Over the many years we have worked with companies operating supply chain and logistics management, we have noticed their typical IT infrastructure consists of several systems.
Almost always those systems were developed a long time ago by more than one provider serving business processes relevant to the time those systems were developed.
Why is that a problem?
These are stand – alone solutions. From a technical perspective, they are independent software pieces with separate databases. This means that where from one side the same details are entered by different people in different formats.
When a matching report is required, output data differ. Besides, such separate solutions always lack technical documentation and are not setup to collaborate with each other.
Here is a simple example. A delivery company works with two independent systems – operational and accounting: the operational department records transportation orders and tracks order execution; the accounting system monitors expenses and incomes from customers (both cash and noncash). Since these are two different systems, managers seldom ensure their records for the same customers are named identically in both departments.
This leads to a big issue when a matching report is required. Calculating expenses and revenue of one single customer becomes an onerous, time-consuming task. Employees from both departments have no other way than to revise all available records of this customer in two systems, compare the matching records and imply the data.
As a result, an excessive amount of unnecessary work must be done to answer simple, routine questions, like:
What services were performed for a customer; what were the expenses and revenue associated with the work?
It is ridiculous: the system has all required data; however, to get the required answer or obtain the correct report is complex or even impossible.
What is the solution to get a consolidated report within a minute instead of hours or even days? There are two options. One is to integrate all standalone systems, so they work in conjunction with each other. The second is to develop a new, tailored system to meet updated business requirements that address latest tendency of the industry, fit the growth of the company, and stand out from the competitors.
Both approaches have risks. When making a choice, effective communication between departments takes priority over preferences for logistic software development companies. Mostly, they would advise programming a new system from the ground.
How does IT Craft fit in?
IT Craft has experience integrating IT infrastructure, and expanding and developing separate modules for existing systems, as well as programming complex enterprise systems for companies from scratch.
Based on our knowledge and experience, we know both options entail a complex process, so issues, also those that are caused by human factor, arise quite often and sometimes it is hard to predict them all in advance.
No matter if integration of existing systems or development from the ground is chosen irresponsible, it will not help you to achieve the goal of any supply chain business, i.e. to deliver the item of the required quality in the required number within the required timeline to the required destination point at minimum expenses.
No matter which system you choose – integration of existing systems or development of a new system – neither will actually help you achieve the goal of a success supply chain business; that is, to deliver the correct quality and quantity within the required timeline to the required destination: all with maximum efficiency and minimum expense.