Supply Chain efficiency is a big big deal. More over, this area of the enterprise technology stack and associated strategy has seen little to no innovation for well over a decade. Years ago, Dennis Howlett wrote:
In my argument, breakthrough ROI comes from seeing these technology through the lens of collaboration, which in turn implies process and context. I am mindful that huge amounts of value continue to be locked up in supply chains. AMR quoted a number of $3 trillion in 2005. Has that materially changed? Simply being able to communicate across supply chains in a meaningful manner could do wonders to lubricate those rusty wheels.
Back in the summer of 2009 I wrote about taming the supply chain beast with Enterprise 2.0 approaches and technology. On the value of connecting suppliers to not just each other and to the procurement department, but to other organizational facets generally quarantined from suppliers, I wrote:
First, no one knows the true power, limitations and opportunities for each component of a product better than the very folks who build them. Second, component manufacturing is largely a commodity business. As a supplier, I need to differentiate myself from competitors who are waiting for me to falter or cut me on price. I need to be a strategic partner to be somewhat indispensible. Social Software can open up the lines of interaction beyond R&D, Procurement and Product Development, allowing suppliers to learn, first hand, any pain felt by the end customer. Or help marketing really understand the deep competencies of each component of the end product. Or provide new insight to R&D on early technology innovation at the component level. And on and on.
That’s purpose built collaboration (a.k.a business case) with dead clear incentives for suppliers to participate (a.k.a adoption) and play a role in the success of an end product in the market place.
It took a while but I’m thrilled that for the first time were going to see a supply chain case study at the Enterprise 2.0 conference, next week. Tony Martins, VP of Supply Chain at TEVA Pharmaceutical will talk about how TEVA is leveraging collaboration to improve supply chain performance. Tony is definitely is one of the pioneers in re-shaping what supply chain efficiency can mean.
The session description is here:
Thanks to decades of supply chain optimization solutions, today’s leading organizations have mature transaction-oriented supply chain designs.
However, managers spend over half of their time dealing with unexpected events that can’t be addressed with structured processes. To maintain a competitive edge, companies need to embrace new ways that enable spontaneous association. Social Enterprise and Open Collaboration provides a more effective way to address the volatile world and gain significant improvement in operational efficiencies.
Tony will present a case study at 3:45 on Wednesday the 22nd of June followed by a Q&A session. Tony will also share the keynote stage with Tom Kelly of Moxie Software on Wednesday at 9am.
If you’re looking to frame the business value of social and collaborative business to line of business leaders or to IT, this session is sure to provide you with the needed ammunition to make your case.