Fintech, Andrew joined Suuchi in 2019. Andrew works closely with the sales, marketing, and engineering teams, to ensure a cohesive product roadmap that meets customer needs and addresses supply chain challenges across industries.