Enterprise IT Investment: Fixing What's Broken

Forbes - Paul Martyn

Far too many CEOs have had their careers marked with the ERP asterisk. Questions concerning project budgets and whether the efforts were justified have become almost rhetorical. Despite how aggressively the C-Suite and ERP vendors worked together to control the narrative, outrageous cost overruns and epic failures shape the history.

What has been learned? Is it time again to scrap systems that actually work in favor of ones that may perform better? ERP systems have their place. They address the core system functions common to most businesses, and several do it quite well, but where a business needs to support a rapid pace of change, in venues of differentiation where a company is looking for a competitive edge, the ERP complex can be a “ball and chain” undermining the speed of business. Too often the tail ends up wagging the dog.

Rather than waiting for their core platform vendors to “deliver it all” or handing too much over to a single mega-consulting services firm, the visionaries of yore and the thought leaders of today share an “integration culture.”  While some might view it as a palliative mindset, those that have made the commitment have literally sewn the rewards. And with technology life cycles being what they are (i.e. endless and circular), unless a functional gap is identified or an entirely new business process is required, does a viable curative approach even exist?

Given the advent of cloud computing, these forward thinking companies are remarkably positioned to have their cake and eat it too. They can tap into the bells and whistles of modern, cloud-based solutions while remaining committed to their large on-premise ERP deployments. They can rollout more flexible, scalable cloud based applications to subsidiaries, acquired entities and satellite offices without confounding the data integration and confederation that happens back at the mothership.

“The cloud doesn’t need to be seen as a binary decision. It’s not a ‘yes or no’ or ‘allow or block’ world,” said Sanjay Beri CEO and founder, Netskope. “There are now tools and capabilities that allow IT to enable the cloud securely in any number of environments, specific to unique requirements, thanks to the ubiquitous nature of APIs.” So, with leading analyst firms spending most of 2016 effectively debunking cloud based security concerns, has the gold rush started?

While I agree with Mr. Beri and the analysts, I do so with a caveat --a fundamental beef I have with the philosophy of “rip and replace”-- which is why statements made by Matt Stewart, managing partner of system integrator RiseNow, caught my attention. RiseNow’s message is centered on extending the value of legacy ERP, not replacing it. The firm is not opposed to modern, value adding third party solutions. It’s just saying that IT leadership should sharpen its make vs. buy decision process and embrace hybrid environments as an opportunity. If assessed accurately, legacy problems can often be fixed and/or incremental improvements can be made with less disruption and more cost effectively by implementing a point solution addressing the specific problem areas.

Although RiseNow’s message applies across industry... More

Reducing the Cost-to-Serve –The benefits of an Integrated Logistics Platform

Healthcare Matters - Thomas Finn

The direct supply model for healthcare providers has its roots in the advanced supply models adopted by other industries. There’s no big secret here. By lowering manufacturer, distributor and internal cost-to-serve structures, supply costs are reduced and internal service levels are improved. Although once reserved for the largest of IDNs, it’s now clear that the benefits of self-fulfillment are available to a much wider and growing audience.

A Case for Self-fulfillment

When providers commit their purchase volumes and install systems that drive compliance, they are rewarded with better contracts. And when a system’s inbound flow of products are consolidated for centralized receipt, stocking or cross docking, those same principles can be more fully realized and even further rewarded.

A recent article in Forbes referenced a highly successful technology-driven approach to self-distribution. It cited a self-fulfillment model called the Dedicated Integrated Service Center (DISC) developed by a supply chain focused systems integrator named RiseNow. And while I was pleased to hear that RiseNow’s approach also incorporates the advantage of committed purchase volumes and contract compliance, its model goes beyond traditional suppliers to include more strategic use of distributors and wholesalers.

In an interview with Mr. Lou Fierens, SVP of Supply Chain and Fixed Asset Management at Trinity Health, he spoke passionately about the benefits of self-distribution, mixing common sense anecdotes derived from his implementation experience with some unexpected benefits.

“Hospitals are tough to deal with. We need to look at ourselves through the eyes of distributors (and other third party logistics services providers) and recognize that because no two of us are the same, serving our varied, myriad needs is an expensive undertaking. So when we investigated the feasibility of a self-distribution model, the cost-to-serve savings opportunities and service improvements were glaring.”... More

Supply Chain Visionaries Join Forces to Reduce Costs In Healthcare

Leawood, KS – July 19, 2016 – RiseNow, LLC announced today that it has acquired ISC Expeditions to further its mission to reduce costs, improve patient care and bring supply chain best practices to healthcare. 

 “Acquiring ISC Expeditions moves us closer to our combined goal to be the catalyst that leads the 50 most pioneering hospital systems and their top 200 vendors to come together to drive out costs by turning the existing operating and service model upside down,” said Matt Stewart, Managing Partner of RiseNow.   “The game must change for IDN’s to survive in this new era as the rules have changed. Large IDN’s are being pressed to reduce costs while improving patient care.  ISC Expeditions, LLC has helped IDN’s do just that for the past decade by bringing supply chain best practices that have been proven outside of healthcare into healthcare."

 “With ISC and RiseNow coming together, Healthcare now has a complete and unbiased supply chain integration solution,” said Jim Grieger, Founder and Principal, ISC Expeditions.  “By combining ISC Expeditions’ global supply chain and hospital self-distribution expertise with RiseNow’s multi-industry supply chain systems integration capabilities and strategic partnerships, we can now walk in with a complete supply chain transformation toolkit to better assist health systems and their vendors adapt to a rapidly changing environment. We can now accelerate the ROI on new cash-releasing supply models.”

About RiseNow

RiseNow is a client advocacy supply chain solutions provider serving healthcare and the Global 2000.  RiseNow has a diverse team of enterprise systems experts with an average of over 20 years of experience in a wide range of platforms and services including Ariba, BuyerQuest, Coupa, Lawson, PeopleSoft, SciQuest, Taulia, Healthcare Supply Chain Data Management, Integration Services, Strategic Sourcing and Services SOW Procurement.  RiseNow has successfully led over 120 SaaS based Procure to Pay(P2P) implementations over the past 5 years for clients like Trinity Health, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Highmark, Allegheny Health Network, Time Inc., etc. 

About ISC Expeditions

ISC Expeditions is a supply chain integrator focused on developing custom supply models for health systems, distributors, group purchasing organizations and product manufacturers worldwide.  ISC brings to the healthcare industry, world class supply chain practices adapted by some of the best supply chain operators from other industries.  Throughout two decades of consulting work with large healthcare systems, ISC has continued to perfect these Custom Supply model variations by incorporating supply chain innovations from industries such as automobile, consumer products and Hi-Tech. ISC has consulted with 20 major IDNs and led 8 through the challenging but rewarding transformation to various forms of the integrated Custom Supply model. Grieger and ISC Expeditions has joined RiseNow at a time when this deep, specialized expertise may be more important to health care than ever before.