The supply chain isn’t what it used to be. Before too long, “chain” may be the wrong word entirely. Try “network” or “ecosystem” to describe the complex, dynamic process of getting from raw material to consumer. But whatever you call it, it’s evolving at a breakneck pace, and along with it, a new workforce is emerging.
The future of the supply chain
First, let’s explore what the future of the supply chain could look like. The transformation is already underway. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are already beginning to make an impact on how supply chains (and their leaders) operate. One analyst at the Gartner supply chain conference I recently attended made the bold prediction that the supply chain could act autonomously in the next 10 years. Algorithmic, “touchless” supply chains that weave in the power of big data, blockchain, robotics and 3-D printing may soon be the rule rather than the exception. The supply chain of the future is dynamic, always-on, and non-linear. The power to react quickly and make value-based decisions is essential to staying ahead of the market.
But even though the power of technology is integral to the supply chain of the future, the key to successfully transforming the supply chain is a strong pairing of skilled people and cutting-edge technology. The labor supply is shrinking, and highly-skilled, versatile workers are more important than ever. And so, the door opens for a new generation of supply chain leaders. Let’s explore what tomorrow’s supply chain pioneer could look like.
Anatomy of a supply chain visionary
Three steps toward achieving a connected supply chain