What’s next for manufacturing and supply chains

Alpesh Patel, director in McKinsey’s Digital Capability Center, discusses the need for CEOs to be business backed instead of business forward. He also speaks about the relentless growth of analytics, how automation is shaping manufacturing, and the need for people to remain at the center of transformation.

What do you think are the top three most disruptive powerful forces shaping the manufacturing and supply chain?

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When we look at manufacturing and supply chain there are definitely three big technology trends that are actually shaping the market. First, the ubiquitousness of data that is coming from census, coming from the products that are manufactured, becomes available everywhere.

Second is the fact that analytics and intelligence is becoming even more pervasive.

And third is automation. While we had a very big amount of automation in the late 60s, now it’s pervasive not only in the plan but also for processes.

How should CEOs be responding to these forces as they think about their business strategies for the next decade?

Well, in front of this ubiquitousness of technology, the CEOs need to step back and think about transforming their companies in a holistic way, and actually starting from what they know best which is the business. So they need to be business-backed as opposed to technology-forward.

Second, they need to think about how they will scale their technology architecture to be scalable and future-proof. And third, they need to think about the organization as people will remain in the center of any transformation in manufacturing and supply chain.

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