Manipulating critical path in ERP & PLM, and the underlying secret.

We've always done it this way

In the apparel manufacturing industry, financial and personnel resources are strained to almost cripple the decision making process. When IT purchases are finally approved, there is a resounding demand from upper management for time savings and increased efficiency, yet our studies far too often indicate a deep, dark secret.

A major Canadian retailer implements a local PLM with the understanding that, in conjunction with their upgraded ERP, they will finally that have that end-to-end transparency, managing the entire product life cycle. The reality? A time sucking product development tool, and a secret hidden in their top drawer.

One of Canada’s foremost brands updates their ERP, and at great expense, adds the critical path module to increase efficiency. The end result? The complex application is counter-intuitive for their team, and results in their secret solution.

A global brand completes the purchase of one of Canada’s well known brands and updates their ERP to the world’s most popular software. Yet the CIO still needs to ask head office how they can manage critical path, and the team resorts to their secret common thread in all of these examples.

The deep dark secret? It’s the tool that been used for almost half a century, the simple spreadsheet. Despite all the technological advancements, development and production departments resort to “it’s always been done this way”

These are just a few examples that I have experienced of late. Full disclosure, these are all local companies, and their story fits our belief that there has to be a better way to manage global workflow.

I welcome your feedback because I know there are success stories. Many of you reading this have already had conversations with me, and corporate culture prevents the leap of faith, but with success stories like Slack and SmartSheet, remember that the future is closer than you think.