Outsourcing 3.0

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Technology Without Purpose is Like a Missile Without a Guidance System

technology

Technology Without Purpose is Like a Missile Without a Guidance System

Nobody sets out thinking, I have no purpose for bringing this technology into our company, but I will do this anyway (well a few rare twisted souls might do it – totally driven by a side deal that meets their self-interest).

The Purpose Is Paramount Supply Chain

Yet, post-hoc analysis reveals so many IT projects fail due to a variety a reason that one has to ask – what happened to the original purpose. Where did not lose track of that?
I have written in detail earlier about why IT projects fail. For example in my book THE 5-STAR BUSINESS NETWORK, I wrote the following:

Many large scale information technology deployments derail!

Is Supply Chain The Most Trending Thing Now?

Data, anecdotes and case histories abound on the misapplication of information technologies for supply networks. Not too many years ago, a very large corporation operating worldwide, made news with the downgrading of their earnings expectations due to supply chain system’s implementation setbacks. The expectation was that the new system would reduce the new production cycle from 1 month to 1 week. Furthermore, it would better match the demand and supply of its products to place the correct products in the right locations and quantities, all at the right time – a very lofty goal. The company spent an enormous amount of money, exceeding US $400 million in order to achieve its aim. However, the software system ‘never worked right’. It caused the factories to crack out too many unpopular products and not enough of the trendier ones in high demand. While making the earning downgrade, the CEO asked the rhetorical question, ‘is this what we get for $400 million?’

The Hidden Agenda Of Supply Chain Industry.n

The market analysts were not surprised. One respected market analyst [AMR] commented, ‘ fiascos like this occur all the time but are usually kept quiet unless they seriously hurt the bottom line.’ Another respected market analyst commented that while the CEO made it sound like it was a surprise for him, if he did not have checkpoints for the projects, he does not have control over his company. A third analyst commented that companies are confused by escalating market hype and too often underestimate the complexity and risks. Another [Forrester Research] commented ‘when the software projects go bad companies are more likely going to scurry up and cover it up because they fear that they are the only ones having trouble. But far from it; our conversation and research reveals this company was not unique or the only one having this kind of trouble‘.

How To Be Successful In The Supply Chain Industry.

Despite their lofty goals, many of the large information technology deployment projects derail. It takes time for the word to filter out because, in most cases, the executives involved in the process are far too embarrassed to talk about what happened. They do mutter among themselves; after several similar instances the mutterings become more vocal and a trend emerges where a number of people start talking about the shortcomings of the system itself or the implementation process or of the time taken for implementation. Because the cost of this failure is so high – greater than $400 Million in the above case – it is instructive to understand the real root causes of this failure. I am not looking to apportion the fault or apportion the blame in this chapter.

30 years of accumulated wisdom is now available

However, it will be a fallacy not to learn from all the accumulated wisdom of the past. After all, those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat the same mistakes again and again. This will enable us to understand the steps we can take from the very beginning to increase your probability of success. This will also allow you to confidently move forward with Business Network Information Technology system selection, integration and use in order to achieve the results that you set out to achieve.

The supply networks information technology projects have become bigger and bigger over the last 15 years. It is quite customary now to start with an expectation of spending around $ 50 million but end up spending in excess of $200 million on systems renewal projects.

BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION

Rough estimates indicate that, even today, about one third of these projects are cancelled without delivering any benefits, after spending more than $100 million. Another third of the projects are not cancelled, but fail to deliver significant parts of what they set out to achieve. Only one third of the projects achieve most of their strategic goals, but many still incur several budget upgrades and time overruns.

Why is this pattern of failure repeated over and over again?

In general, the original purpose is lost somewhere between the scope creep #2 and #3, and thereafter technology becomes an end in itself, and not a means to achieve a business outcome. There is an admirable drive to digitization underway – but does it suit the purpose of all businesses in all locations?

You can find comments on Technology Without Purpose is Like a Missile Without a Guidance System on LinkedIn.

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THE HIGHEST FORM OF OUTSOURCING

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About the Principal Author of Outsourcing 3.0 - Vivek Sood

Vivek Sood - Author Outsourcing 3.0

Today, Vivek and his partners are among 20-30 people on Earth who have this deep understanding of supply chain systems, practices and tools. CEOs, COOs, executives and Boards call them in the most challenging situations once they know the full potential of supply chain based transformations. Following are key milestones in Vivek’s journey:Started in 1983 as a merchant navy cadet at 18 years age, and worked his way to qualify as a Captain – qualified to take command of any merchant ship, worldwide.

  • Earned a top tier MBA from UNSW at the top of his class.
  • Joined highly regarded strategy consulting firm Booz Allen & Hamilton, consulting to the CEOs, Boards and senior management of global corporations within Australia.
  • To learn and specialise in the supply chain – against all odds, sought out the co-inventor of the supply chain in Germany and convinced him to be a partner in his firm, GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN GROUP, launched in January 2000.
  • More than 500 successful blue-chip projects with high impact business transformations in large corporations using the full power of SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT.
  • 4 Seminal and path-breaking business books IN SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT – these are available in bookstores and universities, and libraries worldwide.

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