Can You Get Unique Competitive Advantage From Off-The-Shelf Supply Chain Software?

Can You Get Unique Competitive Advantage From Off-The-Shelf Supply Chain Software?


Vivek Sood




April 10, 2021

Supply chain software companies are not the only ones who encourage the thinking that somehow getting a bunch of off-the-shelf software will put your company in a unique position to earn miraculous margin. 

There are many others - vendors of implementation services, reports and vendors of magic quadrants and potions who set a very high expectations.

People miss out on one simple truth - every piece of software is optimised for one ideal situation. In every other situation it is somehow adapted and made to fit. 

Further away your business is to that ideal situation, less closely it will fit your business situation. 

Now sometimes while expanding its applicability the software designers might create a set of options that might give you almost the same level of fit. 

Yet, their first ideal customer is the only customer that the software company would ever fall in love with. 

For every other customer it is only a matter of using and selling what they already have. 

The best advantage you can get out of a software is what that first ideal customer received from it. And, that will happen only if your business is already similar in key critical aspects.

So, if you can only get unique competitive advantage from off the shelf supply chain systems if your business is close enough to their first ideal customer, then what is the solution to the problem facing almost every company today? How can they get unique competitive advantage using supply chain systems?

The answer seems to lie in another direction. 

Look towards inexpensive, plug-and-play open source tool kits that help you create your own pieces of jigsaw puzzle. Create your own competitive advantage using these and a mix of internal and external teams which help you customise these. 

If you do not know how, ask us for help. We will be pleased to get you started on the journey. 

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  1. These ideas and concepts will be usually expressed by our thought leaders in multiple forums - conferences, speeches, books, reports, workshops, webinars, videos and training. You may have heard us say the same thing before.
  2. The date shown above the article refers to the day when this article was updated. This blog post or article may have been written anytime prior to that date. 
  3. All anecdotes are based on true stories to highlight the key points of the article - some details are changed to protect identification of the parties involved. 
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Vivek Sood

Our Quick Notes On Five Flows Of Supply Chain Management

Part of our new “Quick Notes” series – this report answers your most pertinent questions of the topic.

  • What are the five flows of SCM?
  • Why are they important TO YOU?
  • How can you map, track, and optimise these flows to serve YOU?
  • What is the importance of difference between "Supply Chain" and "Value Chain"?
  • What are the stellar case studies of each of the five flows?


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