When analyzing key issues and goals, supply chain managers and back-office leaders from the finance department are not always that far apart on what they view as most important. However, communication between the two could be improved so that goals are properly met.
A study by consulting firm Ernst & Young asked supply chain managers and finance leaders to rank the issues they find most important.
- According to the findings:
- Cost cutting and efficiency were the most important to finance and the second-most important item to supply chain managers.
- Organic growth was among the top three issues for both departments, but was considered a greater priority among finance professionals.
- The largest discrepancy was in improving service and product quality. While it was the most important issue to supply chain leaders, it was fourth on the list for their finance counterparts.
Ernst & Young explained that while the two departments don't see eye to eye on what issue is most important, the two they cite are closely related. Bringing the functions closer together can provide insight and foster problem-solving that will improve both departments. According to Supply Chain Digest, this means supply chain managers need solid numbers that show why improved quality and service are important.
Data Collection Connects Supply Chain, Back Office
For supply chain managers to illustrate an increased need for service and product quality, data collection solutions that integrate data with existing ERP solutions are the answer. These systems will supply both departments with valuable information. Data collection can provide real-time insights into how decreases in select-to-ship times or poor products can impact the bottom line. Especially when it comes to tracking orders, data collection is an invaluable tool in gathering information on how supply chain operations impact the consumer.
The Ernst & Young survey found that finance leaders see a need for improved technology in the supply chain to develop stronger key performance indicators. For supply chain managers, this means that convincing finance leaders to invest in data collection solutions should not be a difficult task. After the investment has been made, the company will have access to a whole new level of accurate, real-time data that can highlight the areas that need improvement. Because supply chain managers and CFOs view the organization from different perspectives, they may believe they have different goals. Data collection can help show where those goals intersect and how to reach them.