When it comes to supply chain, the one thing anyone can predict is that the unpredictable always lies ahead. So how do we best navigate towards a successful future in the face of inevitable disruption? And what exactly does success look like when it comes to reshaping a new tomorrow?
Recently, attendees of our fall edition of Big Ideas in Supply Chain heard supply chain leaders not only share multidimensional insights on top trending topics, but also offer ways to operationalize practices around them. The amalgamation of these topics – varying from autonomous planning and cybersecurity to sustainability and a net-zero circular economy – is what composes a textured vision for a better future when it comes to supply chain. If you are ready to start navigating your fast-paced journey now, while planning for tomorrow, check out the on-demand sessions.
Breaking new ground
It takes a set of pioneers to make a breakthrough on any journey, including a quest for end-to-end supply chain transformation. Kinaxis CEO, John Sicard, and Chief Strategy Officer Anne Robinson point out that the trailblazers who have deserted a lethargic, cascaded and siloed technique for one that is immersive, inclusive and concurrent have reported greater agility and responsiveness to unexpected events. There are also the leaders getting a jumpstart to their transformation during the peak of COVID-induced global disruption by choosing the fastest implementation methodology on the market. Kinaxis recently released a way for companies to achieve “breakthrough performance in a matter of weeks,” as announced by John Sicard.
The ground-breakers entering the new and rich paradigm of sustainability and supply chain are just scratching the surface on what the future could be and how economically and environmentally beneficial sustainable supply chains will be for the world. Everyone right now is witnessing the supply and demand imbalance due to disruption and destruction. Considering the hurt ecosystem, we must rebalance the supply chain. The event’s sustainability panel, comprised of a diverse set of leaders – Jack Allen, Cisco, Paul Clark, Microsoft, Louis Roy, OPTEL Group, Sandy Rodgers, Cranfield University – offers practical advice and use cases for companies looking to take real steps to align their individual and corporate commitments to an environmental social governance (ESG) strategy. This could look like the bending of a linear supply chain, data measurement of carbon emissions, reuse of resources, intentional partnerships with suppliers who share a common mission, and better collaboration and transparency across the value chain.
A better, greener future
Presenters across all sessions agree on two major themes as they plan for the future. First, the focus on technique and people, not technology, when it comes to achieving a world-class supply chain. Olivier Redon from Schneider Electric presents the innovation roadmap built upon a first-rate autonomous planning capability fueling the company’s massive digital transformation. The customer is emphatically centered in everything they do. “We want to keep significant breakthroughs with customer centricity to have cash efficiency and improve productivity,” says Redon in multiple mentions of the company’s goal to constantly improve in order to delight the customer. Second, from any point of view (practitioner, vendor, analyst, or thought leader), supply chain as a discipline has a massive impact on people, the economy and the planet. Kevin O’Marah, supply chain technology evangelist, states in his presentation that we are still very much all in this together: “Practitioners bring the opportunity, analysts make the market, vendors invent the tools… and collectively we can and will save the world.”