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Unlocking Supply Chain Success: 6 Tips for Seamless Implementation

Supply Chain Management, Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), S&OP
May 29, 2024

Supply chain planning solutions offer incredible opportunities over their predecessors. Today, most are cloud-based, automatically updated, and easy to customize to specific industries. The best solutions provide advanced analytics to deliver real-time insights and reporting to those who need them.

Yet, just as not all solutions are created equal, each company's strategy and go-live implementation is different as well. Data shows that 70% of IT projects fail, while 80% of software implementations run over budget.

This doesn't mean successful implementation isn't achievable. But it does show that each company’s realities, habits, and processes must be addressed to reach its peak level.

Why Implementations Fail

Implementation of software solutions fails for a variety of reasons.

  • Many companies need a formal or adequately trained project management methodology to succeed.
  • Inadequate testing can lead implementation teams to make the wrong decisions.
  • Implementation teams often face communication and collaboration issues from legacy culture within the organization.
  • Many companies fail to create a fully-formed implementation strategy, or fail to gather, audit, and identify existing areas of concern that the software is intended to fix.

Tips and Best Practices for Implementation

Here are some best practices and tips for implementing a robust and best-in-class supply chain planning solution like Plex.

  1. Develop a Clear Strategy - Corporate leadership develops strategies for marketing, growth, and other business imperatives, and implementing supply chain planning software requires a clear strategy as well. Since a company's supply chain impacts every aspect of the business, developing a strategy and conceptualizing roll out is critical.
  2. Take Control of Your Data - The best solutions for analysis and insights in real-time, or near real-time, are data-driven, yet many companies still rely on manual or partially-automated supply chain practices. Access to high-quality data ensures that supply chain planning solutions like Plex will deliver accurate and precise insights.
  3. Audit the Current Process - No solution can work effectively without knowing where the gaps are. A deep and honest audit of your supply chain flaws might include already known problems, but can also highlight undetected issues. The deeper the dive into what needs to be fixed, the more influential the project implementation will be in tying into the solution's features.
  4. Focus on Visibility - Supply chain visibility is often hamstrung by manual processes.  However, it can also suffer from a lack of communication between supply chain segments and a lack of interoperability between legacy software systems. Focus on visibility to leverage the solution's features to create a transparent, end-to-end supply chain system.
  5. Address Culture - The prospect of new software can impact a company's culture. Many people are nervous about software and automation replacing them. Others are comfortable with their spreadsheets and current methods and don't like change. Addressing these concerns is critical to the successful implementation of supply chain software. Instead of letting these fears derail the project, work with staff so they understand how and why the software will help them do their job.
  6. Choose the Right Provider - Often the most important consideration is choosing the right provider. ‘One-size-fits-all’ solutions can be problematic in specific industries, so choose a provider with features that let you leverage your data to address the particular needs of your industry and product.

Mastering Uncertainty in Supply Chains

These tips and best practices will help you successfully implement your supply chain software. Plex Systems offers a suite of solutions, including agile supply chain planning software, that lets you plan with confidence. The system uses your data, and is built for manufacturing applications like food and beverage and automotive, among many others.

With demand and supply planning software from Plex, you can improve on-time delivery, reduce inventory levels while meeting demand, and increase margins and profitability with a fully visible and end-to-end solution.

Learn more about agile supply chain planning and successful implementation today!

About the Author

Plex DemandCaster Supply Chain Planning

Since joining forces with Plex, by Rockwell Automation, in 2016, we’ve harnessed the power of its Smart Manufacturing Platform and industry knowledge to offer a digitized supply chain planning product. It seamlessly unites your business from the plant floor to the executive suite. To learn more about how we are bringing the Connected Enterprise to life across industrial enterprises, visit

Plex DemandCaster