One way to think of business is as a multiplayer game between the supply chains of different companies. New technology and procedures are continuously employed to enable new ways of purchasing supplies, making products and delivering them to customers. Companies can lower operating expenses and find ways to appeal to more and more customers. An example is the competing supply chains of Walmart and Amazon. Once Walmart introduced new technologies and procedures and changed how their supply chains operated and it drove their fantastic growth. Now Amazon is introducing new technologies and procedures to yet again change how supply chains operate. And it is driving their fantastic growth.
Information technology is merging with traditional technologies used in manufacturing and supply chain operations. Traditional technologies such as machines that make products in factories, forklift trucks that move products within warehouses, and vehicles that deliver products to customers are all taking on new capabilities as they merge with information technology. Activities involved in moving physical products from one location to another remain the same, but the ways in which these activities can be planned and carried out are changing in a big way.
A supply chain is an organization composed of many different individual companies that each have their own businesses yet all work together to make and deliver products to different markets and customers. It’s one thing to talk about securing the operations of a single company, but what about a whole group of companies? How do we provide security – both cyber and physical – to a whole supply chain?
Imagine there is suddenly a real opportunity to stop the fighting in Syria. After months of tense negotiations and years of carnage, all the parties reach an agreement. But unless this agreement is implemented quickly it will collapse into chaos once again. The diplomats and politicians have reached agreement on strategy, now they need professionals to make it happen. And that means logistics and supply chains to support the movement of 500,000 refugees. Immediately.
SITUATION REPORT: The UN Security Council has approved the Munich Security Conference recommendation previously endorsed by the 17-nation International Syria Support Group. In this UN Security Council resolution, a Chapter VII Peace Enforcement mission is authorized with participant nations committing Peace Keeping (PK) forces as part of the approved Peace Support Operation (PSO). The mission has been assigned the code name “Inherent Rescue”.
The other day I was indulging in one of my favorite ways to waste time online. I was exploring in Google Maps with the satellite view turned on. I found myself cruising up the Ohio River heading east from Cincinnati, and I came upon a little river town named Gallipolis, Ohio (population 3,641).
Towns like this with their orderly grid pattern of streets, and their quaint downtowns and storefronts, and their Victorian houses and tree lined streets just fascinate me. I zoomed in, switched over to street view, and started cruising along a road called 1st Avenue running parallel to the river. I turned left on a street called State Street, and there in the middle of the block, as I looked to the right, I saw an image of the past and an image of the future caught in a moment of time as they overlapped.