We all know change happens at an exponential rate, and it’s never been more apparent than now in the Supply Chain Industry. We have a perfect storm: the generation exchange is occurring in the midst of a strong economy; this is getting mixed with a shortage of qualified labor as we shift into a world of disruptive technology. As Bob Dylan famously sang, “The times, they are a’changing.”
Is your head starting to spin? Maybe your stomach is getting weak? Should they be? It is undoubtedly a challenging time in manufacturing, distribution, transportation, wholesales, retail, and the direct to consumer worlds of supply chain. But change can be an adventure!
There are two kinds of change — evolutionary and revolutionary. Evolutionary change happens slowly over time, usually in response to outside pressure, such as keeping up with technology. By contrast, revolutionary change is often dramatic, leading to radical breakthroughs in beliefs or behaviors, and resulting in profound transformation.
If we look back on what transpired during other business, military and political revolutions, we have to acknowledge the admirable men and women who stood up and made a difference. The examples are endless: George Washington, the framers of our Constitution, Ben Franklin, Harriet Tubman, Al Einstein (that’s what his friends called him), the Roosevelt boys, Martin Luther King Jr., Ronald Reagan and many, many others. Thank goodness these folks decided to look beyond where they were and strategize about where they (and those they were responsible for) were going.
I would suggest that we, the leaders in the Supply Chain industry, be those bold leaders during today’s revolution. We can look at what’s happening with excitement and attack it with fervor knowing it’s what we’re called to do. Coming together as a community of people with a common connection, and creating a vision that allows us to take advantage of this great opportunity, is something we should all be willing to do.
Take the time to create the right team to move forward together. We don’t all have to be from the same place — we can be manufacturers, consultants, integrators, practitioners, 3PL managers and others. Get hungry to be the team that grabbed the opportunity and did something our predecessors would be proud of, and that our successors will thank us for. In the meantime, we can enjoy the journey and appreciate the fact that we had the opportunity to do it.
Let’s decide, as a group, to consider this time an adventure, rather than adversity. And hey, who doesn’t like a good adventure from time to time? Keep doing what it takes to make 2018 your best year ever!