The Supply Chain Is Becoming A Supply Web Of Blockchains

There are virtually no institutions or industries that aren’t facing a mounting risk of major disruption because of digital transformation, blockchain, and infrastructure.

The last decade of rapid innovation in mobility and commerce, including the beta-launch of autonomous driving vehicles, detailed urban traffic models, and routing algorithms have connected the supply chain in new, and numerous, end-to-end solutions to route physical things where and when they are needed by the customer or end user.

Google’s autonomous car project and early experiments with drone-based delivery services will finally be commercially deployed in the coming years and we are moving rapidly from a world of disparate supply chains to a supply web that can be leveraged by your company into a multivariate solution that delivers the end customer myriad new choices with regard to how they want to purchase, receive, and return items from your company.

What does this mean to you?

Supply webs built on blockchains will allow your team members and your customers to be able to access things in real time through many more channels than ever before. It will increase the number of customer touch points in the customer journey of all physical goods, and also cause an increased need for companies and marketers to create data governance, content, and engagement strategies across these new touch points. It will also cause and create more ‘pain points’ for the brand and the customer to navigate in the competitive landscape to maintain a sustainable competitive advantage.

The race in data has shifted from big data to big insights

According to Clive Humby (back in 2006): “Data is the new oil. It’s valuable, but if unrefined it cannot really be used. Oil has to be changed into gas, plastic, chemicals, etc. to create a valuable entity that drives profitable activity; so must data be broken down, analyzed for it to have value.”

Sensing and computing are now ubiquitously available and organizations that can create machine intelligence tools and operating practices to blend massive amounts of data from many sources will move to the forefront of innovation. In a world where almost every product or service across industries can become commoditized and brand is no longer something that the business solely owns or controls in the age of an empowered customer, your only true competitive advantage is customer experience.

Organizations that win the race away from big data and into big insights will have a competitive advantage through amplified decision support and complex task management as well as new insight into market dynamics and hidden forms of value.

What should you do and be thinking about?

Measure what is valued versus valuing what is measured.

The collection of “big data” has gotten a lot of attention, but that idea is obsolete. More information is just more noise. The key to success today, and in the future, will be clearly defining what data is valuable and worth measuring, and then what processes and technologies are being leveraged to make sense of that intelligence at scale. In today’s world, you can measure and quantify everything and in the near future it will even be possible for machines to connect socially without human interference to socialize with each other about the data they are collecting and what it all means.

Organizations that figure out how to unlock insights by fluidly blending data from many target sources will be best positioned to take these new discoveries and design a human-centric solution that can then be deployed in the operational plane of your business in a multivariate testing methodology to refine the innovation into a reliable asset that drives real customer experience value.

How do you currently generate insights?

How seamless are your technology and data architectures across the silos of your enterprise?

How well do your operational leadership, IT leadership, and marketing and sales teams work together to prioritize investments in technology around the impact it may have on the internal and external customer experience?

These are the starting points of a crucial conversation you have with your leadership team as we head into the last quarter of 2017.