Learning Center

5 Bimodal Growth Secrets ERP-Only Suppliers Wish They Knew

Matt Bio 2

Content Marketing Specialist

The needs of CPG brands in last-mile product customization today are far more complex than those of a decade ago. Suppliers who provide services in assembly, kitting, labeling, labor, and WIP management now have to work with short run orders, variable run orders, and very little lead time.

Suppliers unable to meet the market’s evolving needs for complex logistics lose out on significant business opportunities, and one of the most common contributors. is that most suppliers get stuck using the wrong tool (ERP) to solve problems outside the scope of its design.

Suppliers with bimodal capabilities, on the other hand, leverage ERP megasuites and domain-driven SaaS apps together and boost the intuition of their operations–they become more agile, responsive, and flexible.

A bimodal approach which can flexibly accommodate unique workflows helps to reduce the risk that the people on your shop floor attempt to implement ad hoc workarounds (like ever-more daunting spreadsheets) to simply get work done. This is a common scenario with stiff and difficult-to-use ERP systems.

Here’s the bottom line:

Mode 1 challenges are best met with a Mode 1 tool, and Mode 2 challenges, with a Mode 2 tool. This intuitive operational flexibility is how some suppliers are evolving hybrid reality operations that dominate in a modern supply chain.

Why Do Bimodal Suppliers Grow So Fast?


  1. Rapid Adoption

SaaS apps receive rapid, widespread end-user adoption because their user interfaces are designed for industry-specific roles, are easy to understand, intuitive to use, and designed to make people’s lives easier.

  1. Process Champions

Operations managers can make direct adjustments to how SaaS apps work to safely differentiate processes, and meet CPG brand customers’ diverse needs without siphoning bandwidth (and using time) from their internal IT teams.

  1. Rapid Innovation

The speed at which SaaS vendors introduce new functionality and the control that end-users have over configuration means that innovation is iterative and continuous. Managing business process refinements within an ERP’s enhancement cycles, on the other hand, is a slow, demotivating, and resource-intensive process.

  1. Intuitive Collaboration

Specialized solutions make it easier to spot inefficiencies on the shop floor and elsewhere in a workflow. Suppliers can now reach out to brand owners with data to diagnose issues and work together to brainstorm solutions in minutes, rather than hours or days.

  1. Happy IT

IT teams work the best when they focus on their core competencies. By outsourcing Mode 2 challenges, internal IT teams can reclaim their internal capacity to optimize Mode 1 challenges, and collaborate with external Mode 2 specialists eager to meet their needs.

Next week, we wrap up our series on Last-Mile Mastery with some tips on future-proofing your operations. We will also take a look at some of the recent stats that indicate the direction the industry is headed in to handle the growing influx of mass-customization demand into the supply chain.

Interested in learning more? Get the whole white paper for free, right now.

Matt Bio 2

Matthew joined Nulogy as their Content Marketing Specialist in 2016. He develops original research and creates educational and entertaining content to help elucidate the opportunities that digital technology has opened up in the last-mile of supply chain management. Matthew holds two degrees in English (B.A. Hons, M.A.) from York University in Toronto, Ontario.