Ahead of Internet of Supply Chain DE 2019, we caught up with Martijn Lofvers, CEO & Chief Trendwatcher, Supply Chain Media, to discuss how supply chain 4.0 will affect the industry.

Martin Lofvers is founder of Supply Chain Media and Chief Trendwatcher at the Dutch Supply Chain Magazine and the European quarterly Supply Chain Movement. He is a regular speaker on the topic of supply chain strategy road mapping at international conferences.

Why has SCM 4.0 become so crucial to so many organisations?

I doubt whether companies are using the phrase SCM 4.0 or know the rather broad definition of it. But they look at the possible applications of new intelligent technology because it might give them a competitive edge or otherwise to their competitors.

What types of SCM 4.0 platforms exist today and where are they mostly applied?

SCM 4.0 platforms comprises Internet of Things applications with the use of (RFID or other) tags and/or Blockchain, supply chain visibility software solutions in connected through common APIs in the cloud and Machine Learning applications with the integration with external (big) data like the weather and traffic information. These platforms are applied in all kinds of environment (manufacturing, procurement, planning and logistics) and industries, most depending on the company’s strategic direction (Operational Excellence, Product Leadership or Customer Intimacy).

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What can companies do to overcome the organisational and internal barriers to truly innovate and embrace these technologies?

The best approach for (supply chain or any other) digitalization is a start-up, scrum approach with short sprints and a clear strategic goal in mind. Fail fast and learn from it.

Are there any specific technologies are start-up companies you think will transform the supply chain industry in the industry?

There are a lot of supply chain start-ups and scale-ups in Europe that will have a big impact on business. It’s too hard to predict which one will make it. The winners of the European Supply Chain Start-up & Scale-up Contest in 2018 and 2019 stand a good chance.

What are you currently working on or are most excited about?

Supply Chain Media is working on a supply chain knowledge bank with Machine Learning for individual content recommendation. Several well-known multinationals are very excited to collaborate in (paid) pilot, especially for the onboarding of new employees and tracking the interests of colleagues.

You can hear from Martijn at Internet of Supply Chain DE 2019, as he discusses how digital technology is disrupting traditional businesses and supply chains. Get a 20% discount off your pass with code MARTIJN20.

Secure your pass here today and join us in Berlin on the 9-10 October.

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