Executive Briefings

Alltel Wireless Designs Its Own Supply Management Workflow Tool

Managing, tracking, prioritizing and reprioritizing the flow of work in supply management is crucial in a cutting-edge organization. That fact was clear to Scott Searls, senior vice president of the procurement and logistics group (PLG) at Alltel Wireless, who saw the need for a tracking tool that would help his organization better use its time and resources.
Over the years, Searls says his organization created spreadsheets and databases for workflow, but only one survived the test of time and became the foundation for its Workflow Management Tool. It was developed entirely by PLG employees, and without IT involvement.
Searls says before the Workflow Management Tool was designed, it was difficult for his organization and its internal customers to get the visibility they needed to assess the status of an order or see the flow of needed supplies. "Of course, every requester believes in their heart that what they need is the most important thing," Searls says. "What we found was that in many cases we would try to prioritize based on what we were hearing from customers. And, at the end of the day, we were not using our resources optimally."
All that changed when the workflow tool was designed because it quickly became the organization's "supply funnel where you can literally feel the buying pulse of Alltel," Searls notes.
Source: Inside Supply Management, http://www.ism.ws

Managing, tracking, prioritizing and reprioritizing the flow of work in supply management is crucial in a cutting-edge organization. That fact was clear to Scott Searls, senior vice president of the procurement and logistics group (PLG) at Alltel Wireless, who saw the need for a tracking tool that would help his organization better use its time and resources.
Over the years, Searls says his organization created spreadsheets and databases for workflow, but only one survived the test of time and became the foundation for its Workflow Management Tool. It was developed entirely by PLG employees, and without IT involvement.
Searls says before the Workflow Management Tool was designed, it was difficult for his organization and its internal customers to get the visibility they needed to assess the status of an order or see the flow of needed supplies. "Of course, every requester believes in their heart that what they need is the most important thing," Searls says. "What we found was that in many cases we would try to prioritize based on what we were hearing from customers. And, at the end of the day, we were not using our resources optimally."
All that changed when the workflow tool was designed because it quickly became the organization's "supply funnel where you can literally feel the buying pulse of Alltel," Searls notes.
Source: Inside Supply Management, http://www.ism.ws