In the early days of human civilization the bond between trade and socialization was a very strong one. Cultures and empires were built around the ongoing ritual surrounding community agoras and markets, where people came together to trade merchandise, stories, knowledge and news from their citizens and explorers.
Whether sharing simple stories from their daily lives, or the tales of explorers returning from incredible journeys of exploration funded by monarchs and aristocrats, people were important actors and participants in trade and commerce. These ongoing voyages of exploration resulted in the discovery of new continents and rich new commodities to trade while connecting the cultures divided by the world’s great oceans. Today these oceans are space requiring renewed will for human adventure and the development of interplanetary supply chains sparked by tales of planets with mountains made of diamonds that wait for a new generation of emerging philanthropist sponsors and willing explorers to discover.
Unfortunately sometime in the last 50 years it seems this bond between socialization, trade and exploration has been broken. The connections, ideas, input and stories of people overshadowed and silenced by massive systems, inflexible automated operations and the processes surrounding them. Much dysfunction has resulted from this “race to the bottom” for lowest product and distribution costs. And, like some of the worst stories of early explorers exploiting and even destroying entire cultures, many good people have had the innovation in their souls crushed by organizations too large, ossified and still unable to effectively change.
The time to put the “social” back in supply chain management has come! And fortunately the tools and will to do this are at hand and already beginning to be successfully applied by a number of leading organizations. But not only are we talking about how to truly put the “power of the people” back into our supply chain processes, there are also a number of underlying data cleansing and semantic structures to weave into facilitating this “new world” of social supply chain management in the context of contributing to responsive and efficient social media organizations or smorganizations.
We also stand as witnesses of decades of supply chain initiatives promising 10’s of Billions of dollars of annual savings for integration, synergy and logistics operations that have still only delivered a fraction of their true potential. Not to mention the billions of dollars of advanced supply chain management systems which failed in implementation, were never implemented at all, or require so many people to successfully feed and clean the data within them that one cannot help but question the overall cost benefit.
And so our Social Supply Chain Management blog will humbly share thoughts, methods and ideas to help end users, software and service vendors see and better understand these changes and how best to navigate the seas of disruptive technologies we now find ourselves in.