When it comes to supply chain management execution, we have all sorts of great tools (ERP, EDI, SCM). They are mostly designed for traditional manufacturers who own their factories. But we may be ignoring a new reality: the “virtual manufacturer”, one who outsources production. For them, the “tool of choice” is sometimes an Excel spreadsheet.
Managing to meet customer expectations is not like what ERP vendor’s glossy brochure say. In reality, it is not only spreadsheets, but is phone, FAX, email and lots of sweat. Some of these folks who shepherd global supply chain operate with complex “jury rigged” routines.