This is a photograph of Darwin’s frog — (Rhinoderma darwinii). It is a frog native to streams in Chile and Argentina and was first described by the zoologist André Marie Constant Duméril and his assistant Gabriel Bibron in 1841. It is named after Charles Darwin because he had previously discovered it during his world voyage on the HMS Beagle (See Wikipedia).
According to a recent study, this species is likely extinct due to the effects of chytridiomycosis — a fungal disease that is killing amphibians around the world. Darwin’s frog could not adapt quickly enough to the changing conditions of its environment.
Now, what does this have to do with you and your supply chain?
Allow me to introduce the term “Digital Darwinism.” Digital Darwinism describes a situation when technology and society evolve faster than a business’s ability to adapt. Digital changes are affecting businesses today and they are only accelerating. To read more about this, check out this Accenture page.
What this means for your company is that your business needs to be aware that it is at risk. No company is immune. The lifespan in the Fortune 500 list is shrinking. In 1970, the average lifespan was 55 years. In 2005, it was half as long, at 25 years. Today, only 71 companies remain from the original 1955 Fortune 500 list (See this page).
The answer to digital Darwinism is digital transformation. Digital transformation is the use of technology and methodology to address shifts in behavior by upgrading or overhauling processes and systems that amplify existing and unforeseen opportunities. Digital transformation means that there will be new technologies, new ways to produce, new markets, new ways of distribution, new ways of working, new services, and new business models.
What will the digital future of my company look like?
Business leaders needs to ask themselves a few questions:
- Is my business at at risk? (Most probably, it is!)
- What are the game-changing activities in our business, in my industry?
- Is there a significant shift in the demand side of my business, as well as in the supply side?
- How can my business stand out from the crowd with unique differentiators?
- How can my business get productivity gains and a competitive advantage through the use of new technology?
In my recent blog “Why Innovation Labs Fail – And What To Do About It?” I discussed that we can see that business today is all about relationships. The Relationship Economy requires everything from Products to Services to Customer Centricity to be brought together. In the Relationship Economy companies need to deliver ongoing value, memorable experiences, OnDemand fulfillment — anywhere/anytime — and personalized services. New products and services need to be developed with this paradigm in mind.
A large part of the answer is to get rid of old silo-thinking. Businesses should start thinking in a more connected, cross-functional way. The IT backbone of companies has been an enabler for business process excellence previously, but this also has to evolve. Many companies have IT systems of record, systems of differentiations, and systems of innovation. In many businesses today, the highest focus is on the system of record, and the lowest focus on the system of innovation. But in order to survive, the importance of changing the IT systems is accordingly, that the system of innovation must have highest priority.
This has to go in line with changes in management style and thinking about how to change organizations. Dion Hinchcliffe’s outlines this in his article Digital Transformation and the Leadership Quandary. An IT platform that supports the design of products and services, that supports managing a Bill of Materials, the change process, the manufacturing plan, etc. — has to become an important part of an innovation platform that includes a network of people, processes and technology.
Any modern IT platform must be
- Leveraging a common language (Managing a common data management foundation)
- Under control (Managing Change)
- Visible and transparent (Facilitating cross-functional communication and collaboration)
- Addressing supply chain challenges regarding the right product, the right mix, the right time, the right way
Companies need to work on Supply Chain challenges regarding a strategy to get it right: “The Right Product, The Right Mix, The Right Time, The Right Way.” Leveraging the right IT platform will enable companies to design the strategy, implement the strategy, commercialize the strategy, and service the right mix of profitable products and services based on the right business model.
Join us over the next few months as we run a webinar series in which we will explain how to:
- Design a strategy to the right product, the right mix, the right time, the right way => REGISTER HERE
- Implement a strategy to the right product, the right mix, the right time, the right way
- Commercialize a strategy to the right product, the right mix, the right time, the right way
- Service the right mix of profitable products and services.