Login



For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Not a PLUS+ Subscriber?

Become a PLUS+ Subscriber today and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access
  • 7 Magazine Issues per Year
  • Companion Digital Editions
  • Digital Edition Archives
  • Bonus Email Newsletters

Subscribe Today!

Premium access to exclusive online content, companion digital editions, magazine issues and email newsletters.

Subscribe Now.


Become a PLUS+ subscriber and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access. All feature articles, bonus reports and industry research through scmr.com.

  • 7 Magazine Issues per year of Supply Chain Management Review magazine.

  • Companion Digital Editions. Searchable replicas of each magazine issue. Read them in any web browser. Delivered by email faster than printed issues.

  • Digital Editions Archives. Every article, every chart and every table as it appeared in the magazine for all archive issues back to 2009.

  • Bonus email newsletters. Add convenient weekly and monthly email newsletters to your subscription to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

PLUS+ subscriptions start as low as $109/year*. Begin yours now.
That's less than $0.36 per day for access to information that you can use year-round to better manage your entire global supply chain.

For assistance with your PLUS+ subscription, contact customer service.

* Prices higher for subscriptions outside the USA.

PLUS+ Customer Service Support


Customer service for all PLUS+ subscribers is available Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm Eastern time.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-800-598-6067 (1-508-663-1500 x294 outside USA)
Mail: PO Box 1496, Framingham MA 01701-1496, USA



You have been logged out of PLUS+


For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Need to access our premium PLUS+ Content?
Upgrade your subscription now.


Our records show that you are currently receiving a free subscription to Supply Chain Management Review magazine, or your subscription has expired. To access our premium content, you need to upgrade your subscription to our PLUS+ status.

To upgrade your subscription account, please contact customer service at:

Email: [email protected] Phone: 1-800-598-6067 (1-508-663-1500 x294 outside USA)

Become a PLUS+ subscriber and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access. All feature articles, bonus reports and industry research through scmr.com.

  • 7 Magazine Issues per year of Supply Chain Management Review magazine.

  • Companion Digital Editions. Searchable replicas of each magazine issue. Read them in any web browser. Delivered by email faster than printed issues.

  • Digital Editions Archives. Every article, every chart and every table as it appeared in the magazine for all archive issues back to 2010.

  • Bonus email newsletters. Add convenient weekly and monthly email newsletters to your subscription to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

PLUS+ subscriptions start as low as $129/year*. Start yours now.
That's less than $0.36 per day for access to information that you can use year-round to better manage your entire global supply chain.

This content is available for PLUS+ subscribers.


Already a PLUS+ subscriber?


To begin or upgrade your subscription, Become a PLUS+ subscriber now.

For assistance with your PLUS+ subscription, contact customer service.

Sorry, but your login to PLUS+ has failed.


Please recheck your login information and resubmit below.



For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Weak IT Infrastructure Threatens Supply Chains

Successful companies will completely redesign their supply chains to incorporate sustainable inputs and reverse supply chain practices – meaning that they will be more in touch with customers than ever throughout the entire life of the product.

By ·
By ·

Supply Chains are in danger – they haven’t caught up with the last technological revolution, amidst all the hoopla and hope surrounding the next economic revolution’s productivity and efficiency advantages, nobody is talking about what it means for the future role of supply chain managers.

The reality of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is that digitization, the Internet of Things, 3D printing and other technologies will lead production, sourcing and logistics to increasingly becoming commoditized. In other words, production and other upstream functions will cease to become a reliable means of achieving competitive advantage.

This isn’t as far away as most supply chain managers believe – the shift has already begun. When asked about how much market research went into the iPad, Steve Jobs answered, “None. It’s not the consumers’ job to know what they want.” Supply chain managers need to stop responding efficiently to what the customer says, and start thinking seriously about how to anticipate customer needs.

Successful companies will completely redesign their supply chains to incorporate sustainable inputs and reverse supply chain practices – meaning that they will be more in touch with customers than ever throughout the entire life of the product. Being in touch means becoming responsive to actual customer behavior by means of pervasive real-time agility based upon the adoption of data sciences, robots and drones, 3D printing, and information sharing. Entire supply chains must focus on responsiveness to customer behavior in an interactive fashion. Surveys and other forms of feedback are tools too slow, narrow-minded, and inaccurate, and market leaders like Apple already show that winners will interact with consumers to invent what performance means in their category, shaping and co-creating the value proposition by interacting closely with key players.

Technology has a history of intensifying competition. The demise of many traditional retailers and the conversion of some shopping malls to e-commerce distribution centers indicates that entire supply chain eco-systems are dying. Responsive supply chains means more than adopting new technologies – it also means re-designing supply chain relationships from global sprawl to local fast relationships that minimize cycle times from furthest supplier to end consumer.


About the Author

Michael Gravier
Michael Gravier is an Associate Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at Bryant University with a focus on logistics, supply chain management and strategy and international trade. Follow Bryant University on Facebook and Twitter.

Subscribe to Supply Chain Management Review Magazine!

Subscribe today. Don't Miss Out!
Get in-depth coverage from industry experts with proven techniques for cutting supply chain costs and case studies in supply chain best practices.
Start Your Subscription Today!

Latest Whitepaper
Third Party Risk: Too Close for Comfort
You’ve got a handle on many of the potential supply chain "disrupters" that can paralyze your business. But the real risk is embedded in areas you may have overlooked.
Download Today!
From the December 2017
This is a comprehensive guide to services, products and educational opportunities targeted specifically to supply chain professionals. As with years past, we’re also featuring several articles we trust will offer food for thought in your supply chain throughout the coming year.
Transportation Trends: The last mile, history repeating
Economic Outlook: A Complex and Uneven Scenario for Global Supply Chains
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!


Latest Webcast
The Perfect Formula for Determining the Right Amount of Inventory
This webcast explains how the science of theoretical minimums, a new approach to inventory optimization, provides a simple and elegant way to reduce cost and increase customer service levels by monetizing time delays across the extended supply chain.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Oracle Modern Supply Chain Experience Promises to Address Key Industry Issues
In many cases, system and data from different vendors are integrated frequently, in different...
Atradius Issues New Report on Supply Chain Risk in North America
The U.S. shows strong economic performance, but the looming risk that leadership in Washington will...

2018: The year we make meaningful progress on digital transformation
Perhaps it would have been better to describe it as a digital evolution – more of an ongoing...
Industrial and Supply Chain Real Estate Expected to Soar in 2018
Strong economy and insatiable demand for online shopping behind industrial real estate resurgence