- An intersection of innovation and increased dependency on 3PL parties indicates that supply chain CEOs expect that future breakthroughs in tech and processes will be driven by oursourced logistics services, according to a study conducted by Supply Chain Digest.
- Even with shippers placing the onus on 3PLs to provide innovation for future business strategy, only 2% of those surveyed believe that 3PLs actually possess high process innovation capabilities.
- The two most cited barriers to greater innovation were the lack of strategic relationships (shippers) and the nature of contracts (3PLs).
Too often those in supply chain management fall victim to a note or visit from the CEO with an article ripped out of an airline magazine about the latest and greatest advance in business … anything from Six Sigma to Lean to ERP. We have all been at the mercy of the senior management drive by improvement effort. “This looks neat! Let’s to this!”
These days, the latest trend seems to focus on innovation. Now, innovation in itself is a wonderful thing and all organizations need to embrace it to be successful. Innovative thinking in the supply chain is standard practice as we try to creatively, some say magically, work to improve the performance of a global supply base. Yet, wholesale and rapid innovation can create turmoil and uncertainty with that very population. Incremental innovation, with a focus in continual process improvement, allows for the best chance of success.
One of the greatest opportunities for innovation in supply chain management is in logistics. Far too long organizations would work to drive the last cent out of a fastener purchase yet ignore the cost of transportation to get that part in the door. Innovate and creative methods of transportation and logistics, and its impact on customer service and visibility, are important and should be supported by all supply chain organizations.