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ERP Growing Pains: Strategic Sourcing


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ERP systems are absolutely critical for business process consistency, materials management, and financial coordination.As the data created and stored in ERP systems becomes more valuable, companies are expanding the range of activities they attempt to complete through their ERP, but not without hitting obstacles. This is particularly true for mid-market companies; ERP systemmay represent the breadth of functionality they need, but don’t always offer the depth and usability they want.

This hasearned ERP systems a classic, ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ reputation. For instance, Oracle and SAP have added supply chain functionality to their ERP systems, but many companies find them hard to use, limiting adoption and ROI.While theyare often criticized for not being great at a range ofthings that were never part of their original value proposition, there is no reason for companies to abandon their current systems/investments. A practical alternative is to find complimentary solutions that address their functionality requirements and alsopartner with their in-place ERPs.

Supplier discovery and strategic sourcing provide a perfect use case for adding supplemental functionality when supply chain personnel need capabilities beyond their ERP system capabilities. With all their data about spend, suppliers, specifications, and inventory, you would think discovery and sourcing were a natural extension of an ERP system, but it rarely works that way in practiceThe following three areasillustrate where ERP’s lack of capability can be addressed with the addition of made-for-purpose sourcing solutions and supplier networks.

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