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Cross-Industry | Discrete Manufacturing

How Technology Empowers the Future of SCM

Rohit Sathe explores the future of supply chain and procurement industries.


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Published: August 14, 2023

Rohit Sathe is Chief Supply Chain and Procurement Officer at Sunrise Medical. In an era marked by global crises and rapid technological evolution, he offers three crucial insights for supply chain leaders. Sathe emphasizes the need for swift and effective decision-making, the pivotal role of technology, and the importance of cross-cultural understanding in leveraging global collaboration.

The following are the main takeaways from his recent interview.

Takeaway 1: Effective decision-making is crucial for navigating complex global crises

With the recent surge in global crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing geopolitical instability, disruptions in the supply chain industry have deepened. During these challenging times, the capacity for swift and effective decision-making has become increasingly critical, as the need to build increased resilience in supply chains through strategies such as near shoring, forecasting, planning excellence, and ESG compliance.

Sathe shares, “The biggest difference is the number of shocks. Organizations, states, institutions are accustomed to dealing with one shock at a time.” In this context, he highlights the importance of management’s decision-making capabilities, stating, “This is what managers are paid to do — make decisions.”

Sathe stresses the significance of critical thinking and timely decision-making. “The ability to make numerous decisions quickly, ensuring these decisions are executed and deliver results, is vital,” he asserts.

Takeaway 2: Next generation talent needs to understand the power of technology

As technology continues to influence business operations, it’s crucial for newcomers to the industry to understand its effective utilization.

“The future will pivot on platforms,” predicts Sathe. “Choose a company that allows you to integrate multiple solutions that solve various problems.” He also highlights the importance of understanding the value technology can bring to an organization, saying, “Understanding the power of technology, combined with solid business acumen and quick decision-making, is essential.”

He further reinforces his statement: “The biggest hurdle to technology deployment is our resistance to change. Technology offers a myriad of solutions — we just need to seize the opportunity.”

Takeaway 3: Navigating cultural differences in a global collaborative environment

In today’s globalized business environment, understanding and navigating cultural differences are pivotal, especially when collaborating with international teams.

Sathe explains, “It’s important to appreciate that everyone is different, and this diversity can bring immense value.” He emphasizes the benefit of leveraging these differences to promote progress and growth.

He adds, “Recognizing and working with these differences, transforming them into strengths, is key. Understanding the needs and perspectives of different stakeholders is crucial. Without this clarity, facilitating progress becomes an arduous task.”

Insights surfaced

COVID-19 has caused numerous shocks in supply chains, leading to a need for rapid decision-making and problem-solving abilities in managers.

The ability to connect the dots between different events and their impact on the supply chain is crucial.

Technology can greatly aid in managing supply chains, but its potential is often underutilized.

For startups, having a clear understanding of the problem they’re trying to solve and maintaining focus on it is key.

Companies intending to digitally transform should prioritize their problems and tackle them one at a time with the help of technology.

Understanding the needs and perspectives of different stakeholders is vital in a globally collaborative environment.

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