It seems like today the minute you do something new, somebody else is copying it and offering it for less money, or leapfrogging your new idea with something newer and now we’re obsolete. We see this in electronics all the time. What does this mean for us then? It means we are in a race to be the first one out of the blocks constantly with new products and new ideas.
All this just to stay out in front. Even then, there’s no guarantee customers will want what we have to offer. Without constant change, our business will drop off and we’ll be out of business.Taking the question of “what does this mean for us?” a bit further means we have to ask the question from an organizational perspective. It means we have to have resources, people and machines that can constantly change and constantly adapt. People wise this makes me think we’ll be in continuing education the rest of our working lives. We’ll have to constantly learn and refine new skills. It also means we have to get into a mindset where we look at our skills from a “building blocks” perspective.
What it means to you and I in Supply Chain is a couple things. First, we have to help our employees become flexible. We have to help them design and implement the fastest most flexible systems to react to constant change. It also means we need to help them become more agile and flexible in acquiring and deploying new building blocks. It also means we need to stay out of their way at times and let them get on with the business of doing business. Lastly it means you and I as leaders need to help our employees exist successfully in an environment of constant change. For the foreseeable future I don’t see anyone paying us to go slower.
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Chuck Nemer is a trainer/consultant with 40 years of experience in Supply Chain Management, Lean, Leadership, and APICS. He currently works with approximately 50 universities and 3000 students annually in supporting the use and play of the simulations in the classroom. Within those 40 years, he has taught, and continues to teach, professional certification classes for APICS, professional development seminars and programs on his own, and on behalf of colleges in their outreach programs to local and regional manufacturing firms.
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