Although automated data collection software and other innovative pieces of supply chain technology will likely make processes and workflow much easier for organizations everywhere, Julie Fraser wrote on InTech Magazine that companies will need to keep a people-centric approach. While there are fewer people doing work every day, smart employees are needed to get the most out of this software.
"Yes, this requires automation and instrumentation. It also requires lots of information technology," she said. "As automation and IT become well established, people will be more critical than ever. The ability of people to make decisions quickly and take appropriate action is going to be the differentiator between leaders and laggards in production and manufacturing companies."
People are central to the success today for a few reasons, she wrote:
- Decisions must be made quickly from the information procured from this software
- Value can be increased by having a better internal and external facing dialogue
- Customer expectations may be different in unique regions, something software cannot judge as well as employees
- Customers' needs frequently change, so there should be people in place to help work with these
Essential to select the best possible software
People must also be in place to help the organization select the best tools and data collection method. Without knowledgeable employees to best figure out and address the needs and challenges of an individual supply chain, things likely will not go as well as they otherwise could. TechTarget contributor Beth Stackpole said the majority of supply chain management software will likely make the decision easier, but certain issues will need to be decided to get the most out of a given solution. First, a business will need to decide if they want a fully integrated solution, at which point they will need to choose how they want to deliver it.
There's no correct decision for picking the best supply chain management, Stackpole wrote, as industry experts believe which software is adopted will depend on things like IT capabilities and the need to have software integrated into legacy tools.
"You have a lot of choices right now and it needs to make good business and economic sense depending on the size of your organization," William Newman, managing principal at Newport Consulting Group, said.