Technology, the economy, the environment… with so many changes going on, it’s important for logistics and supply chain professionals to realize that our industry is changing too. The first step to knowing that you need to change is to realize that there is a gap in the way your supply chain is managed.
I think this week’s launch of the iPhone 7 presents a perfect example of how logistics and supply chains have changed over the years.
While we as consumers only saw the 2 hour launch event, most people don’t think about the incredible logistics work that is involved in getting that product to the consumer.
In our recent Podcast, we chatted with Adam Robinson of Cerasis and discussed a variety of topics about modern trends in logistics and supply chain management. Below is a part of that discussion that focused on the iPhone 7 launch.
The Logistics of iPhone 7 Launch
Adam, earlier today we were chatting about how apple just released the iPhone, and how that’s a kind of example of the new requirements of logistics and supply chains. I think that’s an interesting topic to explore, because i think it can be a baseline for seeing what’s going on today and the new needs, in the new kind of world that we live in.
You know, a lot of people are going to be watching the event; I think it might have just wrapped just now, but you know there’s so many tech blogs out there, gossip columns and leaks of the images of the iPhone 7. There’s so much hype that comes with an event like this, thanks in part to Steve Jobs – a great marketing genius, and the company of Apple and the innovations that they bring to the table.
But what a lot of people don’t see is the amount of effort it takes as an organization for Apple to put that product in the hands of the consumers when they start pre ordering it today.
One of the biggest supply chain trends, and we’ve written a little bit about
this on the Cerasis blog, and Bringg as a guest blogger wrote about being able to look at the supply chain not just as a siloed function in an organization, but truly the backbone to the ultimate success of a company.
You see, when Apple comes up with a new watch or a new iPhone they can’t just say “alright supply chain, marketing has a great idea – we have a new product it’s going to be hyped; it’s going to be awesome, people are going to love it, we’re gonna sell a million of them and you have to deliver it.” Well, that used to work back in the day when the consumer was a lot less in control.
Now that you see the rise of the Internet, the rise of social media has really put the control of how products
are shaped and how products are received into the hand of the consumer.
For example, Amazon prime 2-day shipping.
There’s an old saying (Henry Ford didn’t say it himself but he always gets attributed to this quote much like a lot
of Winston Churchill quotes, but it sounds cool if Ford says it) – back in the assembly line days, when Ford invented the assembly line, they used to say “You can get a Ford car in any color, as long as it’s black,” meaning that the manufacturer, Ford, could really dictate the kind of product and the features that you yourself we’re going to get.
There’s an interesting book out there that I read, and that gist of the book is the evolution of retail – and it was about the
time social media in the early 2000s, they showed an interesting graph in the book where the power switched to the consumer, and if Apple marketing department and its leaders were to dictate to supply chain with all of this hype and knowing that the consumer can take Apple to public court with a YouTube video – remember that bending phone from the iPhone 6?
Supply chain people are gonna be like “If you had this up and we can’t deliver expectations, whether it’s procuring the right materials, working with the right partners and collaborating with them in the manufacturing process, all the way to the to the delivery of the product, the packaging the product and all of that, well we’re gonna we’re gonna be screwed as a company, essentially.
Today, more than ever, it’s vital that supply chain folks are being as collaborative as possible in demanding from other
divisions within the company, whether it’s the leadership head of marketing or customer service – the retail folks they’re saying “what are you hearing out there? How can we work together to create a cohesive supply chain strategy?”