Ready for an Upgrade? Ask These Questions Before Investing in New Supply Chain Technology

Implementing any new supply chain technology is a major decision. Adopting cutting-edge tools can give companies a competitive advantage. But without getting clear on organizational needs and goals first, teams sometimes rush into costly, time-consuming implementations that don’t necessarily deliver the return on investment (ROI) they’d hoped.

Supply chain technology should make life simpler, not create more problems. Before making any decisions, ask yourself three key questions to ensure your new tools are well worth the investment.

1) What are our performance objectives?

The goal of investing in new supply chain technology might seem like a no-brainer: taking operations to the next level. But unless teams have a clear understanding of the problems they want to solve and the performance outcomes they want to achieve, they risk implementing solutions that don’t align with their needs.

Knowing these objectives upfront makes it easier to ask the right questions to potential providers and weigh up the options. Can the tool do this? And more importantly, is it designed to do this, or will it be like fitting a square peg into a round hole?

2) What supply chain technology will have the biggest short- and long-term impact?

While advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, the internet of things, and blockchain may get a lot of media attention, that doesn’t necessarily mean companies need to adopt them right away to keep up. In some cases, this technology is still being tested out in the supply chain, so the long-term impact remains unclear.

Unless you have the money and resources to be a trailblazer and figure out the best practices that all others will eventually follow, it’s often best to invest in tried-and-tested supply chain technology that will have a significant positive impact on your operations—both now and for years to come. This can include tools that improve efficiency and visibility like a transportation management system (TMS), and those that will consistently put money back in the bottom line, like freight audit and payment solutions.

3) Are all the stakeholders aligned?

Often, logistics teams are well aware that new supply chain technology could dramatically boost their efficiency and make life easier. But leaders may not be aware of these pain points. All they see are the end results, as the numbers on the balance sheet.

This makes it essential to get all stakeholders on the same page before requesting an investment in new supply chain technology. Putting things in language leaders will understand—like establishing the high cost of low productivity and missed opportunities to save—can get their attention, opening the door for more productive conversations about the solutions that will have the most impact.

Tried-and-true supply chain technology, but not formulaic

At CTSI-Global, we believe in taking a truly consultative approach. We understand that every shipper’s needs and goals are a little different, which is why we work closely with our clients before, during, and after implementation to get everyone on the same page and up to speed with the right supply chain technology for their business.

Gain an edge over the competition. Contact CTSI-Global today.

Reader Interactions