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Building a culture of supply chain transparency and real-time data : Adapting to the living supply chain
Many organisations feel uncomfortable with the idea of visibility as a transformative element that will drive supply chain improvements. While the concept of velocity seems to be widely adopted, there are a great number of excuses around why visibility is not possible within their industry, organisation or business function. Part of this hesitancy may have to do with the massive hype cycle that exists today around ‘big data’, ‘digitisation’, the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI). These terms have proliferated to the point where executives are effectively paralysed, not knowing how to proceed and unsure of how to justify investments due to the lack of any return on investment (ROI). Further, the challenges of data governance and integration are causing many executives to halt in their tracks, as the idea of ‘pumping our bad data through the Internet’ is cause for consternation. For instance, a group of pharma executives had a major discussion and were unsure if good manufacturing practices (GMP) data could be shared, if it had not yet been validated. The challenge for many of these organisations is that there is no clear roadmap for adoption of real-time data transformation. The technology is not the challenge — the real issue has to do with the shift in mindset, change management and governance that exists as data becomes more transparent across multiple tiers of suppliers and customers. The legal implications are also causing uncertainty, as are the ramifications of exposing one’s data in the face of recent cyber security breaches. The issue of exposing one’s data to potential legal issues is also a consideration. Most importantly, executives do not have a clear picture of the shift in skill sets, talent, capabilities and new job roles that will be affected by a broader set of technological shifts towards digitisation and real-time living supply chains. This paper proposes that several key cultural components of an organisation are required to adopt to a digital ecosystem.
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Rob Handfield PhD, is the Bank of America University Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management at North Carolina State University and executive director of the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative1 and is on the Faculty for Operations Research Curriculum at NC State University. Rob is the author of several books on supply chain management, the most recent being The Living Supply Chain: The Imperative of Operating in Real Time. Other books include Biopharmaceutical Supply Chains, Supply Market Intelligence, Supply Chain Redesign and Introduction to Supply Chain Management (1999), which has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Russian and Korean. Rob has co-authored textbooks for MBA and undergraduate classes including Purchasing and Supply Chain Management (6th edn, with Robert Monczka) and Operations and Supply Chain Management (3rd edn, with Cecil Bozarth).
Tom Linton is a widely recognised expert on procurement and supply chain and received the Life Time Achievement Award from the Procurement Leaders Organization at the World Procurement Congress in 2017. Since January 2012 he has served as chief procurement and supply chain officer and senior vice president at Flex Ltd. Tom has decades of experience in both global procurement and the semiconductor industry, having held various executive positions in companies around the world. Tom built his career over 20 years at IBM, eventually rising to the role of director of global hardware procurement, where he founded and developed several worldwide trading and technical centres. After leaving IBM, he helped found E2open Inc., a supply chain software company, where he served as a corporate Vice President and General Manager for South Asia. He serves as a Director of the Institute for Supply Management, Inc. (ISM). Tom is a graduate of the University of Vermont and a guest lecturer at MIT. Tom is the recent recipient of an important US patent for ‘Method and System for Collecting Supply Chain Performance Information’.
CitationHandfield, Rob and Linton, Tom (2019, June 1). Building a culture of supply chain transparency and real-time data : Adapting to the living supply chain. In the Journal of Supply Chain Management, Logistics and Procurement, Volume 1, Issue 4.