The latest survey carried out for Access by Redshift Research, which examines the challenges for Business Intelligence and Financial systems, found that 1 in 5 finance managers experience problems with: holding more stock than necessary; wastage and returns; lack of visibility of true costs; and lack of understanding of distribution costs.
“Any of these problems could arise during ‘normal trading’,” said Ian Roper, Divisional Director for Supply Chain Solutions, at Access Group. “A plausible solution is to link the various operational systems to a business intelligence system that can identify, discover and analyse business data like revenues, costs, products and incomes – at the level of the individual product or initiative as opposed to the aggregated analysis of ERP.”
However, according to the survey – called ‘ERP for the Finance Function 2014’ – 40% of the finance professionals said their firms relied almost exclusively on manual or spreadsheet methods to keep track of the business, so the integration potential of their functional systems is clearly compromised. 30% of managers complain of a lack of integration between internal systems; around a fifth complain of poor integration and communication with suppliers and with distribution partners.
These issues are explored in a new white paper published by Access, titled: ‘Mind the Gap – Connecting your Supply Chain’.
Roper commented: “Supply chains comprise many elements, which need their own specialist management systems. These need to report the ‘big picture’ but they need also to be constantly and frequently connecting to each other. A loosely connected supply chain will act like an old-fashioned loose-coupled freight train under the duress of any changes in its momentum.
“The right technology will give you a modern, connected supply chain, which – like a modern train – can apply and release the brakes, instantaneously and simultaneously along its length, on instruction from the driver or an external signalling and control system and the ‘intelligence’ on each vehicle can adjust the brake effort to suit the weight of the wagon, the conditions of the track, any wheel slip or slide or impediment to its momentum.”
Redshift Research carried out the surveys for Access, the Supply Chain Solutions vendor. ‘ERP for the Finance Function 2014’, conducted 200 interviews with Finance & Accounting professionals working in manufacturing, distribution and logistics businesses in the UK during May 2014. It follows recent Access research on Warehouse Management Systems, and Supply Chain Management. To receive a copy white paper, ‘Mind the Gap – Connecting your Supply Chain’ please contact: Natalie.Smith@theaccessgroup.com
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