In the spirit of Halloween, we delve into a spine-tingling discussion with supply chain experts and thought leaders!
With the spooky season upon us, we've decided to blend the worlds of supply chain and heart racing suspense by reaching out to supply chain experts and asking the question: What is Your Favorite Scary Movie? But wait, it gets even spookier 👻. In the midst of discussing cinematic interests, we explore a much more serious matter – to uncover the terrors that haunt the dreams of tomorrow's supply chain leaders.
While having a conversation about some classic go-to horror flicks, we’re also digging into the very real challenges that lie ahead for the industry. From the ever-present specter of global disruptions to the ghostly glow of sustainability concerns and the eerie echoes of increasing complexities, the supply chain realm is filled with daunting shadows.
Read the thoughts of supply chain experts and thought leaders as they share their insights and give us a glimpse into the obstacles they foresee.
“I'm a huge fan of detective stories from Agatha Christie, and I also like more recent crime investigation series . I find it a good analogy between how detectives find the killer and how supply chain professionals need to root cause issues on a daily basis. Sometimes I jokingly refer to RCAs (root cause analysis) as supply chain forensics to the teams I work with. 😊
Speaking of scary, I see the greatest challenge in not leaving areas impacted by climate change behind. These have provided ample support to supply chains and thus businesses in the last decades. I specifically think of solutions which can help countries and areas impacted and how we can keep production there versus companies opting to immediately re-shore from the area to mitigate their risks. Of course, risk management in the case of a catastrophic event is something I don't wish on anyone to manage, but we need to be proactive here and support the transition to regenerative economies and supply chain solutions before it becomes catastrophic from a supply chain perspective. If this isn't scary, then I don't know what is! We just cannot opt for leaving people behind in our own supply chains.”
“I am not much into scary movies, yet I have recently discovered a Netflix Series, set in a post-apocalyptic world. ‘The Last of Us’ examines and describes a world in which it wasn’t a flu-like virus threatening our existence, but a parasitic fungus that used rising temperatures (global warming anyone?) to evolve and switch hosts from ants to humans. While seemingly far-fetched, I firmly believe we do not fully understand the impact the climate, land & biodiversity changes will have on our planet and what that means for humankind, making the evolution of a life-threatening fungus a greater possibility, a bigger risk than we would have imagined only a few years ago.
Having said that, it is most likely no surprise then that I see the Industrial Revolutions (all 4 of them) as the driving factors for the establishment of the greatest challenges tomorrow’s supply chain leaders are facing: an increasingly complex dynamic global trade environment and digitalization have directly or indirectly led to global warming, humanitarian rights concerns, the threat of pandemics, an increased risk of geopolitical and trade tensions, labor market challenges, data privacy concerns, etc., etc. Those risks and threats pose a significant challenge for any supply chain leader in their quest to balance adaptability, resilience, innovation, and efficiency while integrating new technologies and sustainability in their supply chains.”
“I don’t particularly like scary movies but if I had to pick one, I would say it’s The Shining.
The greatest challenge for tomorrow’s leaders is going to be adapting to the macro forces putting pressure on the supply chain. It is not ‘business as usual’ and leaders will need to be able to keep running their businesses whilst innovating.”
“I worry that leaders will have too short of a memory and too small a budget to invest in supply chain process, people and technology improvements. They will treat COVID as a black swan and not consider it as one of a series of never-ending disruptions. Convincing leadership of the need to intentionally and forcefully invest in risk mitigation and agility enhancing tools will be the biggest challenges over the next few years.”
“Maybe not cataloged as a scary movie, but the first movie of Resident Evil is definitely my favorite, as I love futuristic dystopias and zombies.
The greatest challenge for tomorrow's supply chain leaders will be directly related to sustainability and how we minimize the environmental impact of our operations. We are starting to see the different constraints arising from our past actions (e.g., resource shortages, climate change effect on routes, etc.), and time is running out for our 2030 goals and commitments to be achieved. Having the right talent, standardizing processes and measuring impact, as well as tracking progress while holding accountability for it are some of the main things that would need to already be in place to overcome these challenges.”
“My favorite scary movie is The Omen (1976).
Supply chain leaders are going to be challenged by the overwhelming power of AI and other technologies. It’s going to create a scenario where many companies will be attracted by every shiny object they see. These companies will be in a perpetual state of technology upgrades and implementation that will prove to be costly and disruptive while delivering little to no actual value. The best run supply chains will be those with managers who choose the right technology while never forgetting that the purpose of a supply chain is to do one thing - enable growth.”
“My favorite scary movie is The Silence of the Lambs.
I believe leaders will need to adeptly navigate the ongoing digital transformation of supply chains, ensuring effective integration of emerging technologies. Building resilient supply chains that can withstand global disruptions while remaining efficient is paramount, alongside addressing sustainability concerns and adapting to evolving customer expectations. Staying compliant with ever-changing regulations, combating talent shortages in critical areas, and securing supply chains against cyber threats are pressing issues. Effective supplier management, cost optimization, and strategic data management further add to the multifaceted challenges these leaders must tackle in tomorrow's dynamic and interconnected global marketplace.”
“Favorite Scary Movie: The Shining
I consider there to be a dichotomy in the challenges facing tomorrow’s Supply Chain Leaders.
On the one hand there will be the normal day-to-day operating and tactical challenges and issues that arise. There will be issues of customer satisfaction, company performance, competition, supplier performance, and on and on.
On the other hand, these leaders will be challenged with making the improvements necessary to create more resilient, more robust, more sustainable, and more advanced Digital Supply Chains.
And the top issues that will get in the way of overcoming these challenges will be complacency and inertia, and a lack of courageous and bold leadership.”
“None – this is one genre I am not a fan of.
During a recent conversation with a former colleague, we discussed a similar topic. We observed that with the widespread availability of AI tools and democratization of information, the new generation of talent is increasingly relying on these resources to expedite their learning process and acquire essential skills and capabilities. However, it’s important to note that information does not equate with knowledge.
In supply chain, mastery is cultivated over the years through a deep understanding of the end-to-end intricate processes and “being in the trenches”. One of the challenges that lie ahead for tomorrow's supply chain leaders will be guiding the next generation of supply chain professionals to master the supply chain craft while striking the right balance between easily accessing information and acquiring true knowledge.”
While the supply chain landscape undoubtedly presents its fair share of challenges, we know forward-thinking leaders across industries remain steadfast in their commitment to innovation and transformation. The journey may be fraught with uncertainties, much like a suspenseful scene in a horror movie, but our dedication to drive businesses forward and achieve remarkable outcomes is as fierce as ever. Adaptability is key!
Stay tuned for more in our Expert Insights Series as we share views and opinions from thought leaders and industry peers on key topics in the ever-evolving and exciting supply chain landscape.