Supply chain software fails to live up to the hype

Manufacturers have mixed feelings about the value of supply chain planning software, with overblown claims by vendors of the systems being one of their major complaints.

Manufacturers have mixed feelings about the value of supply chain planning (SCP) software, with overblown claims by vendors of the systems being one of their major complaints.

A survey of more than 60 manufacturers by analyst AMR Research suggests users are finding benefits from SCP systems, which are used to improve the efficiency of demand, production and inventory functions.

AMR Research said the manufacturers questioned credited SCP automation with performance improvements across several key areas, but were ‘frustrated’ by lengthy implementation times and exaggerated claims by software suppliers.

Demand planning emerged as by far the most popular module, with half of respondents already using it and a further 12% in the process of installation.

But the short-term prospects for those hoping to persuade manufacturers to invest in further SCP modules look uncertain. Just 9% of the companies questioned said they would definitely add to their SCP suite, while more than a quarter ruled it out.

‘Current economic conditions are probably a major reason for such a large undecided block of users,’ said AMR Research.

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