Technology providers are seen as key to driving change in the supply chain

Technology providers key to driving change in supply chain

Technology providers are seen as the key drivers of change in the supply chain, a recent industry debate has found.
The 15th SCALA Annual Supply Chain Debate, held at Coombe Abbey in Warwickshire,  discussed who is driving developments in supply chain and customer service - retailers, brand owners, logistics companies or technology providers.
The debate, which attracted more than 150 senior professionals, found that technology companies were the main enablers of change, through innovations such as automation and robotics – with 56% of delegates agreeing. This was followed by retailers 25% and brand owners 14%.
In contrast, 49% of attendees argued that logistics companies need to do more to drive positive changes in the sector. 
A greater need for collaboration remained a key motif throughout the speeches, with attendees calling for more communication between retailers, logistic companies and technology providers to guarantee more targeted innovation to complement the customer proposition. The belief was this should not only come from start-ups, but also from major traditional brands, who should be leading the way. 
Attracting new talent to the sector through the likes of apprenticeship schemes was also discussed as a key way for companies to encourage fresh ideas and innovation. And the implementation of a clear strategic approach to industry shifts was argued as the best way for companies to approach development.
John Perry, Managing Director of SCALA, said: “While it’s clear from the debate that technology companies are seen to be doing the most to drive sector innovation, the key takeaway from the speakers was a greater need for collaboration. 
“Companies need to work together in order to best encourage beneficial change, with clear strategy implementation rather than knee-jerk reactions to emerging trends. Failing to do this could result in a waste of resource, while lacking the drive required for making developments and enhancements to the customer offering.”