Visioning a Better Supply Chain: What the Think Tank Thought
By Pamela J. Gordon, Technology Forecasters Blog
Oct 19, 2012
To be honest, last week's Executive Think Tank on Supply Chain surpassed even my high expectations for the executives' courageous solutions to complex problems. During the event, we created industry-changing "Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals" (BHAGs), which, if you weren't there, might have sounded radical, preposterous, even infeasible. But today's challenges in the
electronics industry are radical, preposterous, and infeasible. How much better to bring together open-minded, senior supply-chain executives to envision the industry differently.
Who were these senior supply-chain execs? One-third were from OEMs (Google, JDS Uniphase, Life Technologies, Lytro, GoPro, and more), one-third manufacturing suppliers (Jabil, Celestica, Sanmina-SCI, Benchmark, Digicom, and more), and one-third suppliers (Intel, E2open, SiFO, Riverwood, Infosys, and more). All were "hand picked" based on their honesty about the industry's challenges, ability to see the big picture, and vision for better products, profits, people, and planet. Post Think Tank, participants are consistently telling us that one of the strongest values of the event was the cross-industry executive connections and resulting strategic "ah-hahs."
The electronics industry is full of uncertainty: distant manufacturing, supply-chain interruptions, counterfeit components, intellectual-property theft, increasing expectations for environmental and worker responsibility, disruptive technologies, and more. The one certainty is that electronics design and manufacturing strategies must change and evolve to remain competitive.
For those who could not attend last week's Think Tank, we'll provide insight into the strategies we addressed, including Greater Efficiencies and Lower Costs; Regional Mobilization Strategies; EMS vs. ODM Models; Technology Innovations Needed; and Navigating Regulations and Competition, during a webinar Tuesday Oct. 30th from 10 to 10:40am Pacific Time. The webinar is entitled, "Think Tank Insights: from Thought to Action." Seats are limited, so register today. (If you have a schedule conflict with the webinar, register anyway and you can view the recording any time after the 30th.)
Huge thanks to Rob Schoenthaler of E2open for sponsoring lunch for the "Think Tankers" and to Robert (Bob) Leet of Intel for leading a real-world luncheon discussion about Conflict Minerals. The thanks continue to the TFI Team, especially Chief Economist Matt Chanoff, Senior Logistics Consultant Jon Gilbert, Senior Operations/Supply-Chain Consultant Pam Wiseman, Environmental Consultant Harvey Stone, and Marketing Consultants Beth Dickinson and Andrea Roberts.
My dearest thanks go to the executives for their courage to break industry "rules," willingness to dive into this unusual process (we warned you that it wasn't a conference!), and commitment to solutions that they could use the next day at work, and to drive strategies for the next 10+ years.
As a post script: During dinner - after a packed day of doing the thinking that matters - I presented early findings (in a fun "quiz" format) from my year-long research on supply-chain executives' prioritized initiatives at work and in life. It all made sense that two of the key life priorities expressed by the executives interviewed are "enriching the lives of employees and associates" and "making a positive difference in the world." The Think Tankers certainly created a foundation for furthering these priorities.
Share your BHAGs on the Oct. 30th webinar.
And if you can't wait until then, post them here.