2030. That is only 13 years, 4 months away. For manufacturers – and their supply chains – that time horizon is barely a blink of an eye when you think about the pace of innovation today.
We all know that manufacturing is on the brink a significant transformation as information becomes as critical to production as man and machine are today. And so, too, will we see significant changes in the way supply chains are built and run. And it will happen much sooner than most of us think.
In fact, I believe we’re seeing the signs of meaningful change now. Manufacturers in all segments see consumer behavior changing and the need for shorter, more flexible supply chains and more frequent innovation cycles. One of my customers, Jabil Electronics, is on the forefront of building supply chains that can support the new model for manufacturing. The company is focusing on smaller operations, that can ramp up and scale back in much shorter timeframes and operations that are closer to the end market.
What’s happening technology-wise that makes this possible? Today, we’re in the heart of the perfect storm of low-cost sensors, devices, processing power, data storage, connectivity and ways to handle big data that will allow manufacturers to sense and respond in real-time to shifts in demand, market conditions, and risk.
When information on everything from quality metrics and marketing feedback to demand updates is available to inform decision-making on everything from design changes to sourcing to marketing strategies, supply chains will not only be flexible, they will be nimble. Supply chains will be designed to support local customer needs and expectations. They will be able to optimize innovation and value. In other words, supply chains will finally become the engine for success in manufacturing that we have all been working for them to become.
Originally published on Beet Fusion.