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 Management is becoming outdated.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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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

Pokemon Go

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.