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Supply Chain Is the Heart of Business

It’s official—the supply chain is now anything but a business niche. These days, businesses are bringing fully modernized supply chains to the game, introducing processes that are as streamlined and integrated as every other strategic asset.

The business of today

Back in the day, larger companies’ supply chains were slow, clunky, and predicable processes. Today that’s no longer the case. Businesses juggle multiple external entities, coordinate with companies around the world, outsource certain aspects of manufacturing, as well as collaborate with various internal teams. Needless to say, if the chain is the heart of a company, the people involved are the lifeblood.

Wanted: Supply chain gurus

Due to such growth, experts within the supply chain industry are highly sought after. Supply chain management graduates are in demand, as they’re ready and willing to tackle the industry’s near-constant disruption. Such eagerness is vital, as those entering the field will need an innovative eye—better-aware of how to move products faster—as well as a thorough understanding of how the entire business functions. The supply chain managers of tomorrow will need resiliency as much as agility—the ability to anticipate obstacles, and adapt.

What’s driving the change?

Tech-savvy retailers

Point blank—technology is cheaper and more user-friendly than ever before. From hardware to software, cloud storage to cloud services, their collective accessibility has empowered smaller, innovative startups to compete with older, established business models.

eCommerce "A-game"

eCommerce has singlehandedly shaken retail logistics operations. There’s no longer the one-size-fits-all warehouse solution. Fulfillment boils down to accurate demand forecasting, or how best to move inventory towards customers, and also reverse logistics, or how best to manage returns and edit inventory. Strategy involves scalable warehouse facilities ranging in size, services, proximity to population, and length of operation. Ultimately, it all comes down to optimizing the last mile of delivery.

An agile outlook

Strategizing today’s supply chains involves recognizing—and anticipating—potential risks. Via technology and agile principles, today’s supply chain experts are often able to pinpoint, and plan around, natural or economic disasters. Visibility into the supply chain enables understanding the flow of goods and develops alternative plans to keep them moving in case of emergency.

There’s no turning back the supply chain clock. Technology forges ahead—and for the thousands of experts infiltrating the industry—supply chain innovation shows no sign of slowing.

Insights based on the introduction from The Future of Supply Chain, “Supply Chain Is the Heart of Business Today, Its People Are the Lifeblood” by Dale Rogers, ON Semiconductor Professor of Business, ASU.