My team and I had just gotten back from the India Manufacturing Supply Chain Summit & Awards 2016 at Mumbai. The theme of this summit was Industry 4.0: Creative Solutions for the Next Generation. For 2 days some of the best Supply Chain Practitioners and Solution providers from India discussed under one roof the supply chain planning challenges they face, such as the future of Manufacturing supply chains, and how best to work as a team to tackle the expected manufacturing boom in India. In this blog I will share some of the key learnings from this summit so those from the supply chain community who could not be at the summit can share the great information.
The world has become more and more customer centric whether it is a B2B or B2C environment. Customers have all the information they need on hand and now more than ever expect companies to deliver goods and services customized to their needs at the fastest time possible. This is adding more and more complexity to supply chains and the practitioners need to continue to innovate and come up with creative ideas to address supply chain planning challenges. The need of the hour is a happy ‘Marriage’ between the Science of Supply Chain Technology and the Art of Process and People.
Sustainability was one of the important topics. It is inspiring to hear from Supply chain leaders of important groups on how sustainability is one of the key parameters they look at while planning. It is very challenging to supply chain practitioners to deliver a lean supply chain for their group adhering to Sustainability. To accomplish that, they need to use all the available data and technology at their disposal and continue to pursue new ideas and innovations.
Lean Manufacturing has been the buzz word in manufacturing industries for a long time and most companies have achieved lots of benefits by going lean and mean. An exciting discussion was how can we stretch further and become more lean and mean across the entire Value chain by using the wealth of data and technologies that we have. The key is to make the next generation’s Lean Manufacturing dream a reality.
A good supply chain is incomplete without adding Sales and Marketing activities. In the current digital Supply Chain, it is important for groups to do new type of marketing activities, including smart use of Social media like LinkedIn, Facebook and twitter. One of the biggest supply chain planning challenges in this digital world is negative publicity and spreading of news if things go wrong. So groups should make best use of Social media for spreading positive messages.
Usually procurement is considered as an add-on to supply chains with the sole purpose of saving cost of goods sold. But in the new age supply chains, procurement teams should be considered as an integral part with long term goals and business expansion. Procurement can play a great part in making businesses competitive. It is important to understand how procurement leaders can assist in branding new products and helping with market development after the cost waste and redundancies have been stripped out.
Consumer markets today are driven by mobile technologies and cut-throat competition. This means there is immense pressure on the logistics companies to transport goods in the most efficient ways. Such scenarios provide 3PL operators the ability to adapt new technologies. Operators can then use new models and put greater emphasis on network optimization. They have to be on the lookout for adapting future tools like drones, driver-less trucks and 3D printing.
In the past transition of different supply chains, whether it is the industrial revolution, the introduction of Assembly lines in mass production, the introduction of Main frame computers in manufacturing or the advent of personal computers, internet and ERP took decades to evolve. But the general feeling in the community is that the ongoing transition of Internet of Everything (Internet of people + Internet of Things) or Smart Supply Network 3.0 as some experts call it will happen really soon even before people realize it.
Our booth in the summit generated a lot of interest among the attendees. They were curious to know what we do, what kind of technology we use, how we can help them better their supply chains and how we are different from others. Such interest among the community makes us very happy because this means that they are seriously thinking about new technology to make their supply chains better. It is exciting to work with supply chain practitioners and help them make best decisions using a wealth of data at their disposal.
Change is marching at you at rapid pace. It is for you to decide whether you want to embrace it and be a change agent. That is the only way you can stay ahead of the game in this generation.
We thank the organizers of the India Manufacturing Supply Chain Summit & Awards 2016 for bringing to the forefront these topics for discussion and giving us the opportunity to talk with other Supply Chain colleagues.