– Supply Chain Insight –

Fishbone Friday: Failed System Implementation

Fishbone Friday header - failed system implementation

failed system implementation

Welcome supply chain leaders, to the sixth edition of Fishbone Friday!

If you missed last week’s edition where we discussed possible root causes for a new DC activation gone wrong, you can find it here.

Let’s get into the topic of the week: a failed system implementation. Now, we did this edition of Fishbone Friday a little differently. This time around, we asked our followers on LinkedIn to choose a topic for us to explore. We gave them the following options:

  1. High (or Increasing) OT%
  2. Failed System Implementation
  3. Low labor productivity

While all three options garnered a fair amount of votes, one stood out from the pack. With 45% of the popular vote, a failed system implementation was the clear winner. All three topics are clearly critical for any supply chain leader, but it wasn’t a big surprise. Perhaps aside from a failed DC activation (our previous Fishbone Friday topic) a failed system implementation is something no warehousing executive – or project manager – wants to be responsible for. It can cost millions of dollars in wasted capex, drain internal resources and can set an operation or network back years when it comes to strategy execution.

As we mentioned in the previous edition, when you’re dealing with projects where failure is not an option, we would recommend using this root-cause analysis as a preventative measure.

Keep in mind, many system implementations can be marked for failure as soon as the purchasing decision is made. Choosing the right system, technology and partner is critical to the eventual success of the project as is understanding the motivations behind the purchase in the first place.

It’s also important to note that failure comes in many forms. Not all forms of failure cause a full stop to the implementation project. In fact, due to the magnitude and importance of many of these projects, it’s actually a rare occurrence. Under our definition, system implementation failure also encompasses situations where a system is implemented – perhaps even without issue – but is either not consistently used and/or does not produce the expected benefits.

So, without further ado, here are some possible root-causes for a failed system implementation.

As always, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter – on the right of your screen for desktop and on the bottom if you’re viewing from a mobile device – to receive your own fishbone brainstorming template, along with some additional helpful resources.

Also, don’t forget to hop back to LinkedIn and make sure you’re following Syncontext Supply Chain to keep receiving actionable content just like this.

Is a fulfillment optimization system right for you? Find out here


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