Prepare for radical collaboration

Avnet’s senior vice president of strategic business engagements and supplier management, Rebeca Obregon-Jimenez

Avnet’s senior vice president of strategic business engagements and supplier management, Rebeca Obregon-Jimenez, offers thoughts on the supply chain of 2032 


The technology supply chain is at an inflection point. Recent years have demonstrated that a strategically designed and operated supply chain is essential to business continuity in times of disruption and can be a true competitive differentiator and profitable growth driver.


Looking ten years out, it is thrilling to imagine all the groundbreaking advancements in supply chain visibility, efficiency and overall resilience that could lie ahead as today’s emerging processes and technologies, like artificial intelligence, digital twins, hyper automation and real-time data analytics, become more mature and mainstream.


To ensure future supply chain models are as leading edge as possible, the most profound transformation will be propelled by the people of the Golden Triangle (people, process, technology). Tomorrow’s supply chain leaders must embrace not just greater collaboration but radical collaboration—the design-thinking concept which advocates seeking out diverse perspectives, unlikely partnerships and building bridges to accelerate progress.


Radical supply chain collaboration may manifest in a variety of ways. For example, Gartner predicts that ecosystems will become the ‘predominant competitive entity’. This will require more sophisticated digital connectivity, physical coordination and sharing of strategic information and assets between supply chain stakeholders. By leveraging the capabilities of the ecosystem, each entity will be free to focus on their core competencies (technology development, product design, supply chain, etc) while ensuring the delivery of more comprehensive, differentiated and customer-focused solutions to market.


Trust and increased acceptance of stakeholder interdependency fostered through these ecosystem engagements will pave the way for accelerated adoption of innovative and impactful supply chain strategies like supply chain-as-a-service models that allow organizations to ‘outsource’ the design and operation of their supply chains, while recapturing critical visibility, command and control.


Clearly, collaboration, even when it’s not radical, can be tough for tech sector enterprises who have been conditioned to guard their IP with extreme vigor. However, the world is changing fast and supply chain leaders have the responsibility to do whatever is necessary to ensure the technology supply chain is as reliable, robust and resilient as it can be.