"We're still a few years away from having robots at our beck and call," writes Or Shani, founder and CEO of Adgorithms, "but [artificial intelligence (AI)] has already had a profound impact in more subtle ways. Weather forecasts, email spam filtering, Google's search predictions, and voice recognition, such Apple's Siri, are all examples. What these technologies have in common are machine-learning algorithms that enable them to react and respond in real time.
This month featured bloggers were asked to write about their favorite supply chain leader and explain why they hold them in high esteem. I immediately thought about Professor Yossi Sheffi (@YossiSheffi), the Elisha Gray II Professor of Engineering Systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
"Every industry is ripe for digital disruption and the supply chain industry is no exception," writes Margaret O'Donnell, a Program Manager at Rutgers Business School Executive Education. "For example, we're moving from more than 18 billion connected things in 2015 to nearly 50 billion connected devices and systems in 2020. Innovation and technology is at the core of every business revolution and so it must be with your Supply Chain." I'm not sure I would separate "the supply chain industry" from other industries.
As I participate in technology briefings with vendors, I am trying to piece together the future of supply chain management. For me it is not clear. I believe that supply chain leaders are in the middle of step change in process innovation driven by not one, but a confluence of technologies. In each briefing, presenters bandy about the word "digital" like I throw Parmesan cheese on a pizza. (The more the better.) However, when I peel back the messaging in the briefings, it is not new. Most have the same technology, but with a new marketing spin. I sigh.
In my last position, I worked as a supply chain planner at a chemical company in a team of about 12 employees. My focus was demand planning. I learned more in those four years than I did at any other time in my career.
I believe the success of the next generation of supply chain planning hinges on well-defined planning roles.
Supply chain risks that result in disruptions continue to cost businesses billions of dollars a year.
I like this picture. It is an artistic view of robotics at work. As we approach Supply Chain 2030, and the autonomous supply chain, technologies and people will change dramatically. Factories will be run by one to two people, perhaps in their PJs from their living rooms. New positions, like robotic supervisors, will evolve and companies will need to adapt
There is a great opportunity for organisations to evolve into next generation planning by transitioning into a data driven enterprise. Embracing analytics and the wealth of new data now available, will enable them to understand their customers like never before, as well as providing greater insight around product and service demands.
"What if you could predict what products or services your customers wanted before they did," asks Dr. James Canton (@futureguru), CEO of the Institute for Global Futures. "What if you knew how your competitors were thinking about the market? What if you could anticipate with accuracy the next game-changing business strategy that would give you a strategic advantage?" Good questions.
"Manufacturing supply chains are experiencing levels of change heretofore unprecedented in their history," writes Richard Howells (@howellsrichard), a Vice President at SAP. He draws that conclusion from a white paper published by IDC Manufacturing Insights entitled "The Extended Supply Chain." Howells explains, "In the paper, author Simon Ellis posits that the future of the supply chain is 'one of an outwardly ne
"Supply chains," writes Abe Eshkenazi (@aeshkenazi), CEO of APICS, "are like the central nervous system in humans — they are complex, integral systems that are constantly interacting with their environment." Central nervous systems involve sensing, connecting, and analyzing data.
"Supply chain practitioners, accustomed to the ongoing disruptions throughout the sub-tier supply chain, are familiar with the usual risks that threaten supply chain continuity: factory fires, port disruptions, force majeure, chemical spills, and so on," writes Neil Shenoi (@resilient_neil).