Today’s economy is a knowledge (driven) economy, “one in which the generation and the exploitation of knowledge has come to play the predominant part in the creation of wealth. It is not simply about pushing back the frontiers of knowledge; it is also about the more effective use and exploitation of all types of knowledge in all manner of economic activity“. Very little has changed since the Department of Trade and Industry of Great Britain penned these words in 1998.
In fact, the importance of knowledge in wealth creation is accelerating by the day now that global trade, information technology, new media, and, in particular, the social web is increasing in innovation, size, and market penetration on an exponential basis. Leading organizations now “follow the sun” and operate core business processes 24/7/365 on a global basis. Product and service pricing are increasingly being driven by value first and cost second. Organizations have to either accept the new economic reality created by the knowledge economy or fall further behind their peers in sales and market size.
From a supply chain vantage point, not only have the last twenty-five years produced an explosion in the application and availability of computing and communications technology in all aspects of life and business, which was only hastened by the wide-spread adoption of the internet, but they have also produced a revolution in supply chain theory and best practices. In lockstep we’ve gone from MRP to MRP II to ERP to a mix of Best-of-Breed Supply Chain and Global Trade solutions on the technology side to decentralized tactical buys based on hardball price negotiation to centralized global strategic supply negotiations on the process side.
In today’s fast-paced knowledge economy, only the strong survive, where the strong are those organizations with modern processes and technology and the wherewithal to use them. The question is, does your organization belong to this group?