In the nineties, the world met Simon, the first smartphone from IBM. This was the first device to run software applications and have a touch screen. The device cost just under $900 and only worked within certain US states. Fast forward a short twenty years and it is estimated that there are more smart devices in circulation than there are humans on earth.
Since the earliest explorers packed cargo holds full of cacao destined for European shores, the global taste for chocolate has evolved into a billion dollar industry. Traversing the globe, the supply chain of chocolate is a complex one - connecting farmers, manufacturers, retailers and consumers on a daily basis.
Topics: Logistics of life
Globally, business is moving into a period of higher market disruption - with economic upheaval, political uncertainty, and industry innovation all challenging the ability to sustain market positions through traditional business models.
As the latest Barloworld Logistics supplychainforesight survey revealed, the majority of local business leaders recognise that their organisations will need to adapt to change. However, they felt that changes implemented in their business model or supply chain only succeeded 25% of the time.
When looking ahead at the various business challenges facing South African companies, particularly with regards to sustainability, it is useful to look back and briefly chart the most significant changes and trends. In the late eighties and early nineties, we witnessed the emergence of the ‘one world’ economy – which coincided with the arrival of the Internet and rapid digital transformation. The resulting changes triggered quantum leaps in global trade and duly affected national and regional economics, politics and business practices. Moreover, the new era empowered the world’s customers and consumers. On the back of these seismic shifts in the global business ecosystem, the role of supply chain management and logistics came to the fore as a powerful means to creating competitive advantage and sustainable business models to satisfy the needs of the extended markets.