I started this series based on a paraphrase from the movie “Bull Durham.” In one scene, the coach told his players they were making the game of baseball too complicated. He said, “You throw the ball, you catch the ball and you hit the ball,” encouraging them to get back to basics.
When it comes to the supply chain, it’s easy to make things complicated. And when today’s consumer expects full visibility into where their product is—until the moment it reaches their front door—inventory management grows in complexity. It’s time to get back to basics.
There is a scene in the movie "Bull Durham" in which the coach of a struggling baseball team is extremely frustrated with his players. What has always stuck out to me in this scene was the coach’s demand for the team to get back to basics. A big quote that has stayed with me was, "You throw the ball, you hit the ball and you catch the ball."
I am sure we all have heard of information technology or IT solutions, which are typically systems designed to run at an enterprise level. These would include ERP, CRM and in some cases, maintenance or even PLM solutions. You may also have heard of operational technology or OT solutions, which are typically systems dedicated to operational functions such as PLC, SCADA, Data Historians, MES and other solutions deployed to a much smaller audience with a very specific function in mind.
The promise of digital business is increased top and bottom line performance. The digital nodes that are coming online and being made available are vast, and many of them speak different languages. The ability to unite and share information among nodes is the digital thread, a key component in the transformation to a digital supply chain.
Version lock—a situation in which companies can’t change components of their IT portfolio because of integrations and interdependencies—isn’t just an IT problem. Version lock has a huge impact on the business because it can prevent departments and companies from pursuing strategic changes in business processes. Some examples include:
You’ve likely seen articles that discuss how disruptive technology solutions will impact business and how digital business tools will enable you to define new markets and processes. An unintended consequence of these articles has been creating concern and fear in business leaders who may not be ready to adopt any of these technologies or who misunderstand how they may impact their companies. Some of the technologies and terms include: