Making a Productive Warrior
Do you want to be a ‘productive warrior’ in 2020?
We encounter many activities that hardly add any values but tend to persist in our organizational habits. Overtly long meetings, unending streams of emails, pages of pointless MIS – examples are many. In some way, all of us become instrumental in perpetuating these habits.
Probably, the key to the change lies in re-focusing and taking-up new habits. Here are a few suggestions:
i. One topic to impact business - Let’s volunteer to pick-up one customer or business topic where we can make a positive contribution to the company’s performance. The key is to choose a topic beyond regular job responsibility. For example, a production executive volunteering to connect with a key customer to train them on the right product usage; or, a sales executive providing regular market updates to the planning team to help plan better; or, a CXO mentoring a new-batch of executives to help them learn the company’s values and methods faster. There are limitless possibilities bound only by the imagination and initiatives. This could be a great way to channelize our energies to add valuable impacts. Besides, there is no better way to multi-skill than getting involved in something new.
As a little change in my routine, I have decided to dedicate a few hours every week to our marketing team to help them in one of their activities. It’s already proving to be a win-win both ways.
ii. One skill to work better – This is about learning one new skill that will help enhance our own or our team’s performance. No doubt, we all are equipped to do our jobs well, but there are always new things to learn. It may be about a new technology or a functional best-practice or even improving a soft-skill – anything that can help do our jobs better and create more impact on our teams and businesses. For some, probably including such a learning plan formally into the KRA may help to keep the commitment alive and to adequately allocate the required time.
For me, big-data is still quite abstract. Learning to apply it to my domains is my learning quest for this year.
iii. One action to pay-back – It’s proven that consciously contributing to the larger society, beyond our core duties, can have transformative impacts - not only on the others’ lives but in our own lives as well. ‘Giving’ can be in terms of time, effort or money. Probably, time and efforts as voluntary works are more powerful. For example, a few volunteers decided to clean Mumbai’s Versova beach. The results were so outstanding that it attracted a large number of selfless volunteers who are now busy cleaning up many more beaches in the city. We can imagine the kind of positive impact that such actions must have had on everyone who is living around these beaches.
One can find volunteer works of any kind matching one’s preference and style. As a small gesture, I decided to join our native folks to start an educational fund to support meritorious students in our ancestral place.
So, what new habits would you like to pick-up to have an all-round productivity push? I will be happy to hear from you. Connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to plan digitalization in supply chain management
Over the past three decades, the Supply Chain Management (SCM) functions have changed drastically due to the rise of technology and innovation in the operational logistics management, and revolutions in information integration and analytics.
With terms such as ‘digitalization’ and ‘digital SCM’ emerging the world over, how can we be sure of what sort of technologies fall under these broad terms and more importantly, how are they going to change the management capabilities that are at our disposal?
What is digitalization in SCM?
Digital Transformation in supply chain planning usually involves the development of new tools, skills, and processes that target a step change in speed and agility. In recent times, the focus of the supply-chain management function has shifted to advanced planning processes, independent SCM function such as analytical demand planning or integrated sales & operations planning (S&OP).
Here is how to plan digitalization in supply chain management:
The digitization of the supply chain essentially integrates supply chain management with today’s internet and mobile technologies to deliver cost and process efficiencies and dramatically improve the customer experience of dealing with the companies’ product or services.
Improve Efficiency –
New approaches to product distribution can reduce the delivery time of products in demand. Advanced forecasting approaches, such as predictive analytics of internal data (e.g., demand) and external data (e.g., market trends, weather, school vacation, and construction indices) help SCM systems to avoid risks and make the most of upcoming market trends. In the future, we will even see ‘Predictive Shipping’ for which Amazon holds a patent: Products are shipped before the customer places an order.
Make your Business more Flexible and Updated –
The digitalization of SCM and real-time planning allows companies to respond flexibly to changes in demand or supply which minimizes planning cycles and frozen periods. The Uber-fication of transport - crowd-sourced, flexible transport capacity - will significantly increase agility in distribution networks as well. Manufacturers may, therefore, see new direct-to-consumer opportunities in what once was a playing field only for the retailers!!
Increase Accuracy –
The integration of that data from suppliers, service providers, and others in a “supply chain cloud” ensures that all stakeholders in the supply chain steer actions and make decisions based on the same facts. This facilitates next-generation performance management systems with real-time, end-to-end transparency throughout the supply chain which helps businesses to make more accurate decisions.
Today, technologies such as Radio-frequency identification, GPS, sensors and mobile connectivity have enabled organizations to transform their existing supply chain execution capabilities to be more flexible, open, agile, and collaborative. Subsequently, transforming SCM planning capabilities to take advantage of the emerging areas of Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Advanced Analytics, and Cloud Computing is very essential to compete in the evolving market.