Skip to main content Skip to Footer

LATEST THINKING


Overview

Supply chain executives now have an unprecedented opportunity to drive a deep shift in supply chain operational performance.

No longer relegated to the factory floor, robots are supplementing and augmenting human roles in such knowledge-intensive areas as supply chain planning, customer order management and inventory management.

The combined power of humans and machines is already improving operational efficiency. In time, it will deliver significantly better business outcomes.

VIEW THE REPORT [PDF]
90% of supply chain executives agree that over the next 3 years, supply chain performance will rely significantly on supply chain talent

Key findings

Ninety percent of supply chain executives agree that over the next three years supply chain performance will rely to a great extent on their supply chain talent. But the supply chain workforce must move beyond traditional roles and responsibilities.

Significantly better supply chain operational performance lies ahead—and what a shift it will be.

  • The collaboration between humans and machines will create new sources of value for the business. For example, most executives (65 percent) expect the combination of technology and humans to enable more forward looking and strategic decision-making to support business goals.

  • Humans will need to become internal entrepreneurs, or “intrapreneurs”— dynamic innovators who can proactively identify growth opportunities and manage the associated risks. One critical role ripe for intrapreneurship is supply chain demand and supply planning.

  • Advanced technologies will be needed to support the human intrapreneurs tasked with driving future innovation and growth. The most promising opportunities for value realization will align operational goals, i.e. reliability and efficiency, or speed and flexibility, with customer characteristics and business objectives. Targeted investments can then be made to increase the competitiveness of the supply chain.

2017 World Economic Forum insights

Digital Transformation Initiative Chemistry and Advanced Materials Industry

Through 2025, The Chemical and Advanced Materials industries are looking at a $310 billion to $550 billion in cumulative economic value, stemming from a single source—digital technologies.

Looking beyond the implications for a dramatic shift in supply chain workforce performance, leaders are also seeking ways to embrace entirely new business models, including extending traditional product offerings with digital components. Many are also closely monitoring pockets of digital disruption, including digitally accelerated biotech enabling the direct-route production of chemicals, or disintermediation by platform or marketplace players.

To learn more about the digital implications Chemicals and Advanced Materials companies should be considering now, check out the report Accenture produced for the World Economic Forum on Digital Transformation in the Chemical and Advanced Materials industries.

Recommendations

Integrating robotics, AI and prescriptive analytics technologies into the supply chain workforce today will help position you to realize the potential from revolutionary technologies tomorrow.

  • Attract your future workforce. Identify exceptional talent, including people who may never have considered a career in supply chain before, to fill the roles of intrapreneurs and innovators.

  • Extract the robot from the human. Redirect the “liberated” human worker to focus on the customer, on service level promises and on new products and services.

  • Place your innovation bets. Map opportunities to existing technology solutions according to their maturity and availability. Start exploring their potential, talk to their inventors and consider pilots. Think big, but start small.

Integrating robotics, AI and prescriptive analytics technologies into the supply chain workforce today will help position you to realize the potential from revolutionary technologies tomorrow.

Authors



SUGGESTED CONTENT