Here you are the business/technology manager in charge of your company's Internet strategy. You've been told to watch spending. You look around, and see that supply chain automation effort the com pany's been planning.
Does the company really need that, you wonder. The hit is going to be big, in terms of time and dollars. Plus, a supply chain project is a huge, complex undertaking. So, you figure the smart play is to freeze that supply chain automation project.
Experts who follow Web supply chain management implementations say these are exactly the times that call for a supply chain overhaul. If done properly, an SCM system can rid a company of bloated inventories and inefficient operations while producing dramatic savings and, often, a competitive advantage.
IBM just completed an SCM implementation at PBD Worldwide Fulfill ment Services, which provides inventory management, e-commerce and customer services to the Arthritis Foundation, the PGA and others. The PGA anticipates a 100 percent return on its investment within 24 months.
Optiant, a hot new SCM vendor, worked with Eastman Kodak on a supply chain project that boosted customer service levels for the photo concern as measured by the percentage of times the company got its product to a customer when it said it would from 80 percent to 90 percent. And safety stock inventories decreased by 40 percent.
Yet, spending for SCM seems to be in danger. A recent survey by CIO Insight, a fellow Ziff Davis Media publication, found that SCM was one of the most likely areas to be flattened in a budget crunch.
Granted, there are many SCM hurdles. The projects are complex; the outlays in time and money significant. So, how do you minimize the risk while maximizing the return? Here are the top five tips from experts:
John McCormick is Editor of Interactive Week. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.