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Supply Chain Transformation: Practical Roadmap to Best Practice Results by Richard Sherman

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Chapter 8

Technology Drives the Waves of Change

The very first article I ever had published was in the March 1987 ICP publication, Business Software Review, titled “Information Systems for Distributors.” Since that time I have written more articles on information technology for supply chain management than on any other topic. My intention in this chapter will not be to replicate the articles I have already published on developing enterprise system architectures. Rather, this chapter will discuss why information technology, and technology in general, is critical to your business and supply chain transformation. I will share with you some of the emerging technologies that I see converging in the market and the impact they might have on your business. I will suggest how these technologies will impact operations and why collaboration between IT and business operations is imperative to maximizing return.

If change is inevitable, then nowhere is this more evident than in technology. Over my career, I have seen more changes in technology than in any other industry. I remember when I was in my first systems class at Burroughs. At the time, the B7800 was our largest mainframe computer and rivaled the power of any business computer at the time. One of our product managers, Larry Thomas, presented to the class on the direction Burroughs would be going in. During his impassioned presentation, he placed what looked like a briefcase on the front desk and asked the class, “Do you know what that ...

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