As we announced last week, we launched "Suitemates" - a new comedy video series with accomplished actors Kevin Pollak and Ray Wise, who play two imprisoned executives of the fictitious ERP vendor, BILK-Moore. Episode 2 ("Suites are Sour") of the 6-part series is out today. "Suitemates" parodies some of the experiences and frustrations with big ERP vendors. It is a satirical look at what has become a very serious issue: the systemic failure of ERP vendors to solve their customers' business challenges - supply chain management problems in particular - through a collection of complex and disjointed modules. The industry is littered with too many examples of costly, failed implementations and a backlash against ERP vendors has started to build. And since laughter is often the best medicine, "Suitemates" is our creative way to raise the issue…because only when the problem has been identified and accepted, will people recognize the need and benefits to finding a new way. So, what's the problem? Investing in a patchwork approach for integrated supply chain management is a gamble, at best. The industry as a whole is starting to push back and seriously question the ERP model and practices. "Suitemates" is an exaggerated and embellished story of course, but we believe the fundamental message behind the videos will resonate with the business executives and CIOs that are coping with ERP suites on a daily basis. After all, the limitations of ERP SCM suites are very real:
- ERP systems, given their history as accounting packages, have a very "inside out" perspective of the world and struggle to incorporate data from external organizations as anything other than reference information. The information flow latency, and therefore decision latency, in this arrangement is enormous.
- In today's dynamic market, you must be able to evaluate situations in seconds, not hours or days, and the evaluation must include the extended supply chain of contract manufacturers and component suppliers. When a single MRP run takes 8 hours or more, there is little opportunity to investigate and evaluate alternatives, let alone quickly reach consensus and alignment across the entire supply chain.
- Even within your company's own operations, ERP suites provide multiple, separate modules, almost always with different data models and therefore different user interfaces and requiring integration between the modules. Relying on batch processes to convert data between modules, each of which incorporates outdated assumptions about the market, is time consuming and does not lead to alignment across functions, let alone between trading partners.
- What is required in today's supply chain is a unique marriage of human judgment coupled with machine processing power. A quick and "better" answer that is arrived at through consensus is immeasurably better than the slow and "optimized"?? answers of your ERP's advanced planning tool.
The supply chain has transformed, so too must the technology approach to solving the emerging challenges. So, what do you need?
- One service…not many modules.
- An integrated view of the entire supply chain…not just your internal operations.
- Analysis in seconds…not days.
- Collaboration and human judgment…not black box optimization.
Kinaxis RapidResponse is a single service that delivers on the promise of integrating information, capabilities and people. We share more here (SCM suites vs. RapidResponse) and here (RapidResponse Enterprise) if you are interested in understanding our alternative view of modern-day supply chain management.