The future of Supply Chain Management

NextGen SCM: the future of Supply Chain Management (a one-on-one interview with Dr. JT Kostman) PART 2

On November 18th Dr. JT Kostman will take to the stage at the FORGE 2021 Blue Sky Conference to talk about the future of supply chain management.

For those not yet familiar with the Blue Sky conferences, it is Procurement Foundry’s “go-to” virtual meet-up where senior leaders in sourcing and supply chain come together to benchmark their priorities and strategic objectives for the year to come. 

In the meantime, and turning our attention back to Dr. Kostman’s session—or JT—as he likes to be known, our team at Procurement Foundry Press had the opportunity to talk to him and pose several interesting and provocative questions in advance of the conference. 

We are pleased to share JT’s response to these questions in this second of a two-part series of our interview.

PF Press – How does a company that focuses on strategy or tactics transition to being logistical?

JT Kostman – It’s really not a matter of transitioning but rather adding to the corporate repertoire. In the increasingly interconnected, complex, dynamic environments most modern organizations operate, it has already become an inarguable imperative that Supply Chain Professionals and Logisticians should have a seat at the proverbial table, working hand-in-glove as members of the Executive Team to ensure the optimal efficiency of their organizations. 

We are now living in a world in which strategy, tactics, and logistics must be considered integratively – as the essential Holy Trinity – to ensure organizational success. Mark my words: Within the next few years, across numerous industries, you will see the rise of a new role – the CLO: Chief Logistics Officer.

PF Press – How does technology – the technology to which you often refer, address the progression to becoming logistic focused and the future of supply chain management?

JT Kostman – Throughout history, every profession has co-evolved along with augmenting technology. Medicine progressed through microscopes, stethoscopes, and MRIs. As Astrologers evolved into Astrophysicists, they relied on telescopes and computers to study the stars.

As the systems that we manage become increasingly complex – as they transcend the possibility of being managed with a pencil, a clipboard, and a head of grey hair – Logisticians will increasingly need to leverage sophisticated technology to get their hands around otherwise intractable challenges. 

Likewise, as the profession of Logistician evolves from that of being a managerial support function to becoming an executive role and an essential strategic contributor, qualified professionals are increasingly going to have to rely on enabling technologies. These technologies, including AI-Enabled Systems, NoSQL Graphical Databases, and Blockchain-Based Capabilities, are similar to those their fellow executives and organizations increasingly depend on.

Anticipating the rising criticality of the logistical function, in developing SmartChain, we were driven by the realization that, just as no one should need a degree in mechanical engineering to drive a car, Logisticians should have access to tools and technology that are user-friendly and simple to use – and can help supply chain professionals get their jobs done without needing a degree in rocket surgery.

JT Kostman left us with a lot to think about. Please join us on November 18 to learn more about the future of procurement and supply chain!