Location, Location, Location: Terminology Confusion in ERP
Have you ever experienced the clash of terminology that results when
supply chains are brought together, due to acquisition or merger? The
typical scenario: different groups using multiple terms to describe
where product is manufactured at and shipped from; folks use terms like
"location", "plant", and "site" interchangeably, and confusion can
result - are we talking about SAP configuration? Wide-area network
architecture? Rollout plans?
To communicate effectively, it helps to clarify things. Here is a
starter list of terms from projects I've been involved with. Care to add
/ edit the list?
is what it sounds like - four walls and a roof.
could refer to one or more buildings.
is a generic term for a group of buildings.
Specific Terms - ERP
In SAP, a
is a place where materials are produced, or goods and services are
provided. A Plant is made up of one or more buildings.
In some Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), a Warehouse refers to a
single building. In SAP, a
is a collection of
; a building can contain multiple storage areas, and a warehouse can
span multiple buildings.
Specific Terms - WAN
typically designates a point-of-presence to the Wide Area Network (WAN)
- a cluster of WAN devices that connects one or more buildings to the
Chinese proverb states
, "Wisdom begins with calling things by their right names." When
bringing companies and cultures together, project managers need to pay
special attention to the words; we must be very precise with our
language, so everyone understands that we are all talking about the same