Information technology has steadily increased its hold on all departments within the average company company. Nearly every function in the corporate arsenal is tied in some way to the use of software. Logistics is no exception to the rule when it comes to modern trends. With specialized software fulfilling every function from warehouse management to high-speed B2B integration, more supply chains rise and fall on the backs of their technology officers.
BizTech2 recently spoke with Gartner's Vikas Sarangdhar about his views on the new role of IT workers in making sure supply chain management is efficient and effective. He explained important ways a CIO can make logistics workers' tasks easier.
Sarangdhar told the news source that the CIO can improve the general operation of supply processes by placing the right systems in the hands of end users. He explained that the CIO should gauge the technological strength of the company before deciding which software the situation calls for. In his example, an IT department giving an underdeveloped supply chain an advanced system will likely lead to failure, as the end result will likely evolve inefficiency and confusion.
According to Sarangdhar, the role of the CIO does not end with the programs themselves. IT users in the supply chain may be new to the systems, or to advanced enterprise software in general. Therefore, a strong training program could contribute to the possible successes of such a department. As noted in the previous example, a powerful software system used incorrectly is as bad for a company as an underdeveloped program, if not worse.
Supply chain technology is becoming more sensitive to outside input. Sarangdhar told BizTech2 that many logistics officers recently have shown an interest in options based on learning consumer opinion through social media and using that information to make business decisions. While such systems were once limited to IT insiders, they have spread throughout infrastructures.
Keeping risk down
According to the Financial Times, one of the roles technology could play in the supply chain is limiting risk. The source stated that departments like procurement have been historically weak in key factors, including effective and high-speed IT usage. The news source explained that the problems in procurement are largely twofold. There is a lack of specifically-tailored enterprise management systems for procurement officers, as well as a general lack of awareness in how to use such programs.