•   Exclusive

SC2020 Project Update: Uncertainties

Companies will need to do their strategic planning with an eye towards uncertainty, as well as risk.

Subscriber: Log Out

Sorry, but your login has failed. Please recheck your login information and resubmit. If your subscription has expired, renew here.

This is an excerpt of the original article. It was written for the May-June 2021 edition of Supply Chain Management Review. The full article is available to current subscribers.

May-June 2021

Indulge me for a minute, while I lead a cheer for our profession. I wrote my column for the January 2021 issue of SCMR one Sunday morning after watching the first trucks full of vaccine roll out of a Pfizer plant in Michigan, headed for a UPS sortation depot. I felt an incredible sense of optimism for the country, and pride in the role that we, as supply chain managers, were going to play to combat a pandemic. Supply chain as in the spotlight, and on that morning, it was for all the right reasons. Fast forward to late April 2021.
Browse this issue archive.
Already a subscriber? Access full edition now.

Need Help?
Contact customer service
847-559-7581   More options
Not a subscriber? Start your magazine subscription.

In 2004, I managed the launch of MIT’s Supply Chain 2020 (SC2020) Project. The major research question addressed was: What will excellent supply chains look like in 10 years to 15 years? A significant number of my Insights columns and articles in SCMR have since addressed various aspects of the project’s findings.

Now that 2020 is no longer, it’s time to revisit five of the six macro factors we identified as the most impactful toward shaping future global supply chains. One reason is to learn from what we got right or wrong in our thinking at the time. Another reason stems from my last column, “Decision-making under uncertainty,”* which discussed the difference between decision-making and planning under risk versus under uncertainty. The former is done using statistical and other analytics because probabilities of future events, as well as their quantitative impacts, might be estimable. The SC2020 Project addressed strategic planning under uncertainty.

Forecasting into the long-range future (10 years and more) rarely yields meaningful results. Rather than forecasting, it’s more useful in strategic planning to identify possible scenarios of future states of the world and events. Namely, the major uncertainties, often devoid of any estimates of their probabilities of occurrence or timing. The strategic planning approach we developed during the project focused early on the uncertainties in the macro factors. In my next Insights column, I will discuss the scenario planning approach we developed to help companies align their future supply chains to possible future states of the world.

This complete article is available to subscribers only. Log in now for full access or start your PLUS+ subscription for instant access.

SC
MR

Sorry, but your login has failed. Please recheck your login information and resubmit. If your subscription has expired, renew here.

From the May-June 2021 edition of Supply Chain Management Review.

May-June 2021

Indulge me for a minute, while I lead a cheer for our profession. I wrote my column for the January 2021 issue of SCMR one Sunday morning after watching the first trucks full of vaccine roll out of a Pfizer plant in…
Browse this issue archive.
Access your online digital edition.
Download a PDF file of the May-June 2021 issue.

Download Article PDF

In 2004, I managed the launch of MIT’s Supply Chain 2020 (SC2020) Project. The major research question addressed was: What will excellent supply chains look like in 10 years to 15 years? A significant number of my Insights columns and articles in SCMR have since addressed various aspects of the project’s findings.

Now that 2020 is no longer, it’s time to revisit five of the six macro factors we identified as the most impactful toward shaping future global supply chains. One reason is to learn from what we got right or wrong in our thinking at the time. Another reason stems from my last column, “Decision-making under uncertainty,”* which discussed the difference between decision-making and planning under risk versus under uncertainty. The former is done using statistical and other analytics because probabilities of future events, as well as their quantitative impacts, might be estimable. The SC2020 Project addressed strategic planning under uncertainty.

Forecasting into the long-range future (10 years and more) rarely yields meaningful results. Rather than forecasting, it’s more useful in strategic planning to identify possible scenarios of future states of the world and events. Namely, the major uncertainties, often devoid of any estimates of their probabilities of occurrence or timing. The strategic planning approach we developed during the project focused early on the uncertainties in the macro factors. In my next Insights column, I will discuss the scenario planning approach we developed to help companies align their future supply chains to possible future states of the world.

SUBSCRIBERS: Click here to download PDF of the full article.

SC
MR

Latest Podcast
Talking Supply Chain: Think structurally for margin enhancements
AlixPartner’s Derek Knueve and Andrew Kerr join Talking Supply Chain to discuss how supply chains find margin growth in a market where volumes…
Listen in

Subscribe

Supply Chain Management Review delivers the best industry content.
Subscribe today and get full access to all of Supply Chain Management Review’s exclusive content, email newsletters, premium resources and in-depth, comprehensive feature articles written by the industry's top experts on the subjects that matter most to supply chain professionals.
×

Search

Search

Sourcing & Procurement

Inventory Management Risk Management Global Trade Ports & Shipping

Business Management

Supply Chain TMS WMS 3PL Government & Regulation Sustainability Finance

Software & Technology

Artificial Intelligence Automation Cloud IoT Robotics Software

The Academy

Executive Education Associations Institutions Universities & Colleges

Resources

Podcasts Webcasts Companies Visionaries White Papers Special Reports Premiums Magazine Archive

Subscribe

SCMR Magazine Newsletters Magazine Archives Customer Service

Press Releases

Press Releases Submit Press Release