We live in a changing world, where in the future, supply chains will no longer be managed in a linear fashion, as suggested by the SCOR model of Source-Make-Deliver chains. In this article, we present our vision for the future of supply chains and the topics that will determine their competitiveness. The future of supply chains will be characterized by growing business networks and cloud-enabled ecosystems. Companies will be members in multiple ecosystems and may play multiple roles. For instance, an OEM could act as a supplier, an engineering contractor, and a participant in a marketplace he has created with competitors.
Supply chain optimization is crucial in an increasingly globalized competitive world where margins are under constant pressure. In the recent decade, most of the attention in supply chain design has been on maximizing resource utilization, offshoring to lower-cost regions, outsourcing non-value added operations, implementing just-in-time systems, and investing in communication technologies. With the rapid expansion of the economy and technology, business competition has morphed into supply chain competition. Supply chain management has sparked public concern due to the frequency and severity of terrorist attacks, pandemics, hurricanes, and other disasters, resulting in lower production, higher costs, rising customer dissatisfaction, and much more.
No matter how big or small, all markets are ruled by many factors and rules that are impossible to predict perfectly. In an age where conditions change by the second, it is difficult, if not impossible, to predict trends and events without the help of a framework that allows versatility and helps you to stay ahead of the game. Today, the market is defined by VUCA - Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity. To survive and thrive in the next normal requires a transformation not to be blindsided at any point. A vital element of this transformation is agility, and the agile supply chain is one part of this epoch.
Increased levels of customization and particularization of every capability have made their way into all forms of business and production. The supply chain has not been able to stay out of this domain of reorganization, and as a result, supply chain segmentation is a hot topic.
Our world is changing and becoming increasingly more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA). What does this mean for top-performing supply chains? To maintain a sustainable competitive advantage over competitors, they need to excel in three qualities:
Allocation planning plays a key role in these three processes. This detailed guide discusses allocation planning, why it’s important in supply-constrained supply chains, and how it can help supply chains achieve agility, adaptability, and alignment in a challenging post-COVID world.
A digital twin is a highly detailed digital replica of any system that uses comprehensive data to emulate the working of the system at all times. Therefore, a supply chain digital twin is a simulation model of a supply chain. You feed the model real-time data from all sources and systems of the organizations that can exactly work out the effects of macro and micro-changes on the system using advanced analytics and learning models.
We live in a changing world, and our environment becomes increasingly Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. Over the last few weeks, we dove into the VUCA framework and the megatrends that shape VUCA. In the final article of this series, we'll put together the learnings and focus on the companies thriving in a VUCA world: competitive project-driven companies that are lean, agile and digital.
In the fifth article of our series on VUCA, we’re diving into Ambiguity. Ambiguous things are open to more than one interpretation and do not have one obvious meaning. Therefore, within the VUCA framework, Ambiguity tells us it is not clear how to interpret events. We rarely, if at all, know what effect events will have on the future. The role they will play in further developments is fuzzy.
This week, we're taking a look at Complexity: the third concept in the VUCA framework. In this sense, a complex world means a world where you deal with many interconnected parts and variables, and large amounts of information need to be processed to make sense of all aspects and their influence.
In today's article, we're continuing our deep dive into VUCA and will discuss Uncertainty. Uncertainty is driven by unpredictability and surprises – meaning that events will occur that we do not expect and have not planned for. Managing Uncertainty means planning for a world that is hard to predict.