As a “Chief ” of some facet of your enterprise, it is very likely you have been exposed to what may seem like hyperbolic adjectives such as “transformative”, “revolutionary”, “disruptive”, “game-changing”, “explosive” applied to Internet of Things (IoT), Predictive Analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data and other new technologies. The fact is significant change IS happening in supply chain operations. Baby-boomer, GenX and Millennial generational leaders are learning, creating, adopting, adapting and driving exponential change. There is first-mover advantage in this cycle of change, but rest assured you are not too late. Yet, you must start now, get up to speed quickly and keep moving.
Supply Chain Technologies
Industry 4.0 has been illustrated, by Bill Marr, contributor to Forbes Magazine by explaining “When computers were introduced in Industry 3.0, it was disruptive thanks to the addition of an entirely new technology. Now, and into the future as Industry 4.0 unfolds, computers are connected and communicate with one another to ultimately make decisions without human involvement.” Industry 4.0 also includes the broad swathof automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It includes networked data-physical systems, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, cloud computing and cognitive computing.
Today’s Impact on Logistics
The surge of disruption events hitting the logistics function is being driven by desires to use innovation to bypass the typical ‘continuous improvement” cycles to deliver quantum-leap cost savings solutions. Let’s face it, it is a tough slow road to revise entrenched, functional silo-based business processes.
If your business includesusing freight forwarders for international or domestic shipping for inbound raw materials or to delivery your company’s products to your business or consumer customers, you may see logistics as a not particularly important value-add segment of your supply chain. Understand that this segment for supply chain has an outsized opportunity for cost savings and risk reductions because of the disproportionately high number of manual processes. Email, phone calls and paper documents are still the norm and are inherently-plagued by errors and the resulting delays. They all conspire to increase your costs, drive up inventory and displease your end-customers with delayed shipments.
So, as a C-Suite leader, how do you provide the top-down mandate to deliver costs savings, balance sheet improvement and risk-mitigation via logistics digitalization?
Dear Chief of Chiefs
CEOs, as the Chief of all chiefs, you are looking at your organization’s alignment with an eye toward your customers, their future product desires, thefuture supply chains to deliver those desires and your shareholders’ desire for wealth creation.