“In the new global era, speed and velocity are more important than everything else!” (p. 12)
The LIVING Supply Chain: The Evolving Imperative of Operating in Real Time by Rob Handfield and Tom Linton (Wiley, 2017) takes everything you know about ecosystems and Darwinian principles and applies it to supply chain management.
One of the most telling sections in the book is in the Preface where Handfield shares three major shifts affecting the digital economy (paraphrased here by me):
- Data is a natural resource (think raw material)
- Converting data into decisions is the key refinement process of the digital era
- Cognitive computing (human/machine interaction) will be a critical ‘relationship’
To me, these points are significant because they are NOT followed by something along the lines of “… and here is what all this means for supply chain.” Like the authors, we need to stop thinking of the supply chain as somehow separate or downstream from economic/digital trends. The supply chain is a fully integrated piece of the ecosystem – or should be – and must be managed as such. Every time we feel compelled to translate trends, priorities, forces into a supply chain-centric version, we obscure their meaning and slow the movement of information.