“Form follows function”: anyone who is into architecture knows the principle which was preached by the so-called German Bauhaus representatives at the beginning of the 20th century. Even better than in architecture, the influence of “form follows function” can be seen in the products developed at the Bauhaus. The use of new materials and technologies opened completely new perspectives in the development of everyday objects – not least from an economic point of view. This is just as true for chairs as it is for desk lamps.
What does lamp design have to do with the design of modern supply chains? To put it bluntly, you could say that the Bauhaus principle figuratively sets the tone for the design of value chains. Why? Because, on one hand, customer demands are increasing – for example, in quick commerce, deliveries are already specified in minutes. On the other hand, the challenges in supply chain management are increasing because supply chain interruptions are threatening companies more and more often. Accidents, climate change, pandemics and political crises are just some of the many causes.
Supply chain design is the basis for strategic supply chain planning. Proper design thus becomes a key competitive advantage for companies. Managers must therefore provide their teams with robust mechanisms and modern technologies to help them manage supply chain complexity. Tools include scenario planning, cross-functional communication and AI-supported decision-making.
Five factors will play a key role in shaping supply chains in the future:
About the author
Ralf Duester is a board member of SCM software provider Setlog. He is an expert in global sourcing, supply chain management and logistics in the apparel and consumer goods industry. The co-founder of the company is also a sought-after speaker for conferences and symposia.
Setlog Holding is a provider of customized supply chain management (SCM) solutions. The central product is the cloud-based software OSCA with the solutions Procurement, SRM, Global Logistics, CSR and Quality Control. OSCA, which stands for “Online Supply Chain Accelerator”, is used by more than 150 brands in the apparel, electronics, food, consumer goods and hardware sectors. With the help of OSCA, companies connect their customers, suppliers and service providers to optimally coordinate their supply chain, accelerate processes and efficiently manage supply chains.
Setlog GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of Setlog Holding AG. The company was founded in 2001 and is today one of the leading providers of SCM software with over 40,000 users in 92 countries. The software house employs 60 people at its locations in Bochum (headquarters), Cologne and New York. www.setlog.com