Supply Chain Technology
Supply Chain Technology

Supply Chain Technology Assessment

Our supply chain technology assessment encompasses a  review of existing supply chain technologies in use across your operations. We review the health of each technology component and identify optimisation opportunities that are drive supply chain planning and execution within a warehouse, distributiion centre or manufacturing environment.

We also assess continuous improvement initiatives to understand the role technology plays and the level of systems integration within any supply chain. Our mandate is focussed on maximising systems and process capabilities to deliver efficiency, utilisation and cost benefits.

Aligning these continuous improvement initiatives with the supply chain strategy will provide focus, direction and maximum utilisation of specialists resources to implement change in pursuit of best practice.

What CEO's expect of supply chain technology

Chief Executive Officers and Chief Operating Officers need to keep pace with a dynamic market place where customers use of social media platforms and devices place immediate needs on an organisations supply chain network. The ability to respond quickly at the right cost will ensure customers will return and remain loyal to your business.

The challenge is how your organisation identifies, implements and uses supply chain technologies to their maximum potential today for tomorrows customers. Some take outs from CEO's and COO's:

  • All supply chain technology systems have an end of life cycle, become costly to maintain, upgrade or integrate into a newer form of technology. How do we know if we have identified the right supply chain technologies and how fast will they become obsolete?
  • The rise of omni channel distribution centres places pressure on our supply chain network costs and the technology required to service shorter demand cycles. Do we need to integrate our technologies further to be more responsive and cost effective within our supply chain network?
  • Our investment into technologies has been considerable over the past decade and we are not yet able to identify if we are using all systems as they were designed and implemented. Why do we still have systems performance gaps and what is our potential capability in the future?

Scope of supply chain technology assessment

  • A review of your ERP system to establish how the system is being used, its current level of utilisation, the remaining potential use and weaknesses in systems knowledge by your resources.
  • A review of your Warehouse management system to understand how it is connected to the ERP system, its level of use and further potential to drive warehouse productivity and efficiency
  • To review all other warehouse scanning technologies, the type of equipment used, the quality of this equipment, gaps in their use and the training of key resources in their use.
  • The relationship between ERP, WMS, RF and other supply chain technologies that are deployed within your warehouse operations.

The aim of our Supply Chain Technology Assessment

Having completed a number of supply chain technology assessments for our clients over the years, we a fully aware that your technology systems may be complicated, are not utilised to their potential or may not be fully embraced across the organisation. Our aim is to identify the performance gaps that pose a barrier to improving supply chain performance and incorporating solutions within a road map for implementation. Past supply chain technology focus areas include.

  • Dated ERP systems in need of upgrades and functionality enhancements
  • Recently deployed ERP systems that are in need of fine tuning
  • ERP systems in assessment phase in readiness for implementation
  • Existing WMS systems requiring fine tuning, planning settings etc.
  • New WMS in readiness for deployment
  • RF systems and voice pick technologies

Supply Chain Technology Assessment: ERP systems

Focus area

  • The nature of your business to understand core ERP functionality, what modules have been implemented and are being used by your teams. As the implementation has concluded, are there opportunities to use more functionality to improve inventory planning and lower inventory investment? Depending on the quality and speed of the implementation, there may be opportunities to remove external processes by using untapped functionality within your ERP system.
  • All of the current operating procedures are reviewed to determine the quality and effectiveness of the planning function to support the ERP requirements. Training is typically compressed during an implementation cycle due to time or cost blowouts, the impact is the quality of systems use by resources who may not be fully training and assessed prior to implementation.
  • A review of all systems settings and planning parameters that drive both the MRP and DRP modules is essential. This is the core of the system which relies on fixed global settings and dynamic items settings to determine the quality of what, when and how much to buy. Poor set up and lack of the proper training will contribute to increased inventory levels and supply chain operational costs.
  • A review of data flow, timing and integrity are important components that define the health of your ERP system. Data flow and time are reliant on the right systems platform and integration with other technologies. The accuracy is due to how well operators are processing transactions manually or scanning with devices. 

Planned outcomes

  • Improvements in the inventory master file are made in a number of areas to ensure that the primary fields are supporting the planning and reporting requirements of the business. This is the backbone of any ERP system and must be set up to support all of the core modules from purchasing, distribution, logistics, supply chain and warehousing. The chalenge is also to understand which setting are global, site or sku based to support all of these modules for optimum operation.
  • The Materials Requirement Planning (MRP) function provides a range of improvement opportunities from creating stability, better work flow through to increase the capability of the planning and execution fuction for the business. Specific gains are found in how we run MRP, single run MRP or a group run MRP;  changes to MRP planning parameters, Bills of Materials, Routings, leattime, safety time, safety stock etc ; Modifications to the master production schedule (MPS); how to run an Master Production Schedule (MPS) and the evaluation process of messages and systems maintenance.
  • Changes to planning parameters for Distribution Resource Planning (DRP) to improve how stock is purchase or distributed between stocking points or warehouses.
  • Modification to operating procedures to support changes are important as they form a retraining cycle for business resources who were not assessed properly during the implementation phase or simply did not understand the requirements and impact odf changes they made to the system.

Supply Chain Technology: Warehouse Management Systems

Focus area

  • A high level review of supply chain process flow: data, documents and transactions.
  • Compile an inventory of technology deployed or in use by function.
  • Review of the extent to which these tools are being used.
  • Identify opportunities for technology to be used

Planned outcomes

  • Provide a final state process flow which incorporates technology being used by function.
  • The asset review will incorporate an upgrading or replacement plan.
  • A plan to correct gaps where existing tools are not being used to optimum levels.
  • A deployment plan for technology opportunities by function

Next Steps:

Feel free to contact our office for advice or to discuss any specific project requirements.