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Responsiveness and the Future Supply Chain

Responsiveness and the Future Supply Chain

February 03, 2011 0 Comments

I’ve been a McKinsey follower for 20 years and often used their insight as fodder for some of my presentations. I always try to blend a bit of business sense into what I say and a big part of what I have to do is bridge the business and technical value of what we have to offer. Emerging technology, where I’m often found, always has a sense of a solution looking for a problem and any time there’s a catalyst from an industry and market force such as McKinsey, I’ll take it.

I was intrigued by the title of the latest (January 2011) McKinsey Quarterly issue where “Building the supply chain of the future” was tackled. Now this piece, crafted by Yogesh Malik, Alex Niemeyer, and Brian Ruwadi, brings up some interesting points about meeting the challenges of the next generation supply chain. In particular, their points on splitting monolithic chains into smaller, more nimble segments and viewing the supply chain as a dynamic entity in an effort to hedge uncertainty. Both will require new thinking on the part of the business and both will require more from the technology in place. The focus then becomes not just visibility but one that emphasizes operational responsiveness.

Responsiveness in the supply chain requires heightened awareness of all segments in the chain. “Nimbleness” is achieved by being able to sense and respond to changing conditions and allow for immediate, in-flight, changes to the processes that run the chain. Siloed systems and management won’t work. Strictly relying on information gathered after the fact may be too late.

You’ll need to move from reactive to responsive. The good news is that it’s possible now – and with much of what you already have in place. We can do that with Progress RPM right now. If you’re re-thinking your supply chain, you might want to check it out: Progress Responsive Process Management (RPM) suite.

David Olson

View all posts from David Olson on the Progress blog. Connect with us about all things application development and deployment, data integration and digital business.

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