The Future of Supply Chain Management

TeresaChiykowski

Closed Today. Fresh out of Supply Chain Talent.

Future of supply chain management

There’s no time like the present to talk about the future of supply chain management. That was the perfect lead-in for a great Supply Chain Insights webinar I attended recently – Journey to Supply Chain 2030.

Admittedly, 2030 is a few years out. Sometimes it’s difficult to predict what’s going to happen next week let alone 14 or 15 years down the road. But here’s the thing about supply chains: Today’s supply chains are the result of what we’ve done in the past; tomorrow’s supply chain will be the result of what we’re doing today. So it’s time to get planning.

Technology, digitization and automation are dramatically changing the supply chain. The cloud and massive streams and lakes of data are making for a vastly different way of managing operations. The manufacturing firms that continue (successfully) into the future must possess the “talent” with the right competencies, and the “strategic thinking and problem solving” abilities to deal with the new and increasingly more complex supply chain.

But, how confident are firms that they’ll have this workforce at the ready? Not very. In Deloitte’s 2015 Supply Chain survey of 400 executives, only 38% of respondents say they have the competencies they need today. And that doesn’t even consider the future.

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Improving Supply Chain Collaboration: Connecting Processes

TeresaChiykowski

This is the second blog post in our three-part series discussing ways to improve supply chain collaboration.

S&OP processIn my first blog post in this series, I touched upon one of the biggest challenges companies operating global supply chains face today. I’m talking about the disconnect between the data, processes and people in the supply chain and how it inhibits collaboration and the ability to make the best decisions quickly.

My last post focused on connecting data. So today, I’m going to do a deeper dive into connecting S&OP processes.

The challenge: Disconnected sales and operations planning processes

Today’s supply chain processes and functions operate in silos.

What I mean by “silos” is that, across organizations, managers are responsible for one specific department, each with different priorities, responsibilities and objectives. As a result, managers aren’t aware of what other departments are doing in terms of their goals and priorities.

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Six Degrees of Separation in your Supply Chain

PalvashahDurrani

supply chain communicationIn our digitally connected world – information is easy to access, available on demand, and of varying levels of quality and veracity. While being connected means it might be difficult to escape the latest zeitgeist, it also means that you are aware of your current context and fragments of the world around it. And, if you want to step out of what you passively receive – you can actively chase down countless threads of inquiry to learn more.

Integrated supply chains take advantage of these multi-threaded inquiry patterns by coordinating across supply chain functions, however, how interconnected is communication in your processes? Can you reach across your supply chain to achieve diverse and innovative solutions in just six steps or less?

One way to enhance your communication channels is to engage in group problem-solving. Yes, you might do that currently across teams; you might even engage external stakeholders such as suppliers or distributors when resolving a shipping challenge or similar issue. To truly integrate communication across your supply chain, consider involving both internal and external stakeholders at other stages—not just when there’s a problem to resolve.

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Running on autopilot

AlexaCheater

The growing role of AI in supply chain management

artificial intelligenceRapidly evolving technology and a digitally focused world have opened the door for a new wave of automation to enter the workforce. Robots already stand side-by-side with their human counterparts on many manufacturing floors, adding efficiency, capacity (robots don’t need to sleep!) and dependability. Add in drones and self-driving vehicles and it’s no wonder many are questioning the role of humans going forward.

Supply chains, although automated to a degree, still face challenges brought about by the amount of slow, manual tasks required, and the daily management of a complex web of interdependent parts. The next generation of process efficiency gains and visibility could be on your doorstep with artificial intelligence in supply chain management, if only you’d let the robots automatically open it for you.

History of automation

Mankind and machines have worked in harmony for decades, with some citing Henry Ford’s adoption of the assembly line way back in 1913 as its early beginnings. Fittingly, D.S. Harder, an engineering manager at the Ford Motor Company, officially coined the term ‘automation’ in 1946, using it to describe the increased use of automatic devices and controls in mechanized production lines.

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Internet of Things Devices: It’s Time to Let Our Devices Grow

AlvaroFernandez

Internet of thingsLately, tales of how the Internet of Things (IoT) have become a common staple of tech conversations. IoT devices have the potential to produce humongous volumes of data (a reason we usually hear Big Data and IoT in many presentations). We like to picture zillions of sensors generating gazillions of bytes, while the CIOs are tasked to find ways to handle the impending data tsunami.

But, will this Big Data ever be useful in real-time? Whether it is stopping that self-driving car from hitting that seemingly unaware pedestrian, or changing a delivery drone route based on last minute weather information, there will be some moments where a huge amount of data won’t necessarily make a significant difference on the immediate outcome. This will be the territory of smart devices.

And no, your smartphone is not a smart device. These are incredible tools enabling us to become more productive (When you have the right tools in supply chain planning you can be.), but they are helpless without us. They are attention-seeking toddlers, capable of many things. But they have no clear definitions of good or bad behaviors, and they have no sense or purpose without someone there to guide them. I can’t tell my phone to go charge himself, I can’t tell him to make me a coffee, and certainly I wouldn’t trust it talking to strangers all by itself.

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Live Webcast – Concurrency: The New Era of Supply Chain Planning

MelissaClow

Concurrency - New Era of Supply Chain PlanningI’m excited to let you know about an upcoming webcast with SCM World’s chief content officer, Kevin O’Marah. In this not-to-be missed webcast, hear O’Marah’s predictions, insights and best practices for bringing concurrent planning to your supply chain operations.

Event Details:

This live webinar takes place on Tuesday, January 24, 2017, 1 – 2:00 p.m. ET | 6 p.m. UTC

Future supply chain leaders will look back at 2016 as the end of an era. Spurred by unprecedented disruption, volatility and technology evolution, leading organizations are abandoning outdated, overly rigid supply chain planning processes and moving towards the future of planning: concurrency.

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2017 – The year of learning

BillDuBois

Education and training – What’s the difference?

learningFor anyone in supply chain, 2016 was an exciting and challenging year. Hot topics included advanced analytics, Internet of Things, 3D printing and robotics. Drop in all the global, economic, political and environmental challenges into the conversation and the changes needed to make supply chains survive and thrive in the future became front and center at all the top supply chain events.

At the Gartner supply chain conference back in May the theme was the “bimodal” supply chain. What exactly is bi-modal? Gartner describes it as running two modes within your supply chain simultaneously. Mode one focuses on managing day-to-day operations; mode two is all about making the breakthrough innovations needed to take on the new challenges facing supply chains.

Taking a bi-modal approach to learning

I recently sat in on a webinar that discussed learning options, subscriptions and how you can revolutionize the way your organization learns.

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Building a Bimodal Supply Chain

AlexaCheater

bimodal supply chainInnovate to survive. It’s a common mantra among businesses these days, driven by the digital revolution and all that entails. It’s changing the way the world works, and how we as consumers interact with it. Your supply chain and S&OP process isn’t immune to the impacts.

Keeping up with digitization, big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) requires a supply chain that’s flexible, scalable and adaptable. It requires innovative new processes and approaches to data management. But driving that level of growth can’t be easily achieved if your supply chain is solely focused on efficiency. Doing the same old things won’t yield new results. It’s time to do things differently.

The key is running two modes within your supply chain simultaneously. Mode one focuses on maintaining the status quo and managing day-to-day operations. It seeks to reduce overall cost structure. Mode two is all about breakthrough innovations and what’s needed to break into new markets and launch cutting-edge solutions. It focuses on experimentation and driving revolutionary changes in how supply chains adapt to new risks and opportunities.

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