OSCM (Operations and Supply Chain Management) encompasses the areas of operations management (OM) and supply chain management (SCM). While OM accounts for the design, function, and improvement of processes, SCM refers to overseeing the flow of knowledge, products, and services across all involved parties, including enterprises and customers (Russel & Taylor, 2019). Consequently, a combination of such intricate procedures requires support from information technologies to simultaneously and efficiently handle various aspects of a business. The purpose of the paper is to analyze the capabilities and limitations of SAP SCM, Luminate Control Tower, and Nexus software packages (SPs) to determine distinct means of organizing OSCM that corporations can employ.
One of the most widely used SPs that addresses the goals of OSCM is SAP SCM. While the SP concentrates on supply chain management, it also provides solutions for organizational management. SAP SCM software incorporates diverse customer-centric products (“SAP,” n.d.). The SP helps companies design, plan, manufacture, deliver, and operate processes (“SAP,” n.d.). For instance, OSCM assesses the matters of connecting those involved in the supply chain while identifying ways to improve procedures (Russel & Taylor, 2019). Accordingly, SAP SCM is capable of connecting systems, people, and processes alongside improving asset performance and making market-driven projects (“SAP,” n.d.). In addition, the SP can assist enterprises in reaching sustainability by manufacturing with minimal waste and reducing the carbon impact of the delivery process (“SAP,” n.d.). Moreover, SAP SCM is created by a German software company, SAP, which has a long history of providing solutions for any business across the globe (Russel & Taylor, 2019). The capabilities of SAP SCM vary but seem to meet the needs of OSCM and are delivered by a world-renowned developing corporation.
SAP SCM has minor limitations that derive from the SP’s advantages. First, while SAP SCM offers many solutions, SAP does not specify the costs of the products included in the package (“SAP,” n.d.). While the provider’s decision not to disclose its prices is a nominal restriction, it may prolong the process of accessing the SP. Second, as SAP appears to offer sophisticated solutions, many companies may not be able to afford SAP SCM. For example, the developer uses artificial intelligence (AI), which, while being practical, must have increased the expenses of the SP and is likely to require people to know how to work with AI (“SAP,” n.d.). Therefore, although SAP SCM can enhance an organization’s performance, the obstacles in acquiring the SP revolve around its costs and the necessity of training or hiring employees who understand AI-based technologies.
Luminate Control Tower
The next SP suitable for both OM and SCM is Luminate Control Tower (LCT). Created by Blue Yonder, which is formerly known as JDA, LCT allows enterprises to oversee their procedures and manage disruptions (“Control tower,” n.d.). For instance, OM in supply chains is concerned with sharing information to make better operational decisions (Kumar et al., 2018). Accordingly, LCT can facilitate flexible real-time decision-making that involves internal and external stakeholders (“Control tower,” n.d.). Moreover, SCM focuses on the input and output sides of transformation processes, such as turning material into products (Russel & Taylor, 2019). Consequently, LCT helps companies connect functions and anticipate actions to receive specific results (“Control tower,” n.d.). LCT can visualize the flow of goods, increase operational efficiency, and generate simulations for certain situations (“Control tower,” n.d.). One of Blue Yonder’s substantial benefits is that the vendor allows other companies to have a 30-day free access LCT that can be customized for different industries, including manufacturing (“Control tower,” n.d.). Overall, LCT’s capabilities revolve around simplifying procedures, linking people, and making more reasonable determinations.
The limitations of LCT are similar to those of SAP SCM. Similar to the previously discussed provider, Blue Yonder does not disclose any prices, so the process of acquiring LCT depends on how promptly the firm responds to clients’ requests (“Control tower,” n.d.). Furthermore, upon discovering the costs, some enterprises may decide that the fees are too high, which is likely to be the case considering that LCT offers complex solutions. Finally, LCT utilizes AI alongside machine learning (ML), increasing the intricacy of understanding how the software works (“Control tower,” n.d.). Therefore, although LCT can be practical for a business, organizations must train employees and prepare financially before considering Blue Yonder’s product.
Another SP that can be used for OSCM is Nexus. Created by the corporation Infor, Nexus produces a network that connects supply chain partners (“Infor,” n.d.). Nexus addresses such activities of OM as organizing and scheduling work, planning production, and managing goods (Russel & Taylor, 2019). In particular, Nexus’s solutions assist in improving order delivery and service, optimizing forecasting, and leveraging inventory visibility (“Infor,” n.d.). The SP meets the needs of SCM by using near-real-time inventory tracking, generating predictive delivery projections, and facilitating collaboration (“Infor,” n.d.). Moreover, Nexus can identify issues and opportunities, suggest predictive insights and resolution paths, and improve working capital (“Infor,” n.d.). Notably, the SP’s provider claims that Nexus has more than 74000 firms on the network and is among the leaders, according to reports by Gartner and Nucleus Research (“Infor,” n.d.). Nexus seems capable of optimizing procedures and enhancing overall performance for those involved in a supply chain.
Like SAP SCM and LCT, Infor’s product appears to have minor limitations in required expenses and training. Nexus’s prices are not publicly revealed, which, as mentioned above, may increase the period of obtaining the SP (“Infor,” n.d.). Although Nexus does not seem too complicated, as the vendor does not mention utilizing such technologies as AI or ML that may increase the difficulty of comprehending the software, integrating the SP may take time. Consequently, restrictions in obtaining Nexus revolve around waiting before the provider shares more information about the purchasing fees and adjusting to operating the SP with other programs of a corporation.
In addition to the overhead discussion, it may be useful to compare the capabilities and limitations of the SPs based on reviews from users. While scholarly articles do not provide assessments of SAP SCM, LCT, and Nexus, one can refer to peer insights from Gartner, which is a source mentioned by Nexus’s creator (“Infor,” n.d.). For example, although companies highly rate the SP, SAP SCM is associated with difficulties finding trained professionals to work with unclear documentation (“Competitors and alternatives,” n.d.). In contrast, LCT and Nexus are regarded rather positively in executing their functions, but the former has a tedious integration model, and the latter requires practice to understand data (“Competitors and alternatives,” n.d.). Overall, users’ judgments appear to confirm the earlier conclusions about the difficulties in utilizing the SPs.
To summarize, corporations can employ SAP SCM, Luminate Control Tower, and Nexus, but selecting a specific SP depends on an organization’s funds and staff. The SPs can be challenging to use, especially for firms with undertrained personnel, but can enhance the processes of a supply chain. Overall, I was impressed with the variety of solutions each software can present. However, despite addressing the needs of OSCM, it seems that the SPs focus on SCM more than they do on OM. Therefore, I recommend that software vendors pay more attention to OSCM and develop comprehendible guidelines for SPs. Finally, academic journals should research OSCM SPs to provide more credible information on the products and their effects on businesses and customers.
Competitors and alternatives to luminate control tower. (n.d.). Gartner. Web.
Control tower. (n.d.). Blue Yonder. Web.
Infor nexus. (n.d.). Infor. Web.
Kumar, S., Mookerjee, V., & Shubham, A. (2018). Research in operations management and information systems interface. Production and Operations Management, 27(11), 1893-1905. Web.
Russel, R. S., & Taylor, B. W. (2019). Operations and supply chain management (10th ed.). Wiley & Sons.
SAP supply chain management (SAP SCM) software. (n.d.). SAP. Web.