We have recently looked at various Supply Chain models including “Lean” Supply Chain and virtual manufacturing. There are others too; for instance, distributors who purchase everything they sell. We have looked at what kind of software constitutes a Supply Chainsystem.
Some of our conclusions to date are:
- Very few Supply Chain models are identical.
- Yes, a company MIGHT be able to purchase a single system to cover the entire Supply Chain. Some ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning software) vendors furnish enough modules to do everything, but a lot of companies need extensive modifications to complete their mission.
- A lot of companies use their ERP as the “engine” to power their other applications like CRM (Customer Relationship Management software).
- Sharing data with partners has become a necessity to remain competitive. EDI is the enabler to wrap in supply partners, customer, logistics partners, etc.
- Many of the existing ERPs are not suited for all Supply Chain models (example: virtual manufacturers).