“New” is Here to Stay: Make it Work for You

Night blooming cactus

I was glad to be a part of Supply Chain Insights Global Summit last month as it gave me a good chance to connect and reconnect with the people who share my passion for manufacturing and the supply chain. The conversations I had and the presentations I sat in on reminded me, once again, that “right” in manufacturing and supply chain is an always-evolving target. And if through hard work, smarts and some providence, you do get it right, it won’t be long before you need to recalibrate.

One of the things I find fascinating about this space is our never-ending pursuit of ways to make it better. The attendees I talked to are ready to wrangle, wrestle and wrap their hands around a lot of possible ways to make it happen. Artificial Intelligence, the Industrial Internet of Things, Cloud Robotics were just some of the topics and trends that these leaders are looking at to transform their businesses.

Another thing I admire: the pragmatism that imbues our thinking. It’s not that leaders in the supply chain are conservative or hardened skeptics. It’s just that they know just how hard transformation is to achieve. They’ve seen enough and learned enough to know that whatever’s making the headlines is worth exploring but won’t be the silver bullet to their challenges. In its own way, that takes courage.

So, there in the high mountain desert, I was reminded that there are tried, true and “old” ways to bring “new” change to fruition and they are worth repeating. When it comes to “game-changing innovation”

  • Start small. Find a place in your operation to test the way it works, what you have to change about your process, and what you’ll measure.
  • Recognize that with anything “new”, there will be glitches and gotchas. Engage with your partners and revise, repeat, and measure as often as needed.
  • Expand only when you have the results YOU want. Incremental change is more likely to stick and deliver the transformation you desire.

With all the energy and excitement around the space, it can be easy to get swept up in the hype.

But we’ve been here before, so I don’t have any doubt that we will tame this latest iteration – applying what we learn along the way.

Originally published on Beet Fusion.