In today’s Amazon-impacted, Uberian environment, technology opportunities abound! Beyond ERP and related subsystems, there is IoT, blockchain, robotics, autonomous vehicles, predictive analytics and much more. Should we invest or not? Clearly, if we invest in every one of these opportunities, we could “go broke”. How do we decide? And will it help us create a resilient supply chain?
The answer: It depends!
Our best clients follow a similar process and answer the following questions:
- What is the state of the industry? What disruptors are likely to impact the industry? What trends are occurring? Where do we see it going?
- How do we stand in the industry? How are we positioned? What is our unique value proposition? What differentiates us from the competition?
- What is our technology/ IT infrastructure? Does our ERP system support our current needs? Does it support our growth? Is our ERP partner aligned with technology partners that can help in expanding our future technology capabilities? The bottom line – where are we starting?
- What is our vision? Understanding where we want to go is relevant. What will it take to achieve our vision? Do we know what people, processes, systems/ technologies and culture change will be required to attain our vision?
- Is the technology required to achieve the vision? (given our competitive differentiators and changes occurring in the industry) Adding technology that doesn’t support our vision might be exciting but doesn’t support the future whereas not investing in technology required to support our vision is also problematic.
- What are the priorities? If there are several technologies required to support progress, which are required first in terms of sequence (if relevant), which have the greatest impact, and which are urgent to meet a customer need or avoid a negative consequence?
The Bottom Line:
Don’t invest because everyone is investing; invest because it supports scalable, profitable growth.