When you spend over 15 years in any industry it’s a true testament to the passion behind it. For me, the supply chain industry is going through a major shift, especially now that impactful technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and blockchain are just beginning to take hold – promising a significant transformation to many businesses.
We have evolved through an era of unprecedented change. Over a decade ago, companies attempted to leverage cloud technologies by introducing automation to factory floors. Then, as outsourcing took over, we moved to creating solutions that worked from a common platform to increase collaboration. It is due to this collaboration that we successfully achieved the utmost efficiency. Today, our goal is to maximize efficiency in order to create additional savings, to make the most informed decisions; ideally transitioning the supply chain from a cost center to a profit center.
As our personal lives become simplified by AI, businesses feel the pressure to keep up. In this wave of innovation known as the “Amazon Effect,” instant gratification is mandatory causing us to ask new questions and look for new ways to do things. We’ve moved on from our pink Motorola flip phones, and rely now on better and faster technology, and as such, IoT devices (which will soon take over the U.S market) and AI/ ML. The amount of data at our fingertips is astounding and supply chain solution providers are moving fast to leverage this data to enable businesses to automate their decision making. This fast-paced change in the supply chain industry is what makes it an exciting time to be in it!
Working in the supply chain industry, we find ourselves evolving just as much as the technology itself, thanks to challenges that our customers face. We must stay relevant and aware of the latest and greatest technology, while maintaining a continuous collaboration with customers in order to effectively address supply chain issues. The supply chain relies on trusted advisors to be problem solvers, especially when the field consists of such a small community of professionals. Word of mouth continues to be a very valuable source of information and referrals between peers.
Because collaboration is key, we work to promote inclusivity within the supply chain. Early on in my own career, I was one of the few women who dedicated their time and talent to this field. This has changed throughout the years, and I hope that we’ll see even more shift decades from now. With that said, in order to guarantee this change, we must take the time to turn around and enable people behind us. This ensures that we are learning and growing together. It’s extremely encouraging to see more women joining the top levels of the supply chain industry.
This industry is very complex. Not complicated, but complex. And choosing a career in this industry means building a strong network of people with different perspectives. It’s the only way we will be able to evolve as fast as the technology around us, and ultimately, this is what makes the supply chain industry so remarkable.