Supply Chain Is In Throes Of Transformation

Richard Sherman, Senior Fellow, Supply Chain Centre of Excellence, TCS [NSE: TCS.N]Long time supplychain management author, researcher,consultant and industry pundit with strong marketing leadership Richard is transforming the niche industry with his unconventional strategies

Changing Supply Chain Operating Model
Supply chain management has been undergoing a fundamental transformation from "chain" management to "network" management. With the availability, affordability and convergence of digital technologies such as mobility, pervasive and cloud computing, the Internet of Things and Big Data, Cognitive Analytics and Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, companies are transforming to systems thinking to reimagine their digital supply network. In the digital economy, everyone and everything in the market ecosystem is always on and always connected.

Biggest Challenges
That's a great question. The obstacles are different for every company. However the biggest hurdle we see is having the right strategy in place, communicating the
strategy aligning all of the company's resources and functions to the strategy, and creating a culture of systems thinking that overcomes the traditional management "silos" that we have struggled with over the decades. Digitization enables functional "digitalization" which in turn enables "connected collaboration". In a disconnected organization functions often unintentionally work against one another due the inability to cross functionally collaborate. With the right Digital Enterprise Architecture, the company can break down the silos with shared information and process optimization.

In a disconnected organization, functions often unintentionally work against one another due the inability to cross functionally collaborate

Major Mind shift in Supply Chain
Making it happen is a never ending journey. We find that transformation is largely a cultural issue. Change is always and everywhere and it can't be stopped, so don't resist it. As I mentioned earlier start with the strategy. At TCS we adopted "digital" early and recognized that every company operates in a dynamic market ecosystem. Understanding that ecosystem by segmentation analysis of your customers and products and developing a road map and architecture to validate and achieve strategic intent is critical to creating a culture of change and continuous improvement.

Future Technology & Innovations Seeing the convergence of digital technologies is making a Smart Digital Supply Network a reality, the exciting innovation that this represents comes from the foundational capability that advanced analytics creates for development of autonomous vehicles and robotics. We still can't tele transport or "beam" goods to people but, we can beam data at the speed of light. This will speed the realization of a synchronized, zero latency supply network where material seldom pauses versus seldom move along the journey from raw material sources to final consumption and disposition.