The supply chain is changing, driven largely by digitization and data, and it will lead to the creation of a more robust channel for the future. That was a key message from speaker Mark Dancer, CEO of the Network for Business Innovation, who presented a talk titled “Innovation stories from the leading edge,” Tuesday afternoon at the CSCMP EDGE 2022 conference, being held in Nashville this week.
Dancer focused on innovation in the supply chain and distributors’ role in making that happen. Through a series of anecdotes and research, he presented his view of how distributors in all lines of trade can be the catalyst for supply chain change as they become innovation intermediaries, regenerative intermediaries, and move toward a cutting-edge, decentralized distribution model.
As Dancer explained, an innovation intermediary brings together companies, organizations, and institutions to help a customer innovate. A regenerative intermediary is any business that leverages its products, services, capabilities, and connections to move beyond the idea of “doing less harm” in the world and toward doing “more good.” Decentralized distribution is a model in which distributors break away from their traditional ways of doing business and move toward more innovative approaches—selling contracts rather than legacy brands, for example, and leveraging data to build business and expand margins.
Dancer’s three big ideas for the supply chain are part of a larger initiative to drive change in the channel and create the supply chain of the future—an initiative that has far-reaching implications and is marked by resilience, regeneration, and responsiveness.
“The global supply chain impacts every single person in the world,” he said. “So, we’re talking about making a big change.”