Advanced technology such as IoT is converging in the extended supply chain space as a social supply chain demands increase as a means to support the extended partners in meeting changing consumer and partner demands.  This expansion of the social supply chain is really a natural progression of the changes that are rocking the retail marketplace and, again similar to the omni market retail development, the result of an evolution of technology expansion and capabilities in the supply chain that has reached the point of disruption.  The reasons for the growth and expansion of of the social supply chain have been growing for quite some time as a result of shortening product life cycles combined with the growth in demand in addition to the growth of security and safety concerns pushing the limit and increased velocity of change in the supply chain. 

 

The supply chain has been dependant of advanced technology capabilities for a long time now that was first driven by the expansion and growth of the global technology and the increased need and importance of communication and information in a global supply chain network.  The increase in demand and shortening of product life cycles is one of the drivers of these technologies along with cultural demands from the growth of millennials in the market. Another important aspect driving the growth and demands of a global social supply chain are being driving by large Internet retailers such as Amazon and Alibaba that have exposed global direct to consumer delivery to eliminate the middleman of the supply chain. 

 

These technologies could not have become accepted by the market without each of the above factors playing a role in driving change. At this point the supply chain technology has reached a level of flexibility and capabilities that can support the velocity of change.  The challenge now is in coordination and collaboration of the change across the entire marketplace. The tools of collaboration are widespread and fully accepted by millennials and consumers alike and this acceptance is also feeding the demand for change and increase in the social supply chain. I believe this is a major factor in the expansion of technology in the social supply chain and this growth of comfort in technology and expansion of capabilities based on growth of millennials in the market and business world has also increased the velocity and level of disruption.

 

The retail sales and purchasing practices of consumers along with the growth of millennials in the marketplace are changing the culture to expect a higher level of collaboration, a higher level of flexibility and a higher level of capabilities.  These are the factors that have pushed the social supply chain technologies to disrupt the extended supply chain and support the flattening of the entire supply chain in the retail omni market

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience? Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas. How can you support these continuously changing requirements?