Tag Archive: robotics

The Resilient Supply Chain: Should We Invest in Technology

December 7th, 2018

In today’s Amazon-impacted, Uberian environment, technology opportunities abound!  Beyond ERP and related subsystems, there is IoT, blockchain, robotics, autonomous vehicles, predictive analytics and much more.  Should we invest or not?

Clearly, if we invest in every one of these opportunities, we could “go broke”. How do we decide? And, will it help us create a resilient supply chain?

 

The answer:  It depends!
Our best clients follow a similar process and answer the following questions:

  1.  What is the state of the industry?  What disruptors are likely to impact the industry?  What trends are occurring? Where do we see it going?
  2.  How do we stand in the industry?  How are we positioned?  What is our unique value proposition?  What differentiates us from the competition?
  3.  What is our technology/ IT infrastructure?  Does our ERP system support our current needs?  Does it support our growth? Is our ERP partner aligned with technology partners that can help in expanding our future technology capabilities?  The bottom line – where are we starting?
  4.  What is our vision?  Understanding where we want to go is relevant.  What will it take to achieve our vision? Do we know what people, processes, systems/ technologies and culture change will be required to attain our vision?
  5.  Is the technology required to achieve the vision? (given our competitive differentiators and changes occurring in the industry)  Adding technology that doesn’t support our vision might be exciting but doesn’t support the future whereas not investing in technology required to support our vision is also problematic.
  6.  What are the priorities?  If there are several technologies required to support progress, which are required first in terms of sequence (if relevant), which have the greatest impact, and which are urgent to meet a customer need or avoid a negative consequence?

The Bottom Line:
Don’t invest because everyone is investing.  Invest because it supports scalable, profitable growth.

 



Is Supply Chain Top of Mind for Your Business?

August 1st, 2017

Earlier this week, I spoke on a panel at a ProVisors (a top notch group of trusted advisers) event about supply chain and its impact on the Southern California and Inland Empire economy.

Lisa Anderson Leads ProVisors Meeting on Supply Chain

The event prompted me to think about whether we are keeping supply chain top of mind (from your suppliers’ suppliers, through your manufacturing operations – insourced, outsourced or both – to your customers’ customers, inclusive of transportation and logistics networks, IT etc.). It will have a dramatic impact on your business success, and, in Southern California’s case, the economy. For example, is the Amazon Effect (the notion of 24/7, immediate delivery with value-added suggestions and innovative service) affecting your business? What can you do about it? Do you think autonomous vehicles or robots will have an impact your business? If you aren’t thinking about supply chain, you will miss critical business opportunities.

What Should We Consider and/or What Situations Could Arise?

Keeping supply chain top of mind is simply keeping your business top of mind. Some of the current hot topics are those like the Amazon Effect – finding out what your customers expect in terms of service. Beyond that, do you understand their needs so well that you could proactively suggest products and services that might add value for them? Could you change or innovate what you do to better align with what would be most beneficial to them? In essence, are you thinking about the total customer experience?

Another hot topic is supply chain technology. How can you utilize technology and/or what might be coming down the pike that will affect your business? Can you get ahead of it? I hear a lot about utilizing supply chain data, robotics, automation, artificial intelligence and more. What is relevant to you? Let me know in the comments.

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