Managing Automation - March 2008 - (Page 41)
[MARCH 2008] Transformation Integration TechWatch Industries [ INDUSTRIES ] The PERFECT ORDER Saddled with a mishmash of systems, many manufacturers see perfect order performance as an impossible dream. New order management and integration tools, however, can help bring improvements. BY MARTY WEIL QUESTfor the he perfect order is more than a quixotic, impractical concept. The ability to deliver the right product, in the right quantity and configuration, and with the right documentation — all at the right cost — is becoming essential to survival as market forces make it increasingly important for manufacturers to retain customers and increase revenues. Despite these business imperatives, many manufacturers still often fail to execute orders perfectly. That’s hardly surprising. According to Ray Wang, principal analyst at Forrester Research, there are 10 things manufacturers must get right in order to consistently deliver perfect orders (see chart, p. 43). “For manufacturers to do all 10 things right, they must master order processing, be able to adapt in mid-flight, and have the flexibility to move or re-route a source based on conditions,” Wang says. Many manufacturers struggle to achieve such adaptability and flexibility because they are saddled with system inflexibility and legacy systems integration challenges. Fortunately, however, a new wave of order management software is appearing that can help manufacturers overcome legacy system problems while improving order process visibility and enhancing supply chain agility. These tools can help manufacturers deal with increasingly complex order fulfillment processes while allowing them to effectively manage the bundling of post-sales services with manufactured products, experts say. One of the obstacles standing in the way of achieving the perfect order is the large number of legacy ERP systems that burden manufacturers. According to Rob Bois, research director at AMR Research, manufacturers today juggle an average of 5.2 legacy order management systems. “Multiple systems mean there is a limitation in terms of managing global order visibility and managing order servicing across companies and divisions,” says Ken Ramoutar, global product line director at Sterling Commerce. “Today, companies are trying to move from having multiple, loosely integrated order management systems to a system that provides a more unified view of their global order management.” Forrester’s research supports Ramoutar’s firsthand observations. According to a 2007 Forrester study, enterprises often cobble together fragmented ERP, CRM, and SCM systems without ever considering the end-to-end order flow. Yet, the business processes of a perfect order must seam- 41 March 2008 ma Photo: Fabian Santana
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Managing Automation - March 2008
Managing Automation - March 2008
Mitsubishi, IBM, and ILS Team Up to Make Integration Easy for Automakers
Former Agile Exec Takes the Reins at Arena Solutions
The Next Phase for 2006’s PM Award Winner
Integration Firm Boomi Redesigns for On-Demand
Ex-Wonderware Chief Takes Helm at Apprion
Cover Story: A Rare Breed
Special Report: Where are Control Architectures Heading?
Transformation: Back to Reality
Integration: Getting Standards Under One Roof
Industries: The Quest for the Perfect Order
Managing Automation - March 2008
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