Four Steps to Creating a Smoother IT Supply Chain

Right now, we’re in the thick of a technological revolution. By the end of 2018, 85% of business executives had allocated a quarter of their budget to digital transformation. Innovations are streamlining the way we do business, and companies are constantly acquiring new technology to keep up with the competition. In other words, deploying new technology is extremely commonplace today.

That’s not surprising. What is surprising is that 45% of IT professionals report working with too many vendors, according to surveys for ProcureCon. On top of that, 58% say they don’t even work with preferred vendors. So not only are there too many cooks in the kitchen for most IT deployments, but those cooks aren’t even the best on the market. This can force companies into investing in reactionary solutions rather than sound, holistic strategies.

That’s why I’ve compiled a list of four steps to reduce the costs and complexity of your IT supply chain. Following these steps will help IT teams put all their ducks in a row, leading to valuable time and cost savings.

1. Make a Plan

Before rolling out new technology, the first step is to assess the size and complexity of your rollout and determine what resources you’ll need at each stage of the process. For instance, are you deploying a multi-vendor solution globally? If so, you may need expertise in global procurement, shipping and implementation.

One oft-overlooked component to keep in mind is waste management. Have you ever considered all the moving parts required to recycle, say, a thousand decommissioned servers? I’ve seen organizations add extra cycles to their rollout simply because they didn’t have an airtight plan in place for recycling legacy hardware.

2. Simulate Your IT Environment

In this crucial category, there are a lot of moving parts to consider. What it comes down to is, naturally, making sure all new equipment works upon deployment. The only way to do that is to test your equipment—and test it in a manner that simulates your organization’s IT environment and needs.

First, find a climate-controlled facility to stage hardware and software. Ideally, this facility has expert engineers handy and all the hardware needed to rack and stack, ensure network configuration and validate systems. A full simulation of your IT environment helps ensure a complete, secure rollout.

3. Don’t Forget About Shipping

Shipping—it seems like a simple, obvious process, but it’s so important to a successful rollout. In 2017, companies spent a record $1.5 trillion on shipping alone!

This is an area where you want to cross T’s and dot I’s the most, especially if you’re shipping technology globally and will encounter the complexities of international billing, taxes and compliance with local laws. Be sure to ask the painfully obvious questions when it comes to managing hardware shipments, like “who will be present to unload and unpack our equipment when it arrives at the facility?” and “what tracking measures do we have in place to ensure everything gets to the proper facility on time?”

4. Foster Vendor Relationships

This is an important reminder to value your vendor relationships. Rolling out new technology can be a stressful process. It often involves a significant financial investment and manpower, especially for complex global supply chains. If you’re able to consolidate procurement with a single vendor, do it. This will minimize suppliers, free up your team and improve efficiency.

Take Your Supply Chain Seriously

Optimizing all aspects of your IT supply chain takes time, but it does pay off. These simple, proactive steps will not only help you deploy solutions more efficiently, but they will also help save your organization time and money—up front and in the future.

For more IT insights, check out my other articles:

This blog was previously published on Mark Boisvert’s LinkedIn page.

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