Supply Chains Have to Walk Before They Run

Data processing, 1959. Image by James Vaughan, CC license If you search “technologies for supply chain evolution” you will get 17.8 million results, many of which will mention IoT, robots, driverless vehicles, mobile technology, predictive analytics, network optimization software, and 3-D printing. The presumption is that industry will want these solutions because of the coming […]


A Lean ERP is a Skinny ERP

Ad for Infor ERP at O’Hare Airport, image by Steve Brodner, CC license If you search for “lean ERP,” most of what you’ll read is about whether or not the traditional ERP system supports “Lean Management” concepts. The argument is that Lean Management is based on the pull of demand and Just-in-Time principles whereas traditional […]


What’s Behind the Frosty Relationships Between Business and IT?

Image by Andrew Becraft, CC license. Business people complain their IT team is understaffed, uncooperative, slow, and deploys lousy systems. IT claims business people are disorganized, unwilling to learn, bossy and never available. Such is the just-under-the-surface functional rivalry that regularly plays out every day in many organizations, a tiff that delays and sometimes stops […]


Tedious Supply Chain Jobs Turn Away Good Talent

Processing orders in Chicago, 1937; image by gallimafry.blogspot.com, CC license In the most recent annual Deloitte supply chain study only 38% of executives felt they had the right skills in their organizations. Why? Theories range from supply chain not being cool for new grads, to the predominance of men in the function (scan the room […]


Can Order Processing be “Touchless”?

Image: Loaded container ship in the Houston Ship Channel, by Louis Vest, CC license There’s a debate going on in B2B commerce about “touchless” sales order processing. Touchless just means you don’t need a human to watch, review, check, or do anything else to an order when it’s received from the customer, like making sure […]

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Packaged Software 101

Maybe software should be packaged like this?  Photo: Tetra Pak Package Portfolio, by Tetra Pak, CC license A “packaged application” is software already built, coded, tested, used by other enterprises in your industry, and hopefully a solution that will meet most of your needs.  In general I recommend using packaged applications (why re-invent something?) But […]


Why Should I Care About Hyperscale Computing?

All your apps are in the cloud(s) now.  It’s OK.  Photo: Paul VanDerWerf, Potts Harbour, Hartswell, ME.  CC license.  Hyperscale computing (HC) may sound like something only NASA and Google need.  But any business doing any kind of commerce with web sites can potentially benefit, as can brick and mortar companies who are highly dependent […]

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Plant Maintenance Software 101

Image: Nash assembly line, 1951, by Alden Jewell, CC license Maintenance and maintenance parts are two other manufacturing sub-categories where the software market offers several competitive alternatives. This category is referred to as CMMS, or Computerized Maintenance Management Systems. These systems keep track of maintenance schedules for equipment, tell you when parts have to be […]

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Enterprise Information Management (EIM) 101

Photo: Ministry of Information, Singapore; William Cho The term “enterprise information management” seems to capture the whole world, right? But this term applies to the indexing, searching and compilation of information (not necessarily data) from all of the places in your enterprise where documents might reside. Gartner defines EIM as “an integrative discipline for structuring, […]


SaaS vs. Cloud Not Exactly Clear With Some Software Vendors

Photo by Meredith Cook at Breckenridge, CO on a “blue bird” day, a clear day following a fresh snowfall.  It’s unrelated to SaaS or Cloud (or is it?); just nice to look at. SaaS and cloud are starting to be used interchangeably (“we’re looking for a cloud solution”) but they really are not the same […]