Continuous delivery drives continued supply chain innovation

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When was the last time you made changes to your supply chain? I’m not referring to order changes, SKU changes or capacity changes, but rather, the processes and functionality that drive your day-to-day decision making.

If it’s been too long to remember, you’re likely lagging behind when it comes to supply chain innovation. That isn’t good news when it comes to keeping up with the competition. Innovation is happening all around us, and at a pace so fast, it may make your head spin.

But the reality of doing business in a globally competitive environment is that you have to stay ahead of – or at least be part of – the pack if you want to succeed.

For supply chains, the added complexity all this change is bringing about can be daunting. It’s becoming harder and harder to keep inventory costs low while still meeting customer demands for customization, same day shipping and easy returns.

Waiting for big, bulky annual releases to your supply chain management software doesn’t really seem to fit with the fast-paced world we live in. Why then is that still the norm for most companies? Wouldn’t you rather get immediate access to the latest supply chain innovations as soon as they become available? That’s the idea behind continuous delivery, and it’s far from new.

App developers have been using it for years to provide regular feature updates to your smartphones. So have consumer software companies – just look at Adobe’s Creative Cloud or Microsoft’s Office 365. Yet enterprise software companies still seem to be lagging behind.

With yearly software releases, it can take weeks to deploy the new upgrade, and since so much is included in a single installation package, the risk of something going wrong is high. It can also be harder to go back if you’ve had to make major changes to your system to accommodate the new functionality. Add to that the fact that you’re potentially waiting around for 12 months to get your hands on something that could drastically improve your supply chain efficiency. With continuous delivery for your supply chain management software, you get:

Lower Risk

Updates are smaller and available more frequently. As a result, these bite-sized packages take less time to deploy, use fewer resources and involve less risk.

Faster Value

Stay one-step ahead of your competition. While they’re stuck spending months, quarters or even years on costly enterprise resource planning (ERP) upgrades, only to get yesterday’s basic features, you’ll have near real-time access to industry leading capabilities so you can constantly evolve your supply chain.

Higher Reward

With continual access to the latest features and capabilities, you’ll be able to drive sustained supply chain innovation. It’s important to continually increase efficiency and make improvements as you adopt these new releases to help keep you firmly ahead of the pack. Continuous delivery just makes sense for so many when it comes to supply chain management software. Stop and take a minute to think about it – or rather don’t, because the longer you wait when it comes to supply chain innovation, the bigger the gap to catch up to your competition.

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