Supply Chain Efficiency : IT Perspective

The goal of a supply chain is to have right product at the right place at the right time and at the right price. These are the traditional touchstones of supply chain success.  Each dimension has its strategical, tactical and operational meanings and has been well-researched by scholars. In fact, supply chains have undoubtedly become more sophisticated in the past few decades.  However, a study in the Harvard Business Review found that improved performance hasn’t always followed: “Despite the increased efficiency of many companies’ supply chains, the percentage of products that were marked down in the United States rose from less than 10% in 1980 to more than 30% in 2000, and surveys show that consumer satisfaction with product availability fell sharply during the same period.”

What went wrong? Although the supply chains of many companies have become more efficient, the demand situation has become more complex for past decades. In other words, the modern supply chains are facing more challenging and often-times elusive goal.  To cope with the challenging environment, many companies  have implemented APS (Advanced Planning System)  system in addition to the existing ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems.

German software maker SAP’s Supply Chain Management suite includes Demand Planning, Supply Network Planning, Production Planning, Transportation Planning, Supply Network Collabration and many other modules.  The question is how can a company benefits from the APS? I will start a series of blog discussing various issues during implementation.

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