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Digital Supply Networks

Traditionally, supply chains have been conceived and managed as a discrete sequence of activities and processes, from design, plan, and source to make, deliver, and return. This linear model creates silos of information inside an organization and across its supply network. Piecing together the relevant information for decision making consumes a tremendous amount of time and effort, which in lean thinking lingo would be considered waste.

Digital supply networks are an emerging model. The contemporary market reality shaped after the "Amazon Effect" has rendered the traditional supply chain operating model less responsive and adequate. Disruptive crises, such as COVID-19, have further highlighted the limitations of the conventional model and accelerated the shift to a digitally-enabled managerial mindset, the 'Digital Supply Network.'

I had the pleasure to discuss various issues and answer some thought-provoking questions surrounding that main focus during a podcast with Kyle MacNaught, host of Consulting Logistics podcast presented by Aborn & Co. We discussed the differences between supply chain management and a digital supply network, the challenges that the supply chain management model has with customer service compared to the DSN, and how the DSN accounts for a disruptive crisis like Coronavirus. We also talked about how I envision logistics and fulfillment operations in a DSN, new role people in logistics should be looking at as the DSN becomes the new normal. Finally, we discussed how small to midsize enterprises start to incorporate some of the building blocks of DSN, factors that may account for failure in the transformation journey, and the exciting case of a startup in the transportation industry. Take a look.

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