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3 Steps to Earn Buy-In for New SCM Systems
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Try these techniques to build your team's support behind new supply chain management systems.

Rolling out a new supply chain management system that everyone in your company understands and accepts is critical to your success. It requires involving employees throughout the development process, beginning with discussions about functional requirements. The ideal team for this task includes members from manufacturing, production scheduling, quality control, purchasing, accounts payable, receiving and material handling, and logistics.

  1. Have the team start by identifying the goal you want the system to achieve - with a focus on your customer. A very simple goal might be to get the right part, in the right place, at the right time, in the right quantity, with the right quality, to deliver on your promise to clients.

  2. Next, the team will need to map the existing flow of parts, documents and data from when the production schedule signals the need for the part, through the order going to the supplier and to the point when the part is delivered to the line. Your cross-functional team will be able to map the reality of snags, exceptions and workarounds your employees currently experience. Together, they can also identify, clarify and resolve problems that interrupt flow.

  3. Finally, when the team has laid out the ideal process flow, they can propose options such as paper-based systems, internal IT systems or external software, any of which may keep the process moving smoothly. Evaluating the proposed solutions will be easier since the team will have an intimate understanding of the requirements, and implementation may be accelerated, too.

The best result for your company will be widespread buy-in to the new system. A close second may be the positive connections and communication built between departments as their members solved problems together.


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