When Arkieva was founded in 1993, Supply Chain Planning was still in its infancy. In fact, most people had no idea what “supply chain” even meant. Twenty-five years later, the words “supply chain” are an integral part of the business language. In the early years, much of the emphasis was on automation and consolidation of data.
In part, this was because of the tools that were offered by the large software vendors. Very little attention was given to how the data would be used to improve business performance.
Arkieva has been providing a consistent message for the last twenty-five years. While integrated data is a necessary requirement, getting the data in one place is not sufficient to assure business success. Enhanced supply chain productivity comes from how the data is used to make decisions. As the pace of business has increased over the years, so has uncertainty. The world is connected through instant information transfers, and changes in one part of the supply chain may affect decisions thousands of miles away. Today’s tools need to process, filter and organize data and its potential impact at an increasingly faster rate.
The early software tools dealt with decisions by encoding past experiences into software. Efforts were made to describe decision flows in detail and make them repeatable. The intrinsic assumption was that history largely repeats itself and if we could just automate the best response (best business practice), then we would be able to optimize decision making.
Vendors concentrated their efforts on making software flexible so they could model and replicate many different process flows. The software tools developed in the 90’s all touted their flexibility and their ability to incorporate best practices.
Arkieva recognized early on that just as consolidating data was not sufficient for improvements, being able to represent a business process was not enough to improve decision making. As the pace of business accelerates, history does not always repeat itself. The decision made a few months ago may not be appropriate today even if the data available is exactly the same. Environmental changes cannot always be predicted and codified into software. Increasingly, the role of planning software is to provide the best data and tools for decision makers, rather than to automate decisions.
In the last fifteen years, Arkieva has pioneered software tools that go beyond flexibility. These tools are designed to be adaptable. They can be modified and changed as business conditions change. The result is that these systems remain relevant to the business and continue to be used by the decision makers. Consistent use by decision makers over several years is the real proof of adaptability.
As we enter our twenty-fifth year of serving our customers, we remain resolute in our commitment to help our customers extract value from their supply chain. The planning tools that we have developed fit your business today, but, more importantly, can be configured to fit your business tomorrow.