Disruption is nothing new; it’s just happening a lot faster and with greater impact than ever before. The good news, though, is that it’s not only possible to survive under such circumstances; great companies can even succeed and prosper in the midst of massive disruption.
Today’s companies continue to expand to reach global markets, but this has made control of supply chains more and more complex. Companies recognize that developing and executing successful supply chain strategies can be key to gaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace. A key to managing a global supply chain is having strong visibility. This has in turn prompted companies to use technologies such as ERP/MRP systems, warehouse management systems and transportation management systems. Additionally, companies are utilizing hardware technologies, hand-held scanners, GPS, tracking devices, cameras, microphones, RFID readers, wireless networks and automated warehouse systems (AGVs, Robots). Adoption of these technological tools allows more visibility than ever before. But having the data, alone is not enough; managers now have millions and billions of bits of data to decipher and sort through. Having piles of data is not enough, supply chain managers are now faced with how to best use the data to obtain the right information to track performance, diagnose bottlenecks and uncover opportunities for continuous improvement.
As the year entered its final quarter, I was revisiting some predictions pundits had made for 2019. It’s an interesting exercise I go through every year. Estimating soothsayer accuracy is not the objective. Some predictions will be right, a few wrong and in majority of the cases it will be difficult to say – either the data isn’t there or it’s too early for any decipherable trend. Regardless of their chances of coming true, the ideas are inspiring and make a good segue to predictions for the coming year.
A Poetic take on the needs of Operations and Supply Chain Leaders, and how process automation with OpsVeda changes the game!
Recently I overheard a conversation between two of my colleagues. One was requesting inputs for a task assigned, while the other was protesting that he didn’t have the time to prepare detailed documentation. The term “detailed documentation” appeared to send a shudder down the requestor’s spine. He promptly replied, “Please don’t give me anything lengthy… A half page document with ALL the details is what I need.”
Since the advent of BI, organizations of all sizes have pushed to broaden their spectrum of analytical insights. Of course, a key motivator for this effort was to improve operational efficiency. In many organizations, these efforts did not deliver to the management’s expectation. The root causes for the failure in most cases are information latency and lack of cross-functional linkage.
Over the last 2-3 years, a lot has been written about data growing faster than hardware capabilities. Computing power has largely progressed along what Gordon Moore had predicted half a century back, and that was enough to handle the increase in data volumes. But, with the advent of Internet of Things (IoT) that has changed. The numerous clicks, touches and sensors on pretty much every "thing" has been pumping out data at a pace that puts Moore's law to notice. Frequently cited examples include size of Facebook's daily log (~60 TB), data generated by a transatlantic flight (~ 650 TB) etc.
Yesterday evening I was catching up with a friend at a nearby coffee outlet. He is the finance head for a company here providing ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook products to retail outlets across the city. Mid-way during our conversation he excused himself and picked a call from one of his team-members. The conversation was about some profitability projections they were making, but a particular line that my friend uttered caught my attention… “For Heaven’s sake, this is Excel! Don’t expect ‘IT’ to help you with that… we know it a 1000 times better than them.”