Australian open innovation ecosystem EarlyBirds is helping businesses, both in the public and private sector, overcome the challenges brought on by an increasingly globalized supply chain. Readers can find out more about EarlyBirds at earlybirds.io.
Supply chains are akin to the global economy’s circulatory system. Raw materials are extracted from the source and forged into usable products in several factories and manufacturing plants, each working at a different epoch in the object’s lifecycle. From there, they make their way to store shelves and, finally, into the hands of the billions of consumers for whom they are indispensable.
The supply chain includes everyone from the workers who collect the raw materials and bundle them up to be sent off for processing to the craftsmen and engineers who work further down the line to turn them into modern polished consumer goods. It also includes the people tasked with transporting the items from one location to another, the warehouse workers who keep stock of the inventory, the distribution centers, and the retailers who put them in front of paying customers.
While there are several supply chain models, the most commonly identifiable ones are the continuous flow model, which most will recognize as the traditional supply chain model, the fast chain model which works well for products that need rapid development and production, and the flexible model which is best suited for seasonal products which experience an occasional surge in demand.
Supply chain management is a complex undertaking as obstacles in any one of the supply chain’s many individual components can throw the entire well-oiled machine into disarray. Global catastrophes like the COVID-19 pandemic serve as stark reminders of the disastrous short-term and long-term effects that supply chain disruption can have, not just in the local towns and cities where manufacturing is concentrated but also at a global scale.
Kris Poria, one of the co-founders of EarlyBirds, talks about the right way to approach supply chain management by saying, “If you’re standing still, you’re regressing. Continuous improvement prepares you for current and even unforeseen challenges that, in some cases, may threaten your business. As you make your supply chain more robust, you should aim for both a higher volume of production as well as increased velocity in going from raw materials to finished products. Technology can give you a big leg up in this. Apart from solving a technically challenging problem, you also have to build long-term fruitful relationships with your suppliers as no amount of mechanical ingenuity can replace the human element. If you think you have an innovation that can facilitate solving supply chain problems, you are welcome to register as an innovator on the EarlyBirds platform at https://earlybirds.io/en/innovator.”
There are a few promising technologies that have the potential to improve struggling supply chains. For example, the insights offered by AI can be used to optimize existing processes without a complete overhaul of the underlying infrastructure. Business owners can also look at automation to introduce machinery and equipment in the supply chain to cut costs significantly at any stage. Measuring and keeping logs of even the most granular metrics at every step of the process can help decision-makers make these crucial calls.
EarlyBirds cofounder Jeff Penrose recommends more ways to improve supply chain management by saying, “The lesson learned from the pandemic has prompted multinational corporations to diversify their supply chains, look for regional alternatives, and add redundancy to make their existing networks more resilient. The first step is to identify vulnerabilities that are most likely to fail in case of another global disruption. Keeping an eye on the geopolitical ongoings in areas where critical parts of the supply chain originate is also a way to stay ahead of the curve. It is also important to be proactive and start diversification and alternate sourcing as early as possible to avoid pulling the trigger until after the disruption has occurred.”
EarlyBirds can help governments and businesses mitigate the risks and take advantage of opportunities for building resilience in their supply chains. Improving supply chain resilience is one of the core reasons why the EarlyBirds platform and services were created. EarlyBirds has the capabilities and experience to work with the government and industry on supply chain resistance at a strategic and tactical level. EarlyBirds can map an entire business or technology theme to create a global innovation map of all the key players including startups, scaleups, and mature businesses along with business and commercial data and their location.
Management professionals and industry leaders with an interest in incorporating innovations curated by the EarlyBirds platform in their organizations can sign up as Early Adopters at https://earlybirds.io/en/early_adopter.
For more information about EarlyBirds, contact the company here:
Mr Kris Poria and Mr Jeff Penrose
+61 401 287 060
‘FORDE’ SUITE 10, LEVEL 1, 26 FRANCIS FORDE BOULEVARD, FORDE, ACT 2914