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The risk of incrementalism

A case for taking on the next stage of supply chain transformation

The strategy that has made supply chain organisations effective over the last decade is not likely to be what makes them effective in the next. To remain competitive, many supply chain executives understand they need to explore the next stage of transformative change. The hard part for many is knowing where to start.

Executive summary / key findings

Irish Operations have spent significant efforts marching up the supply chain maturity curve. In an economy where resources have been scarce, organisations have diligently applied lean practices to their supply chain and sought incremental opportunities to cut cost and reduce waste. in this piece we offer an analysis of factors that are likely to impact supply chains in the coming years, steps to take your supply chain transformation to the next level, and specific factors that deserve consideration.

7 Key Supply Chain Killers to Prepare for Now

The decade ahead will face economic, competitive, and regulatory pressures that threaten to eat away margin improvements achieved through incremental cost reduction efforts.

  1. Increasing supply chain complexity
  2. Disaggregation of the supply chain
  3. Rising logistics costs
  4. Rising competition
  5. Increasing customer expectations
  6. Shortage of supply chain talent
  7. Changing regulatory environment

Ireland as a small island economy typically punches above its weight in terms of participation in global supply chain activities, and as such needs to be even more vigilant.  In recent years we have already seen how these supply chain killers can become all too apparent; growth in emerging markets; the horsemeat scandal; brain drain as a result of mass emigration and increased environmental and regulatory influence at a national,  EU and Global level have all had a major impact on organisations' supply chains.

As the Irish economy takes the first tentative steps towards recovery getting supply chain transformation wrong in the next few years could be a costly drain on capital and resources, limiting the ability of organisations to capitalise on a growth agenda. Getting it right could rally your organisation, help you leapfrog competitors, and catapult careers.

In this piece we look at the 5 steps our clients can take now in order to survive the next decade, from strategy definition and planning through change management and execution.

The risk of incrementalism
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