Transformation of distribution networks is usually driven by business imperatives. So before a company embarks on what can be a very expensive and time consuming affair, some preliminary questions need to answered. One is, what happens if the project isn't launched? "If customers can't clearly say why there needs to be a project, then it's probably not a distribution transformation project," Dunn says. "If it's not keeping them from growing or contributing significant value to the business, then it's probably not a business imperative."
Also, Dunn says, if customers focus more on installation than on the realization of needed results, then the initiative may not rise to the serious level of a transformation project.
There are three keys to ensuring that a major project like this is successful, according to Dunn. First, there has to be an understanding of the business case. The benefit has to be clearly stated and understood by everyone involved. Dun says he has seen clients lose a lot of money and time on efforts that were poorly conceived.
Second, stakeholder alignment means working not just with upper management and the logistics / transportation organization but with departments not typically thought of as core drivers of transportation, such as finance, customer service and legal. Projects may very well not move forward without that kind of broader alignment with interested parties.
Lastly, choosing the right partner means working with someone who is accountable for delivering results. "They have to support and enable this type of transformation," says Dunn. It's not enough for partners to deliver systems, technology and equipment. They have to be accountable for the success of the initiative.
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Keywords: Transportation & Distribution, Logistics, Transportation Management, Technology, Business Strategy Alignment, Supply Chain Analysis & Consulting, Global Supply Chain Management, Project Management, Distribution Strategies
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