The Internet of Things (IoT) – Welcome the Digital Supply Chain!

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Over the last 5 years there has been an explosion of smart and connected devices. Gartner is predicting that by 2020 there will be 37 Billion connected devices and more than 4.3 Zetabytes of data generated by these devices.  The Internet of Things (IoT) is well upon us!

Quick adoption of health devices like Fitbit and smart thermostats such as Nest are bringing more and more connections and opportunities into the consumer world. As such many home appliance and consumer goods companies are looking at how they can take advantage of this trend and transform their interaction with their consumers and customers.

In order to understand how this is starting to evolve and how it will impact and change the digital supply chain, let us consider 4 user cases that are emerging with early adopters in this space.

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Supply Chain Personified! The Link Between Your Company Silos!

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How many parts of your company act as independent Company Silos?  How many functions in your  organization conduct themselves like they are islands?

One of the main problems in a functionally organized company is that those functions over time can become isolated from each other.  The responsibilities, metrics, skills, strategies and mandates for each function can cause people to put their functional focus ahead of the greater company objectives.

But the Supply Chain team is uniquely positioned to bridge all of these silos and islands.  Supply Chain is truly the link that can hold your company together!

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10 Great Lessons Learned in Business!

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In reflecting back on over 1,000 sessions and almost 10,000 hours of working hands-on with entrepreneurial leadership teams, I’ve observed and learned some great business lessons that will help you and your leadership team.

My hope is that these leadership lessons will serve as constants for you as you build a great company, and that they’ll give you insight, something to shoot for, peace of mind, a wake-up call, and a few aha’s.

Enjoy.

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Supplier Collaboration is a Win-Win Strategy!

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Suppliers are an intrinsic part of the Supply Chain.  It does not matter what business you are in, what products you make, distribute and sell, or what part of the world you are in.  And it doesn’t matter where in the Supply Chain you are.  You can not accomplish anything without collaboration with your Suppliers.

Yet I have seen, like many of you, Suppliers treated in many different ways.  No matter what the circumstances are poor treatment of Suppliers is never appropriate.  Given that Customers fundamentally need their Suppliers to be successful why do people treat them badly?  And how do we ensure there is a healthy and productive relationship between Suppliers and Customers?

Working together with your Suppliers is always a formula for success!

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The Target Canada Story and the Brand Impact of the Supply Chain!

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The responsibility for protecting and promoting your product or company brand is often thought to be generally held by the Marketing Department.  But in reality the Supply Chain organization has an enormous role to play as the Supply Chain can positively or negatively impact your brand in many significant and different ways.  This was the case with Target.  

One of the most pronounced examples of the role of the Supply Chain in serving and protecting your brand is found in the story of Target Canada.  Faced with unprecedented plans for expansion in Canada Target had to close its entire operation only two years after beginning operations.

The performance of the Supply Chain was a central element leading to this massive failure and damage to the Target brand.

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How AI, Machine Learning and Automation Will Impact Business!

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We are living in exciting and innovative times with futuristic technology literally at our fingertips to impact business. But for the longest time, small to medium sized businesses were not serviced by the latest tech trends enterprises have been able to benefit from. That is, until now.

In this article, we’ll explore these technology trends and how they will impact business in the future.

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Our 2017 Top 10 List! – Part 2

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It’s been a tremendous first year at  supplychaingamechanger.com.  Our goal has always been to share experiences and expertise.  And in the second half of 2017 we had an ever increasing number of articles contributed by industry leaders all of whom have been very generous in sharing their intellect and insights.  This is our second 2017 Top 10 List.

Our readers and contributors come from all over the world.  They include individuals new to Supply Chain as well as Industry leaders and everyone in between.   And they work in many different industries and vocations.   But they all have a common interest in Supply Chain, Operations, Business, Leadership, Change Management, Human Resources, Transformation,  and Technology.

Most importantly they all have an interest in learning and sharing.

As we end this first year we wanted to publish our 2nd Top 10 List.  Our first Top 10 List covered the Top blog posts from the first half of 2017 so our 2nd Top 10 List will cover the second half of 2017.

Thank you for your tremendous, ongoing support.  

So here is our 2nd Top 10 List of 2017…

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5 Seismic Shifts in Supply Chain Technology!

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Supply chain technology is seeing seismic shifts and changing rapidly as new, innovative solution providers leave traditional legacy players behind.  

Tremors. Seismic shifts. In supply chain management technology there is a fault line separating new, innovative technology providers and traditional supply chain software providers, and the gap between them is growing.

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Procurement Bots – Transformer or Destroyer?

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The last few years have seen a lot of real (and over) hype associated with the emergence of Software Robots (called Bots/Bot) and Procurement Bots which are disrupting the legacy procurement processes involving human interface.

This research paper introduces the concept and evolution of the Bots, their characteristics with focus on Procurement processes, the Pros and Cons and debates on the transformation of the procurement function (vs destruction of human interface).

In summary – Bots will have a high appeal on the transactional and digital side of procurement processes and will gain exponential growth in the coming years with the advent of cognitive and machine learning tools.

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Get Ready for Holiday Now: Make It Boring (From A Supply Chain Perspective)!

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The Holiday season finished recently.  And the next Holiday season may seem far away.  But in the area of E-Commerce Fulfillment it will be here before you know it.  Now is the time to begin implementing the improvements and strategies you need to make this coming Holiday season more successful than last year.

Having gone through the ups and downs and stresses of several Retail Holiday seasons myself, one January I gave this direction to my team.  For the upcoming Holiday our theme was that we were going to have a BORING Holiday season … from a Supply Chain perspective.

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You are Connected Everywhere! Why isn’t your Supply Chain Connected?

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Have you ever tried to drive in a blinding snowstorm or when the rain or fog is so thick that you can’t see in front of your car?  It’s not possible!  And it’s risky to even try!

So why is it that the Supply Chain in so many companies is being run without the end to end visibility needed to even function, yet which we have in our personal lives?

In this age of exponential growth in digital connectivity the time has come to ensure you have End to End Supply Chain visibility.  If you carry a Smartphone you can be tracked anywhere.  So why don’t you apply this technology to your Supply Chain?

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To Centralize or to Decentralize? That is the Organization Design Question!

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It seems that every time there is a Management change in an organization there is movement to change the existing organization structure.

In some cases your Function or company is decentralized and new management wants to centralize everything.  In the opposite case they want to centralize everything.  And certainly there are organization structures which are a hybrid of both paradigms.

But in the Supply Chain world what is the best way to organize the function?

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Executive Sponsorship to Enable Change!

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SC Viral The Pandemic Diaries

Anyone who is trying to make changes will be met with a variety of reactions and responses.  This will happen regardless of how important the change is to your Job, your Department, your Function or your Company.  But what if you had Executive Sponsorship?

Certainly there will be people who will happily, and openly, be willing to support you and help in any way they can.  While this is critical, it is more important to understand that there are those who will aggressively oppose you.  They may put obstacles in your way or they will be passive aggressive in their lack of support.

There may be many good reasons that you will be faced with this kind of opposition.  However it is incumbent upon you, as the leader, to take all necessary steps to address these issues head on.  One technique that can help you and your Company is to solicit and acquire visible and active Executive Sponsorship!

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Innovations in Offline Retail! (Infographic)

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There is no escaping the fact that offline retail has changed over the last number of years. The predominant reason for this is advancement in technology but specifically with the emergence of the Internet and associated devices which allow consumers to literally shop from the comfort of their couch.

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7 Essential Attributes of Strategic Supplier Partnerships!

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Though the phrase partnership is often used, what really constitutes a strategic supplier partnership?

In a previous article about supplier management, I suggested that the more a supplier tells you that they are strategic, the less they really are. Strategic is a term that is often overused. Whether the phrase refers to sourcing, procurement, relationships, or other matters, its use is prevalent.

The notion of partnerships is equally ubiquitous and similarly both mis- and over-used. This article will identify a taxonomy for a strategic partnership between two parties.

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