MUFI Rating & Risk – ToolsGroup SO99 (Supply Planning)
MUFI: Maintainability, Usability, Functionality, Implement ability
Vendor: ToolsGroup (Select For Vendor Profile)
ToolsGroup is a software vendor that is mostly known for its inventory optimization and multi echelon planning software for supply planning.
ToolsGroup supply planning application uses inventory management and multi-echelon planning functionality. ToolsGroup SO99 has what we consider to be the best graphing ability in supply planning for showing the relationship between inventory and service level. The relationship between inventory and service levels is non-linear; higher and higher service levels require disproportionate increases in inventory to support them. The closer service levels come to one hundred percent, the more extreme the costs become. This relationship is one of the best-documented relationships in supply-chain management and is described by the graphic below.
This graphic has been seen at one time or another by most supply chain professionals, and it demonstrates the fact that companies must decide what levels of service they can afford and, most importantly, what levels of service their customers are willing to pay for.
ToolsGroup has this relationship curve built into their application. As you can see, their graph shows the same relationship as the graph on the previous page. Notice that there is a slider at the bottom of the ToolsGroup application view. This allows the user to see what the resulting inventory would be for different system-wide service levels. (Some other parameters can be changed, as well as observed, from below the main graphic.)
It is impressive—considering all of the calculations that the ToolsGroup application has to perform to generate this graph—how quickly the graph can be adjusted by just moving the slider along the bottom. Behind the scenes, there is a fully configured model of the supply chain.
ToolsGroup SO99 is an impressive application in many ways, and the application covers both demands as well as supply planning. ToolsGroup brings a very high knowledge level to its projects, and this is another benefit in addition to the software. ToolsGroup is an excellent but complex application, and a company, which intends to use it, needs to make sure it is interested in funding this type of application.
All scores out of a possible 10.
Vendor and Application Risk
ToolsGroup SO99 faces the similar issues of the more heavyweight supply planning applications, which is one of being overwhelmed with the available functionality. Overall the SO99 application is well designed, and it has some productivity-enhancing features. As with all inventory optimization applications, there is a risk of implementing the technology without properly socializing what ToolsGroup SO99 is doing under the covers. Emphasis must be made on getting the business to understand inventory optimization.
Likelihood of Implementation Success
This accounts for both the application and vendor-specific risk. In our formula, the total implementation risk is application + vendor + buyer risk. The buyer specific risk could increase or decrease this overall likelihood and adjust the values that you see below.
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Software Selection Book
Enterprise Software Selection: How to Pinpoint the Perfect Software Solution Using Multiple Sources of Information
What the Book Covers
Essential reading for success in your next software selection and implementation.
Software selection is the most important task in a software implementation project, as it is your best (if not only) opportunity to make sure that the right software—the software that matches the business requirements—is being implemented. Choosing the software that is the best fit clears the way for a successful implementation, yet software selection is often fraught with issues and many companies do not end up with the best software for their needs. However, the process can be greatly simplified by addressing the information sources that influence software selection. This book can be used for any enterprise software selection, including ERP software selection.
This book is a how-to guide for improving the software selection process and is formulated around the idea that—much like purchasing decisions for consumer products—the end user and those with the domain expertise must be included. In addition to providing hints for refining the software selection process, this book delves into the often-overlooked topic of how consulting and IT analyst firms influence the purchasing decision, and gives the reader an insider’s understanding of the enterprise software market.
By reading this book you will:
- Learn how to apply a scientific approach to the software selection process.
- Interpret vendor-supplied information to your best advantage. This is generally left out of books on software selection. However, consulting companies and IT analysts like Gartner have very specific biases. Gartner is paid directly by software vendors — a fact they make every attempt not to disclose while consulting companies only recommend software for vendors that give them the consulting business. Consulting companies all have an enormous financial bias that prevents them from offering honest advice — and this is part of their business model.
- Understand what motivates a software vendor.
- Learn how the institutional structure and biases of consulting firms affect the advice they give you, and understand how to properly interpret information from consulting companies.
- Make vendor demos work to your benefit.
- Know the right questions to ask on topics such as integration with existing software, cloud versus on-premise vendors, and client references.
- Differentiate what is important to know about software for improved “implement-ability” versus what the vendor thinks is important for improved “sell-ability.”
- Better manage your software selection projects to ensure smoother implementations.
- Chapter 1: Introduction to Software Selection
- Chapter 2: Understanding the Enterprise Software Market
- Chapter 3: Software Sell-ability versus Implement-ability
- Chapter 4: How to Use Consulting Advice on Software Selection
- Chapter 5: How to Use the Reports of Analyst Firms Like Gartner
- Chapter 6: How to Use Information Provided by Vendors
- Chapter 7: How to Manage the Software Selection Process