SMEs reveal supply chain investment intentions

Small businesses in the UK are planning significant investment into supply chain software in the year ahead, new research has found.


Software Advice discovered that many smaller firms with revenues of less than £31 million ($50m) are looking to invest nearly £20,000 on average into such technology.


Many see commercial supply chain management as a key part of their growth plans, while larger firms were planning even larger levels of investment – of more than £100,000 on average.


While these larger firms can afford to invest such sums, some of the smaller firms should think before they part ways with their finances.


Those who operate on fine margins may place themselves under unnecessary strain as a result of investing heavily in new technology, so the consequences and outcomes need to be considered.


One fifth of large firms use supply chain management software while just 6% of SMEs do – showing that it is not a tool for everyone.


However, it can help to strengthen supply chains, increase transparency and visibility, and make data management a much simpler process if implemented in the right way.


In nearly a third of instances, larger firms said the software could help strengthen the integration process, while 16% of SMEs felt this to be the case.


This variation is likely due to the greater reach and levels of finance that are available to bigger businesses, as they operate across wider geographical areas.


Automating systems can also help to boost efficiency and productivity, which is why many smaller firms may consider implementing software.


In instances where firms are keen to expand with technology but are not in a strong financial position to do so, business restructuring could help to free up funds.


Such an approach may also identify areas of unnecessary spending, providing money that can be used to focus on sales, marketing, or other influential parts of the business.


By Phil Smith


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