Canadian Manufacturing

Get ready for the innovation age

What do supply chain managers need to know about what the future has in store?

According to futurist Jim Bottomley, keynote speaker at the 85th Annual Purchasing Management Association of Canada (PMAC) National Conference in Regina, Saskatchewan on June 10, the next big trend is deeply integrated, trans-border collaboration between companies on a completely unprecedented scale.

“We’re trying to forge a world with common values, which isn’t easy to do,” he said.

This transition will be part of what he calls the Innovation Age. In his view, it will be based on a foundation of shared global principles in three areas: trade, environmental sustainability and human rights.

It will fall on supply chain managers to integrate these values into their operations. That means procurement and logistics will become much more complex.

Technology (like RFID) and best practices (like smarter just-in-time processes) will help, but the most important factor driving this change will be the willingness of leaders to openly collaborate—and, crucially, listen to—partners throughout the supply chain.

“We won’t be earning a living,” he concluded. “We’ll be learning a living.”

Look for more in-depth coverage of this presentation and more in the July-August issue of Purchasingb2b.

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