Supply chain consulting firms: tools to boost performance

France is home to thousands of SMEs whose core business is manufacturing or procurement. These companies call on consulting firms specializing in industrial supply chain issues to structure their processes.

Their offer is wide-ranging, but it must respond to major challenges common to all SMEs: remaining competitive in a highly competitive environment, improving margins to preserve profitability, and producing more ecologically in a spirit of environmental responsibility. The equation is all the more complex in that it must take account of severe budgetary constraints and the high degree of permeability of this type of company to external issues (shortage of raw materials, rising energy costs, health restrictions, war in Ukraine, etc.).

In such a context, consulting firms are interested in equipping themselves to offer a pragmatic, ROI-oriented approach, increase their value proposition, and help their customers gain performance. An update from Colibri!

Supply chain consulting firms: why should you be equipped?

Whether carrying out an audit, supporting the positioning or optimization of warehouses, mapping flows, recommending and implementing tools, or defining diagrams, supply chain consulting firms can offer relevant solutions to facilitate their work with SMEs.

Supply chain diagnostics

Supply Chain Diagnostic tools enable you to analyze and understand your customer’s business. The approach consists of identifying the supply chain’s needs, highlighting the blocking points linked to flows within processes, and supporting the company in implementing the best operational and managerial levers.

Solutions implemented by consulting firms for their customers

Most of these tools centralize and analyze data and automate sales forecasting, inventory management, and reporting tasks. For consulting firms, implementing these tools on the customer’s premises represents an additional value-added and time-saving way of dealing with supply chain issues.


Excel is a traditional tool for sales forecasting and inventory management. However, it requires data to be imported and exported before it can be automated in another system. Although widely used, the software can quickly become cumbersome for customers and service providers. What’s more, Excel does not support collaborative work.

Read also: Supply chain consulting firms: what criteria should you use to advise your customers to switch from Excel to Colibri?  

• BI (Business Intelligence) software

Unlike Excel, reporting software such as Google Data or Business Object is directly connected to the company’s databases. They enable you to visualize relevant information, automatically generate dashboards and quickly make the best decisions.

• The WMS (Warehouse Management System)

Like the Manhattan Associates software package, this tool is designed to manage the entire logistics process and size the warehouse. It plays a fundamental role in simplifying flows, optimizing storage space, rationalizing costs, and controlling peak activity. By installing this software, consulting firms can help small and medium-sized businesses boost productivity, improve service levels and enhance customer satisfaction.

• TMS (Transport Management System)

These tools are specialized in transport management. They offer essential functionalities such as local and international tracking and lead times, customs procedures, and delivery optimization. Once again, this is a real timesaver for management functions that can quickly become time-consuming for the service provider and the customer.

• CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

This tool centralizes information from customer-facing departments (sales, marketing, customer service, operations, finance teams, field, project, etc.), providing a global overview of customers and their purchasing behavior.

• ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)

This integrated management software package is the central tool for steering the company’s operational processes: accounting, project management, budgeting, human resources…

• Supply Chain Planning tools

Based on statistical and mathematical models, this tool is specifically designed for supply chain professionals: demand planners, procurement, production, and S&OP managers… These solutions consider relevant data for business planning, such as sales history, variations in activity (seasonality, for example), market trends and volatility, or company specificities in supply or production capacity.

Read also: Improve customer satisfaction by optimizing the supply chain.

Supply chain consulting firms can give them a significant competitive edge by recommending and supporting implementation of one or more of these tools. SMEs gain maturity about their supply chain and can better respond effectively to their major challenges. As for consulting firms, they strengthen their customers’ confidence by positioning themselves as genuine partners in their performance.

Colibri S&OP: an innovative solution that strengthens your value proposition

Colibri is the benchmark software for S&OP (Sales and Operations Planning) processes.

Colibri offers an innovative solution for supply chain consulting firms consistent with their target market’s needs and budgetary constraints. Audit, data centralization, supply chain process addressing (inventory management, warehouse, transport, procurement, sales forecasting…): Colibri S&OP brings together all essential supply chain functions in a single tool… a real opportunity for consulting firms wishing to strengthen their value proposition! What’s more, Colibri S&OP works perfectly with the tools already used by companies: CRM, ERP…

First, you can use Colibri S&OP as an audit tool for your customers to identify their problems and needs. This enables him to recommend methods (stock classification, for example), actions (safety stock calculation, threshold management, etc.), and costing. Colibri is a turnkey tool for partner consultancy that combines ease of use, processing efficiency, and professional results that can be directly exploited… A far cry from an Excel spreadsheet!

It’s also important to note that the tool is scalable. It does not force total perimeter coverage but adapts to the customer’s maturity. Supply chain consulting firms can thus ensure a steady rise in performance for their customers, over the long term, as part of a continuous improvement process.

The S&OP solution also enables partners to showcase their skills around high-value-added tasks and extend their coverage by addressing new issues. Colibri also encourages the sale of services related to the solution, such as change management support for the tool or the drafting of processes.

As Colibri S&OP is highly visual, it is an effective tool for selling analysis and consulting services. It allows you to carry out demonstrations and feasibility studies, which is perfect for familiarizing yourself with APS!

The strength of the Colibri offering lies in developing a minimal version of the tool for consulting firms. With it, you can integrate your customers’ data to provide them with an overview of possibilities in the form of a “squared” report. The added value: a service delivered within two days instead of the usual ten!

The icing on the cake is that the fast-learning curve and methodology reduce the impact of staff turnover in consulting firms. A real lever for scalability… and, above all, peace of mind!

Colibri S&OP is a comprehensive tool for addressing operational supply chain issues and the best ally for consulting firms in helping SMEs meet their challenges. With simple implementation and no budget overruns, ROI is fast, and you don’t put your customers at risk! With Colibri S&OP as your tool, you can enhance the value of your offer and gain efficiency! Would you like to find out more? Contact us now!

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