A Eulogy for Traditional Supply Chain Management

Eulogy for SCM

It’s time to say our final “farewell” to our good friend Traditional Supply Chain Management with a few examples. We appreciate your passion for continuous improvement, as arduous and archaic as it may have been at times. The way you challenged us as professionals, creating opportunities for us to show our strengths, grow alongside our peers, and demonstrate just how much weight one’s domain expertise carries in operations management.

Our time together will always be cherished with nostalgic reverence as we look back upon the days of manual data entry, spreadsheet manipulation and mastery, and good ole fashioned gut instinct to ensure goods and services made their way across the horizon. And let’s not forget how proudly we wore our Six Sigma belts to every meeting and conference call. Your commitment to lean processes and a “just-in-time” myopic focus fueled decades worth of budget cuts, BU realignments, and the sheer thrill of throwing caution into the wind. 

We’d be remiss if we didn’t salute your unwavering loyalty to on-premise system management for the technology stack required to run our day to day supply chain operations. Even as our organizations became increasingly global and workplace requirements evolved, your insistence that we house endless data troughs within our own walls only made work more exciting as we anxiously awaited batch updates or an email notification detailing changes in order statuses. 

Oh how we will miss the days of multiple touch points and numerous sources of truth in the traditional supply chain model!

And how we’d be lying if we didn’t profess just how much we’ll miss the need for annual data cleanse projects.The hours, days, and months spent pouring through historical data looking for outliers or faulty inputs only to cross the project’s finish line outdated and in no better position are experiences we will treasure forever. We all know it’s far better to work late hours with third-party consulting teams than to make it home in time for dinner with our families. The networking opportunities were truly endless, and our practitioner community thanks you.

So as we forge on into the new era of supply chain, please know that we couldn’t have done it without you. Who knows how long it will take to embrace the streamlined workflows, cloud collaboration, increased visibility, and real-time insights we now have at our disposal. The exponential agile supply chain improvements we experience from solutions that learn from user interaction, natural language processing, and probability-based models will be a tough pill to swallow without you around. And what shall we do with all the hours, free from redundancy, that data harmonization adds back into our workday? These are all lessons that time will surely teach.

You’ve meant a lot to us, Traditional and Modern Supply Chain Management. Your influence will echo through boardroom halls forever. May the traditional supply chain model rest easy now. 

To learn more about how you can forge ahead into the new era of supply chain, check out our AI and machine learning platform and ebook on why MRO inventory is critical to advancing your enterprise network.

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