The supply chains of tomorrow must deliver varying degrees of six outcomes — the traditional cost-related benefit plus responsiveness, security, sustainability, resilience and innovation — depending on key customers’ needs.
Managers are increasingly recognizing that the benefits of traditional supply chains – reduced cost, faster delivery and improved quality – are no longer sufficient by themselves for the modern marketplace.
A new paradigm is emerging of a more sophisticated supply chain, one that also serves as a vehicle for developing and sustaining competitive advantage by delivering specific outcomes. So concluded participants in the Supply Chain Management 2010 and Beyond research initiative – a four-year set of surveys and workshops on which this article is based.
The authors report that the “supply chains of tomorrow” should achieve varying degrees of six basic outcomes, depending on their specific customer base and its set of needs. The first of these outcomes is “cost” (a composite of the heretofore sole objectives relating to monetary cost, delivery and quality). The others are responsiveness (the ability to change quickly in terms of volume, mix or location as a function of changing conditions), security (assurance that the supply chain’s products will not be contaminated or otherwise unsafe), sustainability (“greenness,” or environmental responsibility), resilience (the ability to recover quickly and cost-effectively from disruptions) and innovation (the supply chain as a source of new products and processes or improvements in existing ones).