Daily Archives: June 29, 2014

The Intersection of Talent, Technology, and Transition – How Do You Balance It?

Supply Chains run on talent, technology, and good transition management — but it’s a difficult recipe to get right because it not only requires the right mix, but the right execution because, just like a soufflĂ©, the perfect mix can still fall flat. So how do you get the right mix? And how do you execute it properly?

Let’s step back a bit. For years, consulting companies and project managers said it is all about people, who do the work; process, that people follow; and technology, that people use to execute the process. And they were right. That’s a basic requirement for success in any company. But it’s not enough in today’s supply chains. And there’s two big reasons for that.

First, we’re not in the industrial revolution where economic growth depends on manufacturing which runs on a production line where you need a lot of workers who do well defined, easy to teach tasks. We’re in the knowledge economy where you need educated, innovative, self-reliant growth leaders who can do a wide variety of tasks, dependent on the situation at hand. Warm bodies in seats are not enough anymore — you need talent.

Second, with supply chains global and the participants many and dynamic, processes are no longer static as they were in the late stages of the industrial revolution where one company controlled the goods supply chain end-to-end and processes were well defined and relatively static. Now they are dynamic and have to constantly adapt as parties change, trade routes become temporarily inaccessible, raw materials and components become (temporarily) unavailable, and consumer demands and market availability changes. Static processes are not enough anymore, you need dynamic processes and transition management to manage them.

The only component that hasn’t changed is the technology component, because technology is constantly changing and you still need the most advanced technology, just like you needed during the industrial revolution to keep up with your competition. However, the technology is always in transition and if your technology is too far behind, you may not be able to compete even with the best talent and transition management to throw into the mix.

So we definitely need the right mix of talent, technology, and transition management to succeed — but how do we balance it in our supply chain to make sure the supply chain rocks (because we are the rock stars of the resource revolution)?

The answer is simultaneously ridiculously easy and insanely complex.


Your talent, technology, and transition management game plan must all be aligned.
What does that mean? We’ll tackle that in an upcoming series of Sourcing Innovation white-papers this fall, and offer a few hints over the summer. So, keep your eyes here!