Future-proofing your supply chain: It’s not what you expect

Your greatest cost is also your greatest asset. Make one crucial step before investing in new technologies and invest in future-proofing your people. Here’s why…

Technology is no doubt having a transformational impact on the supply chain sector; blockchain, automation, machine learning and AI are improving operational processes, driving efficiency and ultimately better supply chain management.

Food and beverage companies are running lean operations and there’s always pressure on the supply chain manager to improve efficiency, lower costs and continue to deliver the same level of customer experience throughout the supply chain. Financially, the biggest cost to your business are your people – but what if you saw them as an asset, rather than a cost; improving your supply chain through their talents.

Supply chain leadership for F&B supply chains is crucial; before you harness the capability of new technologies or processes like IBP and advanced analytics, you need to have a foundation of good talent to be able to utilise them. Supply chain managers acknowledge that other leaders in their businesses think their job is a ‘back office’ function, but the real opportunity to improve the business lies in strategic differentiation and unleashing the power of your people to enable change.

READ: 7 risks in the food supply chain that compromise customer safety.

Amy O’Hara – head of supply chain at Sumo Salad suggests that the biggest indicator of success in your supply chain is in the success of your teams. The true ability to future-proof your systems is by preparing your teams for success in an automated supply chain future and understanding the importance of outsourcing to build skillsets in areas you’re currently lacking.

One of the brains behind Nike’s automated warehouse – Marie Varrasso, former director supply chain highlights the importance of bringing your people and technology together to create an automated warehouse that works in practice. The key reminder here: if you do not prepare your people properly for technological innovation, they will not be able to use these tools to their fullest potential. Automated warehouses are becoming more common in the F&B sector with Woolies leading the way in their fully autonomous warehouse – would your teams be prepared and upskilled if your warehouse was to go autonomous tomorrow?

The ASCI2019 conference brings together pioneers like O’Hara and Varasso in the industry who are leading the way to a more connected, transparent and automated supply chain. Leaders from Coca Cola – Carly Cummings and former Head of Transformation – Supply Chain will come together to discuss the nexus between people, skills and technology and why future-proofing your supply chain actually means future-proofing your people.

Across two days and three customisable streams, the event delves into the practical impacts of technology and innovation, pathing the way toward operational excellence in Industry 4.0 and the imperative to prepare the future supply chain management workforce today.

The supply chain workforce brings promise with opportunity for skills development and a multi-generational diverse group of thought leaders to engage – but this requires true leadership. ASC2019 brings together leaders and their teams with interactive workshops, panels and the coveted ASCI Leadership Challenge. Share your challenges with peers, learn from the thought leaders in the sector and develop a plan to harness this opportunity at ACSI2019.