Supply Chain: Systems and People

21 December 2018


Supply Chain

Blog by Marc Baggen, Supply Chain Consultant.

In my previous blog, I explained the importance of process understanding within your company. Supply chain has multiple processes as the base. However, pillars two and three are regarding your business controls: systems and people. Note: this does not mean that systems are more important than people!

Let us assume that all your business processes are known and well documented. Your next challenge would be to translate these processes into your ERP system. All critical process steps in real life should be covered into ERP. For instance, gathering the goods in the warehouse; do your goods carry batch and/or serial numbers? Especially in the medical devices industry, where traceability is mandatory this should be well tackled.

Do you sell intangible products, like service or warranty? Then the following question should come up in mind. How is our ERP system equipped to handle this?

Another system related issue which is connected with internal control, is about the authorisation of your employees working in the ERP system. Segregation of duty? Four eyes principle? Sufficient back up for critical tasks?

This brings us to the most important asset in your company: people. Is your staff trained? Of course, you will say. But I like to challenge you to examine how well your staff is really trained. Is the training registered? Do you ask your staff to sign off for their trainings?

Does your team use Excel files to do daily tasks? Ask yourself why! Is it deficiency of training or is the ERP system not configured according your business needs?

Many, many questions to ask and issues to respond to. I truly hope your supply chain processes are as you would like them to be. But be assured, there is always the need for improvement and change!

Have a great supply chain and a successful and healthy 2019!

Marc Baggen,

Supply Chain Consultant.


We want to thank Marc Baggen for sharing his experiences about a product release with us. If you have any comments on Marc’ story, or if you want to share your own story, please contact us via info@medicaldevicescommunity.com or +31 630076674.