There is a common understanding that the business system needs of SMBs are a good deal simpler than those of large enterprises. The reality is that their operations and needs are often as complex as their larger brethren. This complexity exists on many dimensions. Here are two, for example:
Legislators may exempt truly tiny businesses, but in general SMBs are subject to many of the same arduous and complex regulations, tax codes, labor laws, health safety and environmental requirements, and on and on, as larger enterprises. This includes local, state, national, and international variations.
Regardless of their size, suppliers to large OEMs and retailers must meet the requirements spelled out in painstaking detail in each of their customer's vendor compliance manuals, which typically run to many hundreds of pages. This includes things like detailed and precise specs on labeling, routing guides, EDI and IT integration, packaging, documentation, and much more. Furthermore, the penalties for non-compliance are often onerous (it is not uncommon for a supplier to pay more than 5 percent of their revenue in deductions for non-compliance). Often a supplier may have dozens of different large customers, necessitating the ability to do per-customer customization of many different processes and systems … a truly daunting endeavor.
Keywords: supply chain management, supply chain IT, supply chain solutions, EDI, ERP, BI