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Weakest Links

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Start with the easy wins before tackling more advanced supply chain initiatives NO-BRAINERS Procure office supplies electronically.

Purchase production goods on a portal or exchange.

Share engineering documents and other types of files over the Web.

Allow suppliers to track orders on an extranet (a private Web site accessible to business partners).

HEAVY LIFTING

Migrate electronic data interchange (EDI) transactions to the Web. Many companies have been using EDI since the 1980s to automate purchasing of production materials. Third-party value-added network (VAN) providers charge a premium to connect organisations with different equipment. Using the Web for EDI can slash costs.

Use product data management (PDM) software to manage product development data from design through manufacturing and maintenance.

Engage in collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment (CPFR), which involves sharing forecasts among suppliers to enable automatic product replenishment.

Take part in collaborative product design (CPD), the joint development of new products by supply chain members.

Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.

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