Good managers are always looking to spur innovation within their enterprise's supply chains. Some innovation is necessary to keep pace with the new demands of a global economy and others are aimed at placing a company on the cutting edge. Regardless of the motives, innovation requires an open mind and new technology.
The Tools to Measure Success
According to the website Supply Management, one way to make innovation measures a success is to set a criteria and metrics. Managers must know ahead of time what innovation is going to achieve and to what level its impact must be felt to be considered a success. The easiest way to do this is with automated data collection technology. This solution provides supply chain managers with the quantitative data they need to measure success.
For example, a warehouse manager may decide to change the way that orders are packed, perhaps having employees work in teams when they once worked individually. With data collection, the orders be scanned when they arrive at the packing station and again before they are sent down the line. Comparing scan-ins and scan-outs from before and after the change will quickly create an easy way to analyze the pros and cons of the the innovative packing procedure.
Identifying Priorities With Automated Data Collection
However, before analyzing innovation measures, enterprises must select the areas that are worthy of innovation. Jim Bossi, former CPO at the Red Cross explains to Supply Management that while consensus is the enemy of innovation, financial and resource constraints mean companies must pick and choose where to focus their improvements. Data collection can again be used to determine where the biggest problems in the supply chain occur and set a priority list for their mitigation.
Automated Data Collection is Innovation
While there are many positive side effects of utilizing automated data collection, the solution itself is also a form of innovation. Automation replaces paper-based collection and drastically improves inventory control, employee efficiency and reduces errors. Until these areas of the supply chain are improved, it is difficult to begin measuring the success of innovation elsewhere. Furthermore, an enterprise operating without automated data collection likely has siloed departments and difficulty exchanging information, so C-suite executives may be unaware of the benefits and needs that exist in the supply chain.