• Micha Veen

Supply-Chain-as-a-Service to deliver tangible Supply Chain Innovation

The last decade has shown an increasing interest and willingness to invest in Supply Chain Innovation. A recent survey by Kenco - 2019 State of Supply Chain Innovation Survey (Link) - has shown that supply chain leaders are showing a greater willingness to take a risk on new technologies, as 46% of respondents say they are willing to spend 10-24% more on innovation – up from 24% in 2018 and 29% in 2017.

However, the survey also indicates that even though supply chain organisations are willing to invest in the myriad of supply chain technologies, the younger generations are more concerned about sustainability, requiring an increased focus on making the supply chain more sustainable and transparent. Now more than ever, consumers expect a personalised approach, and the supply chain providers will need to be more focused on customer choice rather than pushing customers to be inside a box.

Therefore, delivering supply chain innovation is one of the most challenging innovations to deliver due to;

  • To deliver REAL supply chain innovation, it's is required to work across 75% or more supply chain partners (across the full end-to-end supply chain chain). Therefore, supply chain innovators are never dealing with a single organisation or operating model, but with many different supply chain partners. Due to the different operational and technology maturity levels, it's challenging to generate value for ALL the supply chain partners,

  • Supply chain solutions are often targeted to deliver value to a single supply chain partner or end-consumer, instead of delivering value across the end-to-end value chain (for all supply chain partners),

  • Supply chain Innovation is often synonymous with supply chain technology innovations, instead of collaboration or behavioural innovations. However, most successful supply chain innovations are collaborative supply chain innovations, supported by well-established fit-for-purpose technologies, e.g. IoT, etc.,

  • Supply chain innovation requires substantial financial investments, which for many supply chain partners is not feasible, or the associated benefits have not been/ are not clearly articulated,

  • Many leading supply chain innovations have actually not been proven yet, but are often in a conceptual stage or "proof-of-concept" stage, e.g. self-driving vehicles, delivery drones. Therefore the true financial and operational benefits have not yet been quantified,

  • Many supply chain organisations simply don't know "where to start" on their supply chain innovation journey

Due to these challenges, many supply chain organisations and supply chain technology providers have started to adopt an innovative new approach through engaging leading Supply Chain Innovators, like Unique Excellence, who are able to deliver Supply-Chain-as-a-Service (SCaaS). SCaaS is able to translate operational challenges into delivery of key strategic and business outcomes for all supply chain partners, while working with proven supply chain technologists. SCaaS providers take a holistic approach across every supply chain partner increasing a collaborative approach, instead of a technology-first approach, through which iterative business solution delivery takes place. SCaaS providers aim to create value for every partner during the various delivery stages. And only when relevant and required, the appropriate leading-edge, innovative technology solution is been introduced, further enhancing innovative solution design.

This new flexible service model creates instant tangible value from "day one", without all the upfront investment in people, process and technology. We strongly believe that SCaaS will further evolve in 2020 as THE innovative new approach to supply chain that allows supply chain partners to generate a 4-5 times Return on Investment by partnering with one Supply Chain Innovator (delivering SCaaS) to support all or part of their supply chain.

We have seen how supply chain organisations that leverage Supply Chain as a Service realise lower and variable cost structures, leverage proven, leading-edge and fit-for-purpose technology and attain instant scalability.

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