Home' MHD Supply Chain Solutions : MHD Jan-Feb 2017 Contents YOU CAN KEEP 'FRANKENSTEIN' OUT OF YOUR
SUPPLY CHAIN WITH A COMMON CLOUD
These days much of your supply chain
likely operates in the cloud. Are hand-offs
happening faster because of the cloud?
In some places, certainly. Do you have better
fulfilment metrics? Probably.
But if your supply chain improvements
have occurred mostly in isolated increments,
you could be in for a big fright. You might
have a cobbled-together Frankenstein of a
cloud environment that is stopping you from
optimising gains across the supply chain.
Cloud can definitely help turn fat into lean in
supply chain processes, but to do so requires
truly connected tissue, something you won't find
in Rd. Frankenstein's lab-born monster.
Cloud helps you simplify, but it does not
change the law of physics. The more unrelated
elements you have in a system, the more issues
and problems you'll have in the implementation
and operation, and the more headaches you'll
face every time you do an update.
No data strategy means more
supply chain errors, complexity
Take, for example, data management, which
is more error-prone and complex when data
is not synchronised across cloud applications
through a coherent master data management
Without such a strategy, marketing might
be using a different database than fulfilment,
which could cause customers to receive
marketing materials about a product they just
ordered rather than helpful information about
add-on services they might need.
Worse yet are errors caused by manually
transferring data from one application to
another, or by someone within the supply chain
using outdated data. Either of these could mean
missed or incorrectly filled orders.
Maintenance of different clouds and the
data within their applications can also add
complexity to warehousing and supply chain
management (SCM) that requires specialised
skills. Consider what happens when a division
within the supply chain extends an application
and adds additional data. Every cloud might
have a different technology for creating these
extensions, so passing that extended data from
one cloud application to another becomes an
intricate endeavour that requires dedicated
attention with each update.
If you're starting to realise you have a monster
in your midst and don't know how it happened,
the problem could be that technology choices
were made without an enterprise MDM strategy.
Data has rapidly become the lifeblood of every
business, and investing in SCM technology
without a strategic-level data plan can impede
the flow of high-quality data to everyone who
needs it to make strategically aligned choices.
Businesses need to have a clear destination
in mind --- and that vision is what should inform
technology decisions. If the goal is to become a
digital, agile company, supply chain data must
be able to flow across divisions, and supply
chain applications need to be integrated.
solutions for full functionality
Another downside of using multiple clouds
across the supply chain is that applications
often can't perform to their potential without IT
specialists intervening to build integrations and
keep them updated. If you have several cloud
vendors who update twice a year, your supply
chain technology alone could require more than
a dozen interventions a year from IT.
Some companies simply don't have the
resources. Indeed, you might find yourself
looking longingly at all that new stuff that you
just can't use. An organisation that wants to
service the needs of the business and simplify
IT should consider more integrated, out-of-the-
box cloud solutions.
In the original Frankenstein story, the monster
was a bit of an accident --- the outcome of an
endeavour that started with noble intentions,
but turned into a big problem that was hard
to control. If this sounds like your SCM cloud
applications, you need to take action. The
sooner you create a strategy and get the proper
tools and technology, you can scare the monster
Thomas Fikentscher is the general
manager ERP at Oracle ANZ. For more
information call 1300 366 386 or visit
the market leader for the supply and installation
of customisable WMS solutions
SMART Conference 2017
Come and talk to us at stand C10
Proudly sponsoring morning and afternoon tea
Tel: 1300 WMS 000
KEEP 'FRANKENSTEIN' OUT
"Businesses need to have
a clear destination in
mind --- and that vision
is what should inform
MHD SUPPLY CHAIN SOLUTIONS --- JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2017 29
DATA CAPTURE AND IT
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