Is your business disruption ready?

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A technological storm is brewing, one that has many different names. The Fourth Industrial Revolution. The Cyber Physical Supply Chain. Industry 4.0. The Age of Disruption. The Digital Age.

Whatever name you prefer, the concept behind them all is the same; we are facing a wave of change driven by innovations in robotics, autonomous vehicles, additive manufacturing, smart machines, e-commerce, big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning and cognitive computing. Machines are becoming smarter. Jobs are becoming automated. Management is becoming outdated.

It is poised to affect the entire end-to-end supply chain. It’s impacting every area from digging stuff out of the ground, through to the factory, the warehouse and now the transportation of goods. Your children are unlikely to do the same job you did. In fact, the entire concept of a job for life, even just a career, is something that may soon be a relic of the past.

It’s a winner take all model. For those winners, the spoils will be enormous, concentrating great power into the hands of a small group of technology driven organisations. Unlike the First Industrial Revolution, which benefited people both as participants in the production and consumption of goods, this time round the greatest beneficiaries will be those with capital; the shareholders. The benefits to ordinary people will be limited to that of a consumer.

To demonstrate how big this shift is, according to a 2014 estimate, the three leading companies of Silicon Valley had a combined market capitalisation of $1.09 trillion and employed 137,000. Just twenty-five years earlier, in 1990, the three largest companies in Detroit had a market capitalisation of $36 billion – but they also collectively employed about 1.2 million workers. The trickle down model seems to have stopped trickling.

So while the World Wide Web provides many things for free, such as knowledge, many workers are seeing their traditional skills become redundant by new computer technologies and the new employment opportunities have mainly been created for highly skilled workers. The scary point is, we are only at the very start of this economic and social transformation. By 2025 autonomous vehicles –cars, lorries, drones – will be commonplace, replacing the multitude of driving jobs currently carried out by people. In the US alone there are 8.7 million trucking-related jobs, and approximately 1 million car drivers (180,000 taxi drivers, 160,000 Uber drivers, 500,000 school bus drivers, and 160,000 transit bus drivers). Very few of these will have a job moving forwards.

The transformation will affect more than blue collar workers; the nature of occupations and whole industries is changing. Technology is enabling not just the automation of repetitive tasks but also cognitive tasks involving subtle and non-routine judgment. All the signs indicate that we are entering a period of disruptive change of a scale not seen since we decided to put down our pitchforks, stop living an agricultural existence and head for the cities to become part of an industrial society.

Companies like Amazon, who have a clear vision as to how these technologies can aid their mission to dominate the world of retail, are mercilessly pushing their virtuous cycle of innovation, changing the way we buy goods, and our expectations around when and how they are delivered. They envision an end-to-end value chain dominated by platforms that they are in control of, a model where the consumer only has to say out loud what they want, and behind the scenes a fully automated global supply kicks into gear to provide your goods within hours.

The days of mass production are now over. The future supply chain will be personal, automated and local. The question is – are you ready?

To find out the answer to this, and to learn more about the nature of this new wave of creative destruction, be sure to attend my full day workshop on Disruption in the Supply Chain.

During the day we will explore the nature of the changes currently underway, how they will affect your business, what companies like Amazon are doing with these technologies to ensure they orchestrate the whole international supply chain, and how companies need to change their mindsets and organisational structures in order to adapt to this new world.

Learn how to not just survive, but thrive during this time of disruption.

About our Guest Blogger

Sean Culey

Member of the European Leadership Team of the APICS Supply Chain Council SCOR-P, FCILT, is a recognised strategic advisor, business transformation expert, keynote speaker and author focusing on helping companies develop compelling value propositions and strategies that get executed. Previously CEO of SEVEN, Sean has 25 years of global experience across numerous verticals, and is also CMO for an international software company. Sean will be delivering a series of workshops on the impact of disruptive innovations on business across the Asia Pacific region in November 2016, and his first book; Transition Point: Revolution, Evolution or Endgame? is due in 2017.

http://www.supplychaindisruption.com

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What do lean and seat belts have in common?

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The fundamental change that has occurred in the wearing of seat belts has been used as an analogy to describe the lasting change that is required for a successful lean transformation.

This analogy was shared in today’s apicsAU webinar Deploying, consolidating and Sustaining a Lean Transformation by guest presenter James Hildebrand.

Today, even pets travel safely within the restraints of custom-built seat belts in cars.

James says that the approaches society has taken to bring about the successful seat belt-wearing transformation should be used by organisations who want to implement lean and achieve world class efficiency.

Transformation is also achievable through the professional development of our people.

To help you create a baseline knowledge of lean within your organisation, we’ve drawn from the APICS Body of Knowledge to identify 10 things your organisation needs to know about lean inventory:

  1. The concepts of just in time and lean, and how they apply to the management of inventories
  2. Why implementing lean and lean structure is important
  3. The three major sources of operations waste
  4. The difference between value-added work and waste
  5. How to manage inventory effectively in a lean environment
  6. How to explore the lean inventory flow analogy
  7. The impact of inventory reduction
  8. Lean pull-system basics
  9. How to calculate the number and work with kanbans/containers
  10. How to review the calculation of production, move and supplier kanbans

These ten points are also the learning objectives of a popular corporate training session within the APICS Principles of Operation Management Series. APICS qualified facilitators are provided to facilitate discussion and learning of lean inventory theory and practice. Customisable training sessions are available, based on the skills gaps within your supply chain team. Check out our free Supply Chain Competency Model launched in our blog last month.

apicsAU’s Regional Symposiums Navigating Your Supply Chain Into The Future are now short executive breakfast sessions to allow for you to invite your organisation’s decision makers to participate in supply chain issues which will, in turn, accelerate approval for your team’s professional development.

Seat belts on and let’s go!

The 7 Tests of True Mastery

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It appears we have never had so many experts roaming the planet than in our modern age. As I trawl through the LinkedIn profiles of my contacts, everyone it seems is a ‘specialist’, ‘sought-after authority’ or ‘expert’ at something – some even manage to specialize in pretty much everything!

Naturally, this is part of the necessary game of personal branding – one which I myself feel compelled to play to an ever-increasing extent (my own LinkedIn bio copy is evidence enough of this).

And yet I was recently reflecting on the notion of mastery. Not mastery in the more modern marketing form but in the traditional ‘master and apprentice’ sense. What are the tell-tale sign that someone has been around the block enough times and derived enough experience and skill to truly be a master at something.

Some would say that mastery is merely a function of time. For instance, Malcolm Gladwell is often credited for coining the 10,000 hour test which suggests that you have to do something for 10,000 hours before you are truly an expert. While this certainly has the ring of common sense about it, I can’t help but wonder if simply using time to determine mastery is a bit limited. After all, I know lots of people who are highly experienced but are neither experts or masters.

Reflecting on the many individuals in my sphere who, in my view, have truly achieved a level of mastery in their given field, there are 7 the characteristics that are common to them all:

1. They are rarely surprised – there is a positive sense that the truly experienced “have seen it all before” and therefore can remain calm, clear-headed and confident when the exceptional occurs

2. Their skills are not circumstantial – in other words masters are adept and comfortable in a wide variety of situations and contexts because their skill and expertise is second nature

3. They move beyond rhetoric and long-windedness – Paradoxically, I often find that it is people who use the most complex language who know least about a topic of body of knowledge. Those with superficial or merely academic understanding tend to find intellectual security in rhetoric and jargon. In contrast, those who truly understand a topic tend to use language that is refreshingly simple and concise. As Albert Einstein said, If you can’t explain it to an 6-year old, you don’t understand it yourself.

4. They have added to knowledge – rather than simply consuming or re-hashing existing knowledge and insight, true experts get to a point where they create and contribute new knowledge

5. They are constructively contrarian – Anyone can throw stones and attack another’s views but true experts can offer a contrary view without any need to be either aggressive or defensive. The goal becomes to improve the quality of thought rather than to score points

6. They are humble and open – True mastery engenders a wonderful humility, openness and a hunger to constantly grow and learn. In contrast, those with limited skill, knowledge or expertise often have the most rigid views and firm opinions. There appears to be something about the road to true mastery that wears away hard edges and dissolves arrogance.

7. They actively seek to apprentice others – Finally, I see time and time again that a key mark of mastery is the innate drive to invest in and mentor the next generation. There seems to come a point where the goal for those with mastery is not to simply build their own success but share what they have learned with those coming behind them – just as someone had likely done with them at some stage. This desire to leave a leave a legacy and pass on a heritage of skill and knowledge is perhaps one of the most powerful dynamics to witness – when an expert becomes an elder.

I don’t know if you find the above list as challenging as I do. As I draw closer to my mid-30s, I am increasingly aware of the tendency for age and experience to ossify my views, dim my optimism and even breed selfishness.

Bearing this in mind, I for one am committed to pursuing mastery in the true sense of that word. I don’t want to merely be experienced, I want to become an expert: secure in my convictions but ever-curious, open and looking to share and serve.

How about you?
michael mcqueen
Michael McQueen is our guest blogger.
Speaker | Author | President at Professional Speakers Australia – PSA | Leadership Coach | Social Researcher

Accessing training funds will get you on the Government’s radar

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Act now to showcase your organisation’s growth by accessing training funds and you will get onto the Federal Government’s radar for potential future funding.

This was the compelling advice given to our supply chain community this week during an exclusive apicsAU Thought Leader Series podcast interview with an Industry Skills Fund Adviser.

The topic of our podcast addresses accessing funding for training to fill skills gaps in supply chain and logistics but the message was clear: no matter the size or industry, your organisation will benefit if you apply for the funding, if nothing else but to “get onto their books” now.

The Industry Skills Fund, provided by the Department of Education & Training is a key element of the Australian Government’s strategy to boost business productivity and increase competitiveness across the economy. Companies can be reimbursed for their training costs by up to 75 cents in the dollar, depending on their organisation’s headcount or location, if evidence of a growth phase and technical skills gaps are identified and proven.

Our Corporate Partners have access to our free competency model which outlines skills required for each supply chain, procurement and logistics role, helping identify gaps.

And a highly skilled workforce that is able to adapt to rapid technological and structural change and to meet new business opportunities is a priority for Australia.

The podcast is a must-download for any business as a first step in the process of accessing this funding. Help is provided (skills advice and training grants) particularly to micro and small business, so they can continue to power the engine room of the Australian economy.

If you are looking to upskill and train employees to meet the future challenges, there is an upcoming Symposium, Navigating Your Supply Chain into the Future,  which is a must-attend one day event in Melbourne on 19 October and Perth on 24 November 2016.

apicsAU is at the forefront of changes for your supply chain. We are a premier non-profit, professional membership community providing leadership and innovation, education and training and professional development for the Australian supply chain, procurement and logistics community. apicsAU membership includes corporate partnerships and individual memberships.

APICS short courses, certifications and endorsements provide a specific solution to filling skills gaps in the supply chain.

The Government website for the Industry Skills Fund provides the first step in the application process. Now, over to you!

 

 

 

The world through a different lens

 

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As supply chain professionals, we see the world through a different lens. We delight more than others when our products and services are delivered on time or when the quality of the products and services meets our expectations. So when supply chains let us down, we feel very passionate about it.

This week’s Government meetings regarding Murray Goulburn pull at our heart strings. Do we buy the $2 milk or boycott it? Our thoughts go out to the supply chain professionals in the dairy industry and every supplier caught in the industry’s current situation. If you missed the Four Corner’s episode Milked Dry on Monday night, it offers a very balanced view of the industry’s current state of play.

As supply chain professionals, we are also acutely aware of the rules of business. So we do our best at solving very complex problems to uphold integrity. APICS has release a great three-minute video Raising the bar on supply chain management which captures our profession. It gives us a sense of pride and belonging.

The global supply chain industry is undergoing one of the largest changes in apicsAU’s 53 years in the industry. apicsAU has been working closely with APICS and its global Channel Partners to address these changes and determine how they affect the future career development needs of the supply chain professional.

If you review the APICS competency models for supply chain roles, every one of our roles requires higher order problem solving, planning and organisation, decision making and analytical thinking. As we move through change, these qualities will be much needed.

Here are five elements to a future-proof and supportive professional industry membership in supply chain:

  1. Global perspective

A global supply chain requires membership to a global professional body. It is our responsibility to apicsAU members to deliver a global outlook on their professional career in supply chain. Connecting our members with APICS will allow us to provide a truly international professional membership.

  1. Innovation

The global supply chain industry is undergoing one of the largest changes and yet locally, we’ve seen our manufacturing industry contracting, with the associated loss of jobs. The Government has made several announcements recently about the future of employment in our country and the fact that innovation will be an integral component to jobs in Australia.

apicsAU’s Supply Chain Innovation Report will keep members up to date on innovation and how to approach disruption. It’s close to completion.

apicsAU is working closely with Australian Industry Group to better understand the Industry Skills Fund and how employers can up skill their supply chain teams in a growth phase. If you would like more information about how the Industry Skills Fund applies to your business, please refer to our resource section. Look out for our podcast on the topic.

  1. Continual learning

Professional learning is about having access to resources, especially for those of you who are unable to attend our keynote presentations and site visits due to remote location or timing. We are planning a comprehensive calendar of local webinars, podcasts, whitepapers and reports to assist in your professional development.

We’ve launched a recording studio in our National Office to develop the apicsAU Thought Leader Series of podcasts. Download them to your preferred pod catcher today.

Come along to apicsAU’s Regional Symposiums commencing this month to explore seven vital elements to Navigating your supply chain into the future.

  1. Flexible learning offerings

The next generation learner requires a flexible and vibrant delivery of programs. At apicsAU we want to ensure that we appeal to young members and can incorporate the APICS material in such as way that engages with their learning style.

We are introducing block classes and Saturday classes for certification modules, site visits combined with keynote presentations, Closed Facebook groups for alumni and students, exam apps, Q&A forums and special interest groups all in the effort to deliver a learning format to suit differing needs.

  1. Career development

We are excited to announce a Career Portal which will allow you to look for jobs in the supply chain industry from your member portal. You will be able to post your own profile when you are looking for employment and employers will be able to post job ads amongst our 10,000+ community. Recruitment partners will also post jobs and are committed to offering valuable employment market insight, career advice and talent acquisition counsel to members.

Become an apicsAU member today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have a supply chain story to tell?

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We know that it’s not in your DNA to seek the limelight. However, supply chain management is rising in popularity as leading companies lean on supply chain attributes to position, promote and differentiate products, services and brands.

According to a recent article from APICS, “The CMO and the supply chain,” supply chain performance is a big deal, a big differentiator, and a game changer that can dictate the difference between generations of locked-in loyal customers and lost customers for life.

The article says that to the visionary CMO, the supply chain doesn’t run in the background. The supply chain is part of the story. It is part of the customer experience and an ingredient in the brand promise. It’s become a visible component in the marketing mix.

So, what does this mean for you? All of a sudden, you have the opportunity to tell a story. To make a difference. Now’s your chance!

Whilst this may sound a little daunting, there are ways and means to slowly build your confidence in public speaking and commence telling your story.  As a member of the professional supply chain community, apicsAU welcomes your story via its regular podcast channel, blog, symposiums, networking events and member profile opportunities.

Or, for those well versed in story telling, there’s apicsAU’s major conference – SMART.

Right on top of the issues facing supply chain professionals in Australia, the SMART 2017 conference theme will radically re-position delegates’ sentiment regarding the future of the supply chain industry in Australia.

The conference, to be held in the brand new International Convention Centre in Sydney on 29/30 March 2017, will provide a conference program “from the industry, for the industry.” We’re now calling for papers.

Five tips to securing a speaker slot at SMART

1. Review the SMART Conference theme and streams The theme for SMART 2017 – Innovation, productivity & performance in an age of disruption – is a narrative we’re hearing amongst leading industry thought leaders. Research the topic online and review how your organisation adds value to the theme. What is your story? How does it make a difference in the current market? What can others learn from you?

For the first time in the history of SMART, the streams represent the complete scope of the supply chain domain:

1. Manufacturing & Operations

2. Transport & Logistics

3. Supply Chain Strategy

4. Procurement & Purchasing

5. Systems and Technology

Continuous improvement and Lean will be consistent topics throughout these streams.

2. Review past Conference programs to see the calibre of speakers You will notice that the titles of speakers are generally middle management level or above. There are a mixture of local and international speakers. Do not limit yourself to just one speaker submission! Think about a number of angles to your story and what’s already been covered. Past Conference programs are available on request.

3. Update your biography and include keywords from the conference theme You will need to spend some time updating your biography to include latest achievements. Add keywords in relation to the conference theme. List any papers or presentations you’ve presented recently including any feedback received from audiences.

4. Update your online presence LinkedIn, Twitter and blog posts will be key reference checks conducted by the SMART conference organiser. Ensure your speaker’s online social footprint reflects the biography you submit.

5. Get in early! Lastly, get in early with your submission to ensure that you gain the best possible opportunity to secured a spot for SMART 2017. Download the Speaker submission form or email us today to get involved in telling your story to our community.

Note, a speaker spot is at the discretion of the SMART Conference Program Director.

 

Why the supply chain needs mental toughness

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Mental toughness will be a common topic at the Olympic Games this week.

Mental toughness is a personality trait which is emerging as the key to understanding how people respond to and perform under stress, pressure and challenge. Mental toughness explains up to 25% in the variation of an individual’s performance.  It is also a significant factor in individual and team well-being.

In our volatile uncertain complex and ambiguous world of supply chain management, mental toughness is becoming a key requirement and competitive advantage to effectively handle the pressures of:

  • Customer demands, in Australia major retailers require up to 98.5% service
  • Supply chain complexity through outsourcing, mergers and acquisitions
  • Industry consolidation and dealing with multiple cultures and behaviours
  • Shortening life cycles as innovation is needed to make a point of difference
  • Growing product portfolio’s, with a growing almost unmanageable tail
  • Cross functional communication and issue resolution

Mentally tough individuals and teams look forward to challenges, stay confident and focused on their tasks and deal positively with setbacks to deliver on their commitments, whilst keeping their emotions in check. Mentally tough individuals bring their ‘A’ game to work every day and learn from their mistakes.

Mental toughness can now be measured on individual and team level. Professor Peter Clough developed the MTQ48, the world’s first valid and reliable psychometric questionnaire for mental toughness. Clough is chair in Applied Psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University and a world-leading academic in applied psychology. The on-line 48 question survey is easy and take less than 10 minutes to complete.

Mental toughness in your supply chain team

Can mental toughness be developed in your supply chain team? You need four steps:

  1. Increase your understanding of the concept of mental toughness. Learn the definition, its history and its application
  2. Understand your mental toughness and your individual strengths and team improvement opportunities
  3. Understand tools and techniques to improve mental toughness and learn what the mentally tough do in real life situation
  4. Aspire to become more mentally tough, set goals to improve, use the tools and techniques, change your habits and hold yourself accountable, or use a coach to do so

Niels Van Hove

Niels Van Hove is a guest blogger for apicsAU and is founder of Truebridges. Niels has 18 years’ international supply chain experience and is an AQR accredited master trainer in Mental Toughness. He is presenting at apicsAU’s Regional Symposium “Navigating your supply chain into the future” in Melbourne on 19 October 2016. This is a unique opportunity for supply chain leaders to address seven key elements affecting their supply chains: strategy; standards; technology, leadership, workplace culture; HR legislation; and careers. Group discounts available and early bird discounts available until 30 September, 2016. Register now.

Change afoot: Pokémon Go fast-tracks augmented reality uptake

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You don’t have to be a gamer to know that Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm. You may have caught onto the craze. What is evidently apparent is that augmented reality, on which the game is based, is here is stay.

According to Clint Bertenshaw, apicsAU’s Education and Training Senior Officer, technology is battling two ways forward: virtual reality and augmented reality. He says augmented reality trumps every time over virtual reality because it incorporates the real world, including the workplace.

“Augmented reality will become a game changer for businesses because it will drastically transform the way we do our jobs. Some of its characteristics – including remote support; hands-free training; and the visualisation of pictures, data, text and other information – lend perfectly to the logistics and operations environments.”

apicsAU’s upcoming Symposium, “Navigating your supply chain into the future” is a theme on trend right now as it addresses the elements affecting our supply chains, including technology.

In a recent article “Prepare for the augmented reality workplace: The tech behind Pokémon Go will be in offices sooner than you think,” by Stephen Mercer, UK technology consulting leader at Deloitte, augmented reality could even be responsible for providing employees with instructions on how to respond to real life situations as they happen.

If augmented reality technology in the workplace uptakes as quickly as the Pokémon Go craze, then our workplaces could be completed transformed in the next few years. There will only be one constant. Our workplace culture.

According to John Bradbury, co-founder of The Operations Academy, introducing change as a learning process will mean employees are more likely to embrace change. It boils down to a strong workplace culture. He says a strong workplace culture is characterised by:

  1. Vision/Mission– A commitment to a clearly defined compelling future that is explicitly understood not just by the leadership, but throughout the organisation.
  2. Listening Generously – Learning to listen for the contribution in each other’s speaking as opposed to interpreting from one’s own assessments, opinions and judgments.
  3. Speaking Straight – Speaking honestly in a way that moves the business forward. Making clear and direct requests. Being willing to raise ideas or take positions that may result in conflict when it is a necessary step towards reaching objectives.
  4. Being There For Each Other– Supporting each other’s success. Operating from the point of view that we are all in this together and that any one person cannot ‘win’ at the expense of someone else or the business. Looking for each other’s greatness and providing rigorous support when needed.
  5. Honouring Commitments – Making commitments that move the business forward. Being responsible for our own commitments, holding others accountable for their commitments and supporting those who need assistance to achieve this goal.
  6. Acknowledgment and Appreciation – Each employee commits to be a source of acknowledgment and appreciation for the team; this includes giving, receiving and requesting acknowledgment.
  7. Inclusion – Learning to ask the question: “Who needs to be included in this conversation, decision or project to produce speed, effective action and the required result?”.
  8. Alignment– Maintaining the concern: “Are we addressing this issue, policy or problem with a regard for building alignment?”, as opposed to forcing our view or merely going along with the prevailing view.

Developing this culture requires a long-term commitment from the leadership, focusing on how employees are working, as well as on the systems and tasks required by the business. If this focus is maintained, the culture and business performance will develop hand in hand and augmented reality in the workplace becomes an opportunity rather than a threat.

John Bradbury is presenting at the upcoming Regional Symposium, Navigating your supply chain into the future being held as a one-day event on 25 August in Seven Hills, Sydney – at the heart of Western Sydney’s manufacturing and distribution hub. Further symposiums will take place in Melbourne on 19 October and Perth in November. Register now to receive an early bird discount of over $100.

To become an apicsAU professional member, to register for the symposiums, or for more information, please visit our website or call us on 02 9891 1411.