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The Challenges of Insufficient Project Management Tools in Supply Chain

Elevate your supply chain efficiency with a tailored project management solution that streamlines operations from sourcing to shipment.

Managing products and overseeing the entire process from sourcing to shipment requires effective supply chain project management. This crucial aspect ensures that projects are completed within the designated timeframe, budget, and scope. Compared to general project management tools available in the market, a supply chain-focused project management tool offers a more product and supplier-centric approach. This is particularly beneficial as sourcing, product or supply chain managers are responsible for executing these projects and often face challenges related to a shortage of suitable resources. Furthermore, many projects are still being managed using ad-hoc and disjointed applications.

According to a recent study,  a significant 35.5% of project managers use MS Excel to build resource plans, while, 17.5% do not use any software tools at all. Only 17.47% use an enterprise project management solution. These alarming statistics may be attributed to the fact that general-purpose project management tools are ill-suited for unique demand of supply chain management. Surprisingly, despite 73% of businesses are acknowledging importance of reliability, ease of use, and seamless integration when investing in digital project management software, yet they find current solutions lacking in these crucial factors.

What is needed is a comprehensive approach, overseeing all aspects, using the right tools, to achieve the stated objectives. Without a project management solution tailored to supply chain needs there is a risk that any project will go over budget, go past target deadlines, or will fail to remain in scope.


The common challenges faced by supply chain professionals when using general-purpose project management tools


  • Inefficient resource planning: Supply chain projects, such as developing, producing and launching a new product, often involve complex resource planning. General-purpose project management tools do not have the necessary capabilities to handle the unique requirements of resource optimization and allocation in supply chain operations
  • Delayed reaction: Using General-purpose tools in supply chain is the hindered ability to swiftly respond to changes. Generic tools lack the agility and flexibility required to adapt to dynamic supply chain environments. This delay in reaction time can have a significant impact on overall supply chain performance, rising operational costs, leading to missed opportunities, and decreased customer satisfaction. Supply chain managers need tools that enable quick decision-making and facilitate rapid adjustments in response to changing market conditions, customer demands, or unforeseen disruptions
  • Limited visibility and collaboration: Supply Chain requires real-time visibility into project progress, supplier performance and other critical metrics. General-purpose tools do not offer comprehensive functionalities tailored to supply chain needs. Additionally, collaboration features may be limited, hindering effective communication and coordination among stakeholders across the supply chain
  • Scalability limitations: As supply chains grow and evolve, the demands on supply chain-focussed project management tools increase. General-purpose tools may lack the scalability required to handle the expanding scope, adaptability to dynamic environments such as market conditions, regulatory changes, unforeseen disruptions, customers’ demands which make increase the complexity of supply chain operations

What supply chain managers need from a project management tool


They want to –

  • Achieve improved productivity by connecting teams, bridging silos and establishing one reliable database
  • Provide an overview of the status of individual tasks and overall project across all departments
  • Collaborate effectively with real-time notifications
  • Manage frequent changes to schedules and resources when priorities shift

Available generic project management solutions are not perfectly suited to dynamic, fast-moving supply chain activities.

Supply chain management requires a project management tool that goes beyond generic options and provides the necessary functionality to address the specific needs of sourcing products and their supply chain. These tools should support sourcing, sampling, quality control, compliance, and sustainability processes and tasks as these are critical aspects of supply chain management. Having real-time access to online data is fundamental for successful project execution. Therefore, an ideal project management tool for supply chain should offer the following functionalities to support efficient and effective operations.

Tracking of workflows  –  A visual display of the status of assigned tasks, project deadlines, and deliverables should be available per individual and per team.  Priorities should be clearly flagged

Scheduling –  Managers need to be able to assign and reassign tasks in a format accessible to all users

Collaboration and communication – The facility to share files, data, provide updates and sign off completed tasks

Here is a snapshot of key benefits a supply chain-focussed project management tool must deliver –

  • Progress Tracking
  • Accurate Planning
  • Prevent Delays
  • Efficient Work Distribution
  • Improved Communication
  • Better Accountability
  • Enhanced Visibility

How can we support project management in supply chain? 


What we need is a supply chain-focused solution designed to replace traditional project management tools. The daily struggles of managing tasks and resources demand a shift toward specialized, adaptive, and intuitive project management tools designed specifically for supply chain operations. It’s time to break free from the maze of inadequacy and embrace tools that empower efficient collaboration, real-time insights, and cost-effective decision-making.

Topo’s Task Manager is a specialized tool designed to streamline supply chain tasks, offering a more product-centric approach compared to available general project management tools, excel sheets or emails.

How is it different?


  1. It is supply chain-focused. Unlike generic project management tools, Topo’s Task Manager hones in on supply chain needs. It empowers users to manage tasks related to sourcing, product development, ordering, production, quality, and compliance, sustainability.
  2. It has a collaboration hub. Topo’s Task Manager provides a unified platform for various users to collaborate efficiently, reduces email and creates transparency across teams about the status of tasks. Whether it’s coordinating with suppliers, tracking production milestones, or ensuring compliance, this tool facilitates seamless communication.
  3. Detailed Project Scheduling: Our platform helps to plan out your supply chain activities meticulously. It helps to establish a comprehensive project schedule, answering critical questions:
    • Task Timing: When will each task be completed?
    • Critical Tasks: Which tasks are essential for successful project completion?
    • Resource Allocation: How should resources be allocated?
    • Status Tracking: How can you keep tabs on task progress and identify bottlenecks?

Topo’s Task Manager is a user’s supply chain ally, ensuring smoother operations and efficient collaboration.  It is not merely an alternative to conventional project management tools, but it’s a comprehensive solution that supervises all aspects from planning to task execution.

With Topo’s Task Manager, surpassing your objectives and goals is not just a possibility, it’s a reality. Ask our satisfied customer!

Topo invites you to experience enhanced productivity and efficiency in your project management firsthand. Connect with us for a quick demo today!

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