Does the Supply Chain Department Need the IT Department?

Extracted 12AUG2011 from

Guest commentary for Logistics Viewpoints by Chad Collins

Sound business decisions about using technology cannot be made if the business owner perceives to be getting the system “for free” from IT...

This concept of IT-free applications accountability and ownership is particularly important for the supply chain organization. I frequently see companies adopting a shared service model for supply chain functions. When the supply chain organization becomes a service function, it increases the pressure to provide superior service at a lower internal cost. Better use of technology is the most logical place for the supply chain service organization to gain scale and bring more innovative business processes to their internal customers. In other words, today’s supply chain “service” is as much about technology as it is about supply chain operational expertise.

Additionally, there is increasing pressure to compare internal supply chain management with outsourced supply chain management from 4PLs or lead logistics providers. Most outsourced supply chain management solution providers are bringing technology and a deep understanding of technology to their clients...

Technology advances in cloud applications, infrastructure-as-a-service and enterprise app stores are removing the complexity of operating the underlying IT “plumbing” (installs, server provisioning, network, and upgrades), which allow business users to manage the administration of the apps... true business innovation will only come when business people can understand, own and leverage the technology.