World Class Supply Chain

WorldClassSupplyChain.com

More IT will not solve your core Business or IT Problems

We offer solutions - business card

We offer solutions – business card

Critical Thinking – “purposeful, self-regulatory judgment which results in interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and inference, as well as explanation of the evidential, conceptual, methodological, or contextual considerations upon which that judgment is based”         

-Wikipedia

  • Make your robot vacuum clean your floor… or only one specific spot on the floor
  • Help you to pair your meal with the right wine
  • Turn the heat up a bit
  • Keep track of your To Do list
  • Teach you a new language

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is believing new technology can solve its problems. Another mistake is under-utilizing a current ERP system because of a lack of understanding. Driving these types of mistakes is a lack of critical thinking.

Technology will not solve flaws in your Business Processes. Using advanced planning heuristics for MRP, being able to slice and dice your data a million ways or going to the cloud will not prevent basic business flaws.  Are your people following standard procedures?  Are priorities aligned and communicated from the board room down to the shop floor?  Do your KPI’s make sense?  Do you have Master Data governance in place?  Why add another layer of IT complexity on top of out-of-date business strategy and lack of execution?

Underutilizing a current ERP system. How are you using your current ERP system?  SAP has some sophisticated standard tools that companies either didn’t get trained on, never bothered to explore, or an unwillingness to explore the possibilities.  Do you know there are 300 standard lists and reports in the SAP supply chain function?  Have you used the hundreds of graphs to view trends or highlight supply chain problems?  Do you realize that MDO4 is a real time SAP Supply Chain monitoring tool that can easily highlight root causes caused by other departments?  Do you know you can create your Finance budget using standard Long Term Planning transactions?  I’m amazed at the lack of knowledge some companies have about basic SAP functions.

Why is critical thinking so important now? I used critical thinking to highlight the correlation between weak business processes, underutilized ERP systems and critical thinking itself.  As Digital Transformation increases and eliminates routine and repeating functions while providing very sophisticated tools, critical thinking becomes essential.  Critical thinking doesn’t come from text books. Critical thinking doesn’t come from your new PhD. hire.  Critical thinking comes from experience. There are some big words in the quote I used on critical thinking.  Let me try to simplify things.

Critical thinking is about pattern recognition.  With experience you can evaluate patterns with a broader perspective and solve them with more tools at your disposal.  With more experience you can recognize certain patterns more often.  With that ability, you now lose the fear of making brave decisions.  I can now address my core business problems before adding another layer of Information Technology.  So recognize your best critical thinkers in the company… And don’t let them go!

As Digital Transformation and products like Google Home become more of a reality in your life, don’t be afraid to learn, ask questions, or get trained. Critical thinking can be like riding a bike; the more you do it, the easier it gets.

So…will more complex IT tools really solve your problems?

As well as being an IT and Supply Chain consultant Terry Vermeylen is the founder of Mylifechanges.com  and Worldclasssupplychain.com and President of Terry Vermeylen Enterprises Inc.

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