Why Disruptive Distributors Should Re-think Supply Chain Strategy

Supply Chain Strategy

What if your distribution business was more disruptive, like a start-up? The freshness of cutting edge ideas are commonly associated with the start-up culture. These are companies that are innovative and eternally optimistic. But perhaps a clarification of optimism is needed. This is practical optimism that allows a company and its leaders to see the world through problem-solving lenses. For better or for worse, most companies are well out of the start-up phase. While stability is fundamental, incorporating the start-up optimism and freshness to supply chain strategy for example through use of technology can set you apart.

Epicor, a global ERP provider and Datix partner, recently published a white paper with 8 Ideas to Inspire your Distribution Business. Particularly relevant was the portion relating disruptive actions, commonly seen in the adaption of technology. MIT Technology Review has a list of 50 Disruptive Companies. This year, the companies were a diverse mix of start-up and established companies. At one end of the spectrum was Corning, founded in 1851 -they are producing a new glass thin and flexible enough for touch-screen devices. A newcomer this year was Path, founded in 2010, a company that demonstrated an alternative business model for social networking by selling users extra services. So can traditional distributors be disruptive too?

Disruptive tips:

Rethink Supply Chain Strategy 

  • Google’s Project Glass has established them as a middle of the network connector
  • They developed the technology and as the supplier and owner are in control of the value chain
  • A distributor can be part of a networked chain or value chain
  • What are the opportunities for strategic control?

Say Yes And…

An easy shift in culture is to stop saying “yes, but” and instead “say yes and” (this can foster improvisation by adding an idea not a limitation).

Act Like a Start-up 

  • What would you change if you were just entering the market?
  • Be transparent tell it exactly how it is
  • Reinvent customer service
  • Create interactive touchpoints in customer relationships
  • Teach your organization new ways to see things ie Leap Motion, they are bringing gesture control to any computer
  • What are the problems in your industry and can you solve them?

See how we are helping manufacturers use software to transform their organizations by focusing on business outcomes.

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