Value chains become crystal balls

Value chains improve performance.

Value chains increase capacity to get things done

Value chains are also known as supply chains. Let’s say you are a small regional community. Imagine your businesses are competing against genuinely global, multi-service, and low-cost digital manufacturers. Customers access their accounts through their mobile phones, paying with a tap on their wearables and learning heaps from their content marketing.

Imagine if you faced competitors like this, with a large footprint, prototyping new services quickly. They manage regulatory compliance transparently and are using big data and artificial intelligence system.

Most managers are used to cost-cutting drives on their value chain. Their role is in controlling revenue and expenses by finding operational efficiency.  However, it is a whole different ball-game when you start to focus on improving the value chain.

It is now a genuine possibility. Many small businesses are now expecting their technologies to improve efficiency and facilitate game-changing innovation. They also expect costs will somehow be lowered, while their competitors are already doing it, or have already done it.

Use your imagination and visualise

It can be difficult to imagine the value chain needed for a brighter future.

Customers and tourists have had their expectations set by many others with whom they are currently working. They are now demanding better services, better customer experiences across touch points in our communities, and of course more value for their money. Using social media and content marketing is an excellent example of utilising technology for better customer service.

A common mistake people make with technology is to solve problems no one has and to try and do it with jargon no one understands.

To succeed in the rapidly changing technology landscape, you will need to agree with the rest of your team on the technology they wish to adopt. Will your businesses and non-profit organisations try to be industry leaders, fast followers, or will they just react? Whichever direction they choose, you will need to create a clear strategy to move forward.

Maintaining the status quo will no longer be a good strategy if you want your community and its organisations to survive and thrive. Recently my old hometown lost its last big bank. An active group then organised a community bank (Bendigo Bank). They have a far better business model for a regional community, including local management, sharing risks and profits with the community.

Fill your value chain with meaningful relationships

Building meaningful relationships and connecting with others in your value chain is critical to making communities and businesses sustainable. It is also necessary for your sanity and putting the fun back into the community.

However, how do you do it? Building relationships in business might be complicated for you for several reasons:

  • There is not a substantial purpose or vision for building future relationships
  • You do not know where to find the right people or organisations to connect with
  • People might feel your knowledge regarding value chains is too limited.

Start improving the outcomes and performance of the community wants and needs by enhancing your value chain. Most value chains are full of boring people, organisations, events and other activities, so look carefully to spice it up a bit.

Value chains should focus on local purchasing

Part of your effort in driving efficiency and quality should be to emphasise a local approach to procurement. Support local businesses and to ensure purchases are responsive to local wants and needs.  They need to be done flexibly and at a lower cost.

The dots between data intelligence and real action can finally become connected with outstanding value chain transformation.  There has been plenty of discussions about new technologies impacting on value chains of communities and their business.

In the supply chain industry, talk is now giving way to action. Disruptive data-driven technology including machine learning, artificial intelligence and IoT is becoming commonplace. You should now expect to see rhetoric to turn into action. Many have been collecting information and knowledge for years, so their applications can become smarter, and more user-friendly.

Smaller businesses are already starting to leverage these new technologies to advance supply chain functions from the factory floor to the end users. The big payoff for the communities and their businesses will be a renewed focus on customer experience. Improved efficiency, transparency and sustainability as the outcomes of good value chains.

Quotable Quotes

“Collaboration is replacing negotiations on the path to improving a community’s and its businesses value chain”. Peter Sergeant

“The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty”. Winston Churchill



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