I am out of my comfort zone this week. I took a break from the financial analysis to do some thinking and learning about the software vendor space in supply chain management. This is a whole new world!

 

On one hand, the options and technologies are incredible. Companies are tracking SKU level data, obtaining instant out-of-stock alerts and all kind of real-time events. On the other hand, we are still fighting the same problems we've had for 30 years. Many companies are using the same old tools. In fact, a recent survey I found from Software Advice stated that 9% of respondents are still using only spreadsheets to track supply chain, while a further 5% are using nothing!

 

Many supply chain problems have remained remarkably consistent over time. Maybe they're a bit more intense or occurring at a faster pace, but we're well versed in the problems. How do we get this box to this place for this cost in this time period? The solutions however are totally different. Smartphones are totally reshaping the landscape. 3D printing, the Internet of Things, autonomous cars. These things sound so futuristic. And they are. But they're on their way. Are you optimistic?