Supply Chain Technology Debt – What is it?

Technology debt in supply chain functions can negatively impact the customer experience and require a structured analysis to identify opportunities for improvement.

Mar 20 · 1 min read
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Supply chain management is a multifaceted function that involves multiple teams, partners, processes, and systems. Critical systems in supply chain management include network planning, demand and supply planning, production and inventory management, distribution, order management, warehouse operations, demand fulfillment operations, and transportation. Mergers and acquisitions can further complicate the landscape by bringing together systems and technologies of varying maturity levels. To ensure the seamless physical flow of products with optimal quality, timeliness, and cost, several systemic attributes such as real-time capabilities, a single source of truth, collaboration capabilities, and managing data latencies and discrepancies are crucial.

However, technology debt across the supply chain functions can have a detrimental effect on the customer experience. Resolving these problems can be challenging due to the complexity and cost involved. Nevertheless, performing a structured analysis of the Plan-Source-Make-Deliver-Return processes and their performance can identify and prioritize opportunities that can deliver significant benefits quickly, including the potential to self-fund complex technology initiatives. The following are typical symptoms that may manifest due to technology debt in the supply chain.

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