The age-old system of the Supply Chain has also been highly influenced by technology. Supply Chains have a comparatively different and modern role in the 21st Century. Every step in the process has been modernized keeping the newer and demanding nature of consumer behavior.
To understand the working of modern supply chains and compare them to a fairly older model, we first need to understand the meaning of supply chains!
What is a Supply Chain?
In business and commerce, a supply chain is a network of processes or steps that enable the entire system, from production to the distribution of an end product to the consumers. It is basically a group of activities, people, resources, data, logistics, and information that come together to form a smooth business system.
The term supply chain management was first coined by Keith Oliver in 1982. The late 1920s saw a rise in mass production alongside the assembly lines. This laid the foundation of supply chain management which included the production of products on a large scale with an integrated and tiered process that increased efficiency.
Ever since its discovery and with endless trials and errors, it is safe to say that the world has successfully implemented and integrated supply chains in global businesses. Supply Chains have now become an indispensable part of the Business.
Along with an overall change in supply chains, supply chain management has also seen major changes over the years. A large team is no more a necessity for the supply chain management. The roles of the supply change manager or a C-suite officer have witnessed some very drastic changes.
The Brand Called You, an incredibly motivational podcast platform recently launched its Season 3 with newer and inspirational episodes. The highlight of this season is the incredible Supply Chain series that brings some of the most experienced and successful minds from the supply chain business.
Joel Solomon, who featured in one of the episodes is a very experienced individual and a highly knowledgeable Supply Chain Guru from Malaysia!
He is currently the Head of Asia Pacific, Supply Chain Management for Braun. Earlier he was in the Supply Chain and Operations for Cargill and Campbell Soup.
In a very informative interview with our host Ashutosh Garg, Joel shared the story of his professional career and discussed the relevance of supply chains in a modern era.
His thoughts on Supply Chains:
Joel believes that Supply Chains have evolved to a point that they are a pivotal part of any organization and a lever that organizations can pull for maximized customer engagement, profits, and the overall balance of supply.
Joel has worked in diversified fields and businesses and he believes that the key to the supply chain management of all of these fields is ‘customer centricity’
He describes the amazing and speeding changes that technology is bringing about in supply chains. AI, Drones, strong networking, technology-oriented payments, and data analytics, the list is endless!
Consumer Expectations and the Pandemic:
When asked about the changing consumer behavior in the pandemic and increased consumer expectations, Joel responds
“ This is actually amazing. Because the biggest change or the biggest pressure it has put on supply chains is
– how close you can get to the customer.
– how fast you can respond to customer queries
These are to me, the new dynamics or the new levers that’s impacting how customers perceive an organization. So I feel that during this time, during this change when we work from home, we have to actually change the way we work. The traditional supply chain is not going to change. However what changes for us as supply chain practitioners is
– how fast you can collect insights from this,
– how fast you can sanitize the data to sensible data and and
– how fast can you reach to your customers?”
“So that the new way of working is probably where you spend more time online and less physically. But I suppose the one challenge we are always going to face as humans is that interaction is very critical. So that part of business is something that you need to find how to fix or how to keep evolving during this kind of time.”
Joel’s opinions are backed by his many years of experience in the supply chain field and his strong belief in technology as the driver of change!