The APQC Blog

Heads up! Supply Chain Disruptors Coming Your Way

There is a lot of disruption headed your way!  Big data. Robotics. Analytics. Drones. 3D Printing. Collaboration with a purpose. IoT. And the list grows daily.

This we know - the supply chain will change. But how is a harder question to answer.  However, two groups are working to better understand how it will change.

First, The Material Handling Institute (MHI) spearheaded the development of the Material Handling and Logistics U.S. Roadmap in 2013. The MHI’s Roadmap brought together 30 to 40 industry experts in four separate workshops across to US to understand what the disruptors to the supply chain would be and how logistics would look by 2030. Not just technology, but the availability of data, how we work with others, and the connectedness of the organization working as a cohesive unit were underlined as important elements for managing the future disruptions.

Recently, The Center for Global Enterprise (CGE) looked further into the same disruptors as the MHL Roadmap with their whitepaper “Digital Supply Chain: A Frontside Flip.”  The CGE defines the Digital Supply Chain as a customer centric platform based model for capturing and managing real time data to enable demand stimulation, matching, sensing, and management. This definition pushes the boundaries of a traditional supply chain beyond procurement, manufacturing, logistics, and returns, but stops short of including the whole organization. However, the whitepaper further underlines the importance of a connected organization in being able to fulfill the promises of a digital supply chain.

The number of ways to manage our supply chains are ever increasing, and at times becoming more complex. The velocity at which change happens is only increasing. Therefore, our supply chains must understand the dynamics that relationships, talent, and performance will have on improving our processes, and the organization’s standing with its customers. 

I fundamentally believe that all parts of the organization are connected to the supply chain. And to amp it up a bit, ALL organizations have a supply chain! Regardless of product or services, you have a supply chain. 

That’s what makes me giddy about both of these groups. We’re moving away from the traditional siloed thinking. As we better understand how each part of the organization impacts the supply chain the more likely we are to complete that “frontside flip.”

*Stay up to date with our upcoming supply chain management and product development research, webinars, and more by visiting our expertise page.

Follow Joe on Twitter:  @pfmgmt