Integral Logistics Management — Operations Management and Supply Chain Management Within and Across Companies

Course 9 – ERP Software and SCM Software

Intended learning outcomes: Describe software used for logistics purposes. Explain contents of logistics software packages. Disclose factors for successful implementation of logistics software.

In the world of systems at operational level, a system for planning & control is known as an information system because it contains information in a structured form concerning future, current, and past events associated with the provision of goods.

One entrepreneurial objective of logistics, operations, and supply chain management is to ensure short lead times (see Section 1.3.1). In doing so, a partial objective is to ensure short lead times in the data and control flow. Small companies can effectively and economically practice information logistics without having to resort to information technology (IT). Today, however, in companies above a certain size, the use of a computer is nearly self-evident. The information system is then called IT-supported.

Chapter 20 covers basics of IT-supported information systems. Here is an important insight:

An information system cannot be IT-supported unless all the information to be contained in the system is available in a clear and quantifiable form, that is, unless (1) the system elements or objects can be represented on the hard­ware, and (2) the information flow can be expressed by software algorithms that handle the objects, i.e., the information flow is “programmable”.

The subject of this chapter is the specific IT-support of information logistics of systems at operational level for planning & control.

PPC software, ERP software, and SCM software (or APS software) are terms frequently used to describe software for IT-support of information logistics in the area of logistics, operations, and supply chain management.

In practice, people (whether intentionally or unintentionally) often draw no distinction between the actual planning & control system and the software for the IT-support of this task. In recent years, this has led to unnecessary misunderstandings, and even to arguments and decisions based on prejudice. This chapter focuses on the main possibilities and limitations of the IT-support of tasks and processes associated with planning & control. We shall first consider the historical development of corresponding soft­ware and the extent to which it is used at present. This will be followed by a discussion of this kind of software and an attempt at classification. The chapter ends with some important notes concerning the implementation of this kind of software.

Course 9: Sections and their intended learning outcomes