Guide to surviving the supply chain of the future
Within the past decade, organisations worldwide have been taking a long, hard look at their supply chains. It is evident that negative economic conditions, rapidly changing consumer preferences and disruptive technologies have changed the business landscape.
These pressures have created a perfect storm, forcing supply chains to adapt and innovate. Paradigms about work, business models and corporate strategies will need to shift, as the transformation to consumer-led, data-driven and intelligence-enabled supply networks quickly becomes a reality. The consumer is in the driver’s seat and they have more choices, now more than ever before.
The World Economic Forum says an important component in this journey is the ability of supply chains to share timely and accurate data throughout the supply chain, which creates an integrated supply ecosystem.
Implementing intelligent, automated processes is only a part of the transformation required. Companies will need to embrace a whole new mindset as well as acquire a new set of critical skills and competencies. Here are some ways in which supply chain leaders can stay ahead of the game:
Value of the Fourth Industrial Revolution
It’s important to look ahead and understand the value of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). This includes digitalisation beyond changing manual processes into computer captured ones, automated robotics, autonomous vehicles, big data and artificial intelligence.
The race for success will be won by those who are able to understand how these tools can transform their businesses. Doing so in supply chains will take the work to a new level of value-creation and performance. All of this must be achieved as supply chains control their inventories more intelligently and achieve greater logistics flexibility.
The new ‘business normal’
Supply chains must design, embed and evolve applied digital solutions as an integral part of its everyday work – it is the new ‘business normal’. This has very significant implications for the supply chain workforce. There is no doubt that technology has and will continue to displace jobs at an increasing rate. However, it is also often overlooked that it also innovates jobs in very powerful ways.
Staff skills and support
Change is often uncomfortable, even when it is for the greater good. Preparing staff for a whole new future world of work will become one of the biggest challenges facing supply chain leaders.
In conclusion, supply chains need to be courageous enough to embrace these changes and work towards a grand vision that is beneficial to everyone.