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ERP platforms-Lessons from the past
Hurricane Katrina taught organizations many supply chain lessons concerning preparedness and the need for coordination within country, when disaster strikes. Hurricane Katrina did not teach how to handle a disaster that immediately shuts down global commerce at all levels: city, country, factory, and supply chain. As consumers we have all felt the impact of broken supply chains beyond supply and demand mechanisms. Think about toilet tissue, hand sanitizer, and some foodstuffs, particularly meat and poultry. Some if it is specifically the volume of demand, but other aspects are repurposing supply, for example, foods destined for restaurants now having to be repackaged for grocery store consumables. As a result, either because they are caught, or because they want to get out in front, many enterprises have been scrambling to re-think their supply chains. It begs the question, can modernized ERP systems meet the need and provide the flexibility and agility to adapt to supply chain changes more quickly?
For the main part most organizations continue to modernize their ERP platforms. These initiatives are often part of a larger Digital Transformation and the need for that transformation amplifies amid the current circumstances. The next generation ERP platforms, SAP S/4HANA for example, bring capabilities that offer companies more transparency and flexibility with the core systems that run their businesses. This flexibility can help improve adoption of new markets and operating models. It can also positively impact an organization’s ability to transition to the new normal.
In a previous article, nine steps were identified to address Immediate Crisis Management and a bridge to the new normal. The opportunity is there to re-think current operational processes, partnerships and suppliers in the global supply chain and readdress strategy to incorporate learnings into their longer-term ERP systems strategy and capabilities. For example, many companies will reconsider the global network and focus on regionalization for their operations in order to sustain operations at a higher level. More flexible and transparent ERP systems will support these strategies.