Managing a business isn’t as easy as many people think. You have to deal with a lot of things on a daily basis. Materials, finances, and data are just a few examples. Supply chain management is basically the management of these resources. It often involves all the activities that happen–from the procurement of raw materials to the delivery of the final products.
Since it involves countless activities, businesses often use supply chain management software to handle these tasks, whether it’s to execute supply chain transactions or manage relationships with suppliers. However, as valuable as they may be, these applications are far from perfect, which is perhaps why experts highly emphasize the importance of T&E with software development.
Either way, as you continue to use supply chain management software or even when you’re just implementing it, you’ll stumble upon numerous challenges. This guide aims to help you identify these challenges so you can avoid committing them in the first place.
- Unwilling Partners And Company Executives
When coming up with a brilliant idea for the company, you must first inform the partners and company executives about the project. Naturally, you’ll have to convince these critical individuals to invest in this new concept, which, in your case, is the supply chain management software. This is usually done with a presentation of the project.
If you’re successful, they’ll most likely have a lot of expectations for the project. But more often than not, implementing new concepts isn’t easy, so you’re bound to face some difficulties.
Supposed they might be under the impression that the software has this specific capability but it turns out it doesn’t. While you probably expected this, the stakeholders didn’t, and this could create issues down the line. Chances are, they’ll end up backing out from the project at the last minute, leaving you with insufficient researchers for the implementation. This is one of the most common challenges with supply chain management software or any type of software for that matter.
One way to avoid this issue is by establishing clear communication and being as honest and transparent as possible to these individuals. Show them what the software can and can’t do, and tell them the deliverables they should expect.
- Staff Takes Time Adjusting To Software
If you’ve just implemented a supply chain management software, your employees may resist the new change you’re bringing to the company, which is quite understandable, especially if there’s really no problem with the existing processes. So, just like how you convinced the stakeholders, you should also consider showing your employees the benefits of the software.
However, even if they do embrace the change, they’re still bound to experience some struggles with the software, especially if it’s completely different from the previous system. You have to expect that it’d take them some time to completely adjust to the software.
One obvious solution for this problem is to show your staff the ropes by administering some training and practice to them. Another way to address this issue is to hire individuals who already have considerable experience in operating supply chain management software. Either way, make sure you help your employees with this transition.
You also have to remember that if your supply chain management software is unique to your company, new hires will probably struggle the same way your existing employees did. Thus, it’s advisable to include training in your onboarding plan.
- Poor Customer Experience
Implementing new software can change how the supply chain behaves. One particular scenario you’ll find yourself in is when your inventory has an abundance of products that aren’t in demand, yet products that customers highly expect are out of stock. Furthermore, since it’s relatively new software, there are bound to be some bugs or errors, potentially leading to considerable downtime, which will further ruin customer experience.
Naturally, this will lead to criticism from your customers. Oftentimes, they’ll complain about long fulfillment times or forgotten orders. Unfortunately, this cannot be avoided unless, of course, you can implement a perfect setup from the get-go, which is highly improbable.
You can, however, put this ‘criticism’ to use. After all, customers often provide constructive feedback instead of just pure criticism, so you can use their feedback to develop and enhance the existing management software instead of investing in a new one.
- Vulnerability To Cyberattacks
Supply chain managers used to contact suppliers via telephones and store data involved in supply chain management in file cabinets. However, times have changed, and the world is becoming increasingly digital each passing day.
If you’re implementing supply chain management software, then you’ve probably decided to embrace the digital world. Alas, digitalization, too, has its disadvantages. For one, if you adopt digital solutions, you’re bound to become more vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Cyberattacks are any attacks that attempt to exploit, disable, expose, or destroy information from a system through unauthorized access. Malware, phishing, ransomware are the most common types of cyberattacks within the internet.
By using supply chain management software, you’re practically storing confidential data in the cloud, which hackers can access. Although there’s no sure-fire way to eliminate cyberattacks, it’s possible to reduce its possibility and minimize the damage they can do to your system by investing in cybersecurity firms or technologies.
- Violation Of Rules And Regulations
Organizations tend to forget that supply chain management systems cannot update automatically; their staff must be the ones to manually update the system. Unfortunately, there have been many cases of violations due to this blunder, especially since security guidelines and proper use rights change every once in a while. As a result, the company can be punished with license infringement. This means that you have to make sure your supply chain management system is always up-to-date and doesn’t violate any rules and guidelines.
Adjusting to a major overhaul of the company’s system has never been easy. Mistakes are more likely to happen, and you’ll receive a lot of criticism from all kinds of people.
However, if you’re successful with the project, the payoff will be huge and it’ll most likely be a massive help to the company along the line. So, in these situations, you only have to be patient.