We recently had the chance to sit down with Gary Hanifan, Managing Director, Accenture Strategy, to discuss all things supply chain. And one of the biggest topics coming out of that discussion was how you can determine if your supply chain is a growth engine.
One big red flag it might not be? Your supply chain is still linear. According to Hanifan, networks are the wave of the future. Companies need to be heading in a direction that allows for the concept of a digital supply chain network, with an emphasis on growth and efficiency.
On the road to achieving that requires a few stops along the way. Hanifan says the first is ensuring you have end-to-end visibility. Stop two requires moving from a reactive supply chain to a proactive one. Once you’ve accomplished those two things, you can get the network aspect going – meaning you end up with visibility not only into your supplier’s network, but their suppliers’ networks as well.
But in order for your supply chain to really become a growth engine, one more thing is needed. Speed. Hanifan says speed is the currency of the future. To him that means realizing ways to take advantage of finite opportunities in the marketplace, including introducing a new product or growing a service.
Hanifan does caution against just slapping on a so-called ‘digital band aid.’ That is, overlaying digital processes on top of traditional practices without leveraging the new digital technology fully. It’s a pitfall he’s seen hinder supply chain growth at many companies.
Want to hear more of what Hanifan has to say about supply chain growth? Check out the complete interview.