The Changing Face of Supply Chain in a High Networked Society

Jonathan Ong October 13, 20164 mins read

One of the first things that left an impression on me was that in a high networked society such as today, human’s attention span has deteriorated at an alarming rate.

In a world where we have the option of opening multiple tabs on our browsers, getting updates from friends within 140 characters and scouring for high quality internet excess has changed our expectations of how things should be done. In a high networked society, access to information and speed is king.

Since I started my career in recruitment, I have spoken to a few candidates in Supply Chain & Procurement about how their roles have been impacted by a new wave of customer demands. The increasing desire for information and speed has led many organisations to evolve their strategies to meet these demands. And while the below is derived from my conversations with those within the Consumer space (Retail & FMCG in particular), we are seeing identical trends across the other industries as well.

Supply Chain in a Globalised World 

It is no longer as straight forward as getting an item or product from point A to point B. A globalised world demands a globalised strategy. Raw materials can originate in Africa, manufactured in Southeast Asia, consolidated in Europe and shipped to the United States for example. Supply Chain networks thus are getting more and more complex; companies have to innovate to ensure that they are able to support the interconnectivity of the processes.

No longer only about getting the finished product

Customers are no longer content on just making sure that the products they order reaches their doorsteps – they would like to know at exactly which stage of the process their products are. Candidates that I have spoken to have shared how RFID technology incorporated into their supply chain networks to support the desire of visibility of process by customers is increasing. In essence, if their products are still being manufactured, customers want to know. If their products are in transit, customers want to know. Access to this information is essential in a networked society.

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It’s also about when 

As mentioned earlier in the post, speed is also an indicator of the level of consumer satisfaction. It is not only about what products are being offered or the cost of it, but also as much about how fast the products can reach its end destination. In a highly competitive market, who can give the best service in the least amount of time and gives the best value for said service gains that edge against their competitors.

Meeting the changing demands

In light of these factors, companies need to re-invent themselves and indeed, many are. Speaking to candidates and clients (particularly in the consumer space) has revealed that many companies are in a phase of re-strategising, prioritising innovation and championing efficient methods in their operation models. Some companies in the retail sectors are looking at talents who are able to marry both Supply Chain & Procurement and Information Technology (IT) strategy to bring their businesses to the next level to meet these demands. That being said, it may no longer be sufficient to just be operational. To truly succeed, one would need to understand the operations but also think strategically and commercially, elevating your role and the business.

In summary, in a highly networked society, there are definitely challenges in meeting the new demands of customers, but what is paramount is how a company is able to rise above these challenges and how as talents, you are able to stay ahead of the game and be part of this age of information.

So, if you would like to find out more about how you are able to contribute and be part of a larger strategy for a company, or would like to discuss how Morgan McKinley is able to partner you in finding the right talents to support your business’ new directions, feel free to reach out to me and let’s have a chat.

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Jonathan Ong - R1985488's picture
Senior Consultant | Supply Chain & Procurement
jong@morganmckinley.com

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