Focus Softnet’s Ali Hyder discusses supply chain management
The group CEO highlights the challenges of SCM and his company’s efforts in advancing the discipline.
With a network of 27 offices across the globe and over 25 years of experience, Focus Softnet is an IT technology provider that offers a wide-range of offerings for the business environment including its flagship ERP.
Active across 20 countries, the company has to date worked with over 50,000 companies to streamline business operations and improve efficiencies.
Sharing insights on the SCM market, Ali Hyder, Group CEO, Focus Softnet, highlights his company's view and approach to tackling supply chain management.
Can you elaborate on Focus' offerings geared specifically for supply chain management?
Our ERP solutions such as Focus 8, Focus i and Focus RT feature a compute suite of modules for Supply Chain Management (SCM). With a flexible and comprehensive workflow management system as part of their ERP platform, users can define the complete SCM flow for multiple departments and locations for various types of products.
Our SCM solution is user-friendly and helps organizations with their business and process automation, transparency and integration of transactions, reporting sets among different divisions on a single platform, faster transaction turnaround times and operational and process efficiency. The solution allows multi-user access to all who require to use the system across multiple locations. Focus SCM also offers multiple levels of security and password protection and simple processes to secure and backup data across multiple locations.
The flexibility of the SCM allows users access to documents right from the sales enquiry to the purchase requisition to material receipt & delivery and tracks the complete flow from the start to the end. The workflow is also capable of passing the details from the procurement department to the sales department to the logistics with robust security to ensure users get to see data relevant to their operations.
What would you highlight as being the challenges faced with SCM solutions? How is your company addressing these issues?
Two of the most critical challenges that every organization faces while managing SCM solutions is the shortest lead time and user of best in technology.
The key to SCM function is identifying procurement requirements to planning and controlling the deliveries just-in-time. Most organizations either have a haphazard planning system/process in place or the frequent changes in the demand puts the planning process in a disarray as a result the best of planning management fails. As the Middle East region depends largely on imports, it becomes challenging to control this and hence many organizations have their procurement in disorder.
Implementing latest technology to get the best in SCM is another challenge. Today's technology has changed the way traditional SCM used to work. The connectivity and electronic order processing has ensured efficiency from the SCM for companies that have adapted to it. The advent of mobile-based SCM modules has made it much easier for the user to manage and control the order processing.
How has your company improved its processes over the last few years?
Gathering customers feed-back, our R&D team has been constantly enhancing our SCM solutions with new features. We now have a complete electronics alert and mobile entry system that makes the order processing simple yet very effective.
What impact has big data had on supply chain management? What lessons can be learned from utilising data analytics?
Most of the customers we serve don't have big data requirements and hence we have not touched upon this aspect yet.
How has Focus Softnet incorporated automation and systems integration into its SCM suite? What challenges has this presented?
Focus Softnet's ERP has built-in BarCode/RFID and approval/alert systems across the entire SCM suite making it very user friendly and effective. Moreover, the mobile-based order and inventory check has made it far more effective.
Implementing the advance technology is always a challenge as change at every level is usually resisted. With its own pool of implementation resources, Focus Softnet has been successful in implementing advance technology to most of its customer base.
How do you see SCM evolving over the next few years?
The SCM system is going to get more mobile-friendly and orders are going to be sent as alerts on apps used at both end of the spectrum (customers and vendors). Hence, serving customers would become very easy and transparent end-to-end.