What are the technologies likely to impact the supply chain tomorrow? At the upcoming Supply Chain Outlook Summit, Deloitte's Scott Sopher will reveal the results of a recent survey of new technologies and their adoption rate.
The upcoming Supply Chain Outlook Summit will feature 10 different speakers who have their fingers on the pulse of the most important changes impacting supply chain management over the next 2-3 years. At the event, Scott Sopher, Global Supply Chain Service Line Leader in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Strategy & Operations practice will tackle the topic of Supply Chain Innovation: Redefining “the art of the possible.”
With more than 30 years of experience assisting clients in supply chain strategy, planning, and transformation, Sopher’s supply chain specialty includes operations improvement, facility rationalization, inventory management, technology planning and implementation, outsourcing, benchmarking, warehousing, and transportation.
According to Sopher, a wave of new supply chain technologies is emerging and rapidly driving innovation in supply chains. Companies need to understand the capabilities and potential applications of these technologies and assess how they can be used to transform their supply chains. Here, Sopher tells why this is such an important topic for today’s companies and discusses some of the key challenges that supply chain managers are facing on this evolving front.
SCO: Why should supply chain innovation be top of mind for companies right now?
Sopher: A new wave of technology has hit the supply chain market over the last few years. This is being driven by a number of factors as technology has advanced, and mobile options have emerged, and companies are learning how to best take advantage of these opportunities. This is helping to drive improvements and competitive advantages across nearly all industries.
SCO: How does technology tie in with competitive advantage in today’s business world?
Sopher: Knowing what technologies are out there, what applications of the technologies are possible, and how those applications are being leveraged can help transform supply chains. It ensures that companies aren’t “followers,” and that they understand the current market options and know how to take advantage of those that are most applicable to their business models.
SCO: Can you provide an example?
Sopher: We’re seeing a lot of innovation in the area of supply chain analytics. Companies have a lot of data at their fingertips, both internal and external, and they are learning how to leverage that data to their advantage. And while there are a lot of tools and applications available to help with this process, many companies still lack the visibility into all of these options and/or they don’t have the right talent in their organization to fully capitalize on the technology to drive improvements.
SCO: So what’s the solution to these tech-related supply chain challenges?
Sopher: Companies need to gain a better understanding of the technology and make investments that will give them an advantage over their competitors in the coming years. Whether they’re using predictive supply chain analytics to better understand sourcing and procurement needs, wearable technology to better manage the warehouse, or 3D printing to make manufacturing more efficient, the basis is the same: supply chain technology is evolving rapidly across different applications and companies need to know how to leverage it.