In this digital age the distribution model for businesses is being transformed, bringing with it a change in both consumer and business buying practices.
Many organizations, regardless of industry sector or geographical location, find themselves in a comfort zone when it comes to managing their inventory. A high percentage continue to use Material Requirements Planning (MRP), and some even use spreadsheets for their planning, despite having expensive systems in place. The problem is that MRP was developed at a time when businesses could use static demand forecasts over an extended time period to allow for long production runs. In the modern world, long runs are rare and demand can be highly variable.
People often assume that ERP systems are only for larger companies. But, consider this – if you run a small or medium sized business, do you lie awake at night worrying about the following things:
- Is there a way to improve our inefficient processes?
- Can we grow without growing pains?
- Will the business remain viable or successful in the long term?
When people talk about the three critical factors of projects, they refer to scope, time and cost. It is well documented that you can’t change one without impacting the other two, yet it still seems to come as a surprise when a change in scope delays a project or increases the cost.
In a recent article by Paul Taylor in the Financial Times, he discusses the changing dynamics of the C-suite. He looks at the strong trend towards collaboration among roles as opposed to the multiple silos that we have seen in the past. Taylor talks to how CIOs, who have in the past focused primarily on IT, now need to be well-versed across a myriad of business responsibilities. In turn, the CEO and CFO need to understand IT and its role in the company.
Ten years ago, in 2002, a law was passed in the US Congress that has had a lasting effect on business. The law was Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) and introduced sweeping changes to financial reporting. Other countries followed suit, and now wherever you go the regulatory requirements for governance and compliance reporting have continued to grow. This includes other areas of businesses as well, including: manufacturing, supply chain, product quality and safety.
The power failures caused by Hurricane Sandy in the USA made me think about all the things that can go wrong for a business, including the less obvious problems, when there is a power failure; and how important it is to be able to think and act quickly. In fact it reminded me specifically of a recent incident in SYSPRO and how some quick thinking solved what may have been a much bigger problem.