The Future of Collaborative Supply Chains and|
Global Business 2005-2010
by Dr. James Canton
Overview This summary is from an ongoing research report and advisory service provided by the Institute for Global Futures on the future of supply chains and global business. For over twenty-five years the Institute for Global Futures has been conducting an analysis of key trends that will shape the future of business, the economy and society.
Overall we are headed toward an era of greater complexity, more competition, and faster change. Innovations will come sooner and cut deeper. Technology will continue to be a prime enabler of market share growth, profitability and competitive advantage. Information technology (IT), in this new era will become even more mission-critical to the survival of the enterprise. A new generation of power tools led by the Internet is just now emerging. The exponential growth of technology-from super smart computers to super fast networks will demand an enterprise and supply chain transformation. We are at the beginning of this era.
Supply chains are being reshaped by the Internet and the new efficiencies of e-business but there maybe something larger that is emerging. Do supply chains point to the evolution of a future economy? We think so. The movement of goods and services from manufacturer to supplier through distribution channels into the marketplace and eventually delivered to the customer is being transformed by information technology at a rapid pace. This is as true for knowledge-based products financial services) as well as manufactured goods. But this is just the beginning. Supply chains as a fundamental component of an economy, may give us insight into the larger economic shifts yet to come in the future. As next generation of supply chains are deployed---no longer reactive to commerce but being proactive, predictive and anticipatory emerge, so shall the next global economy.
The key trend that will enable the future of supply chains is electronic collaboration. Electronic collaboration between all the players of the supply chain, once collaboratively enabled, from the DNA of the products' inception to the customers' digestion-will be the sea change. This cannot occur without the embrace of new business models (e.g. JIT production) and shifts essential especially to the enterprise, (e.g. workflow engineering, eProcurement, eLogistics). These forces and the associated shifts described here will provide the transformation of the next global economy.
Collaborative supply chains will become prevalent in the future as fierce competitive forces use information technology as a weapon to differentiate their value. We are just at the beginning of this shift. Web-centric end to end solutions, today seemingly innovative will become tomorrows' EDI. As a new generation of tools and applications and networks emerge, smarter and faster solutions will prevail. Radical innovation is the only competitive advantage. Customers and their logistics partners who invest in flexible organic and scalable innovations that can fast adapt with the markets needs will be the winners. Real-time will be a key differentiator until it becomes the standard for all supply chain optimization. The capacity of the 21st century organization will continually be updating it's IT, this will be the norm. They must learn to be able to move faster and provide a smarter solution set so their customers can thrive in the extreme future.
As corporations become increasingly dependent on global trade to offset local maturing markets, the borderless transnational enterprise will require a streamlined new generation of supply chains. Innovations today will seem less so in the future. This report considers the leading trends that may indicate what's next for supply and chains and how these changes will both drive industry, economics and global markets in the near future.
Future Collaborative Supply Chain Paradigm Shifts
Seven paradigm shifts will define the next generation supply chains. Some of these shifts are emerging now; others are yet to reveal their role. Some can be seen in parallel economic and business environment, not associated with supply chains as yet-but together will become a change driver. What is interesting is that the traditional supply chain thinkers are holding hard to the infrastructure of the past even as the new infrastructure is growing up around them. Those leaders that have discovered the Web think that it is the end game. It is not. This is just the beginning where the new channel, the Web is an accelerator of dramatic changes to come. Everyone will be using end to end, Web-centric technology to accelerate their supply chains. This is not the innovative breakthrough. This is the new commodity. By cultivating a capacity for continual radical innovation, anticipating future opportunity and customer demand, leaders will be able to better navigate the challenges of the near future.
As we move beyond, into 2005 and further On-Demand Supply Chains will provide more speed, business intelligence and transparency for growing business opportunities. Seven key paradigm shifts point the way to the future of supply chains:
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