Voice of Supplier
‘Voice of Customer’ is a very important aspect of increasing customer satisfaction index. Similarly, ‘Voice of Supplier’ is also an important aspect to optimize various parameters in the supply chain. Most of the organizations are dependent, though the level varies, on their suppliers to produce quality products/services at lower cost. I would say, in some domains like OEM, Medical device, Retail, the dependency is on n-tier suppliers too.
I have already mentioned in one of my previous post how supply chain collaboration can help your organization. The more you collaborate with your suppliers, the better procurement KPIs you have. Organization can consider supplier’s feedback to improvise product design, process improvement, cost reduction, quality improvement etc. And all these will lead to better customer satisfaction and revenue.
Suppliers may enlighten a totally different aspect as they are also doing business with other customers. Your suppliers may possess a wealth of knowledge which can be leveraged in an organized manner. It doesn’t matter how big/small is your supplier, important is what extent do you collaborate with your supplier to capture their input.
There are various ways to capture the ‘voice of supplier’ for your organization e.g Events, Awards, surveys online/offline, feedback during shipment etc. The feedback should be captured regularly, quarterly/annually so that proper business benefits can be derived from these inputs.
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Generally both are part of SAP’s SCM box but can be implemented independently.
APO is used for advanced planning of demand(generally finished goods, though other material planning is quite possible), supply (various manufacturing plants to various DCs, Inter DCs, Various DCs to customer location, plants to customer locations etc), detailed production planning and scheduling, ATP checking at whole enterprise level , Truck load planning etc. APO is generally used for big enterprises having multiple plants, multiple DCs, a number of suppliers and customers etc.
You can view APO as a planning tool(demand forecast to production and some level of distribution) whereas SNC is a both planning(small extent) & execution tool mainly used for collaboration perspective (with external business partners such as Suppliers <-> Plants <-> customers and Plants<->external manufacturers).
Both tools have different objectives, they work very differently and both are required for enterprises to increase their KPIs in supply chain.
Bad User experience
Lot’s of innovative projects get failed due to bad user experience. Be it big projects like ERP within an enterprise or a small website of a small shop. It’s the people who are going to use/view. If the end product, though having lot’s of capability, is not easy to use then sure the product is going to see the phase-out phase sooner.
New functionalities may increase the capability of the tool/portal but equally important is the user adoption. I’ll share one of my experience, out of many such instances.
There is a new news aggregator tool in market known as Feedpost. When I came across this, I was excited as it’s giving me options to quickly go through many magazines, current news in different topics, including business and economics. But when I signed up it sent invitation emails to all my mail contacts, automatically without asking me anything!! I was taken aback when some of my contacts complained about it. Even it sent reminders to my contacts too!! It was such a bad experience I couldn’t dare to use this tool. Recently I have sent one email to the founder of the tool explaining the issue. I hope they’ll fix this issue soon and no other new user get’s impacted in future!
There is another classic example – evolution of Windows and Macintosh compared to not so easy to use Unix/Linux.