Posted On 19 giugno 2018 By In Supply Chain With 236 Views

SMEs should embrace emerging technologies

Riportiamo di seguito l’articolo di Christian Buhagiar, President and CEO della Supply Chain Management Association (SCMA) in Canada, pubblicato sul magazine “The Procurement – Qualifica Fornitori” (Anno 4 Numero 2) nella sezione International.

SCMA Christian Buhagiar per onlineInnovation is not reserved exclusively for large, deep-pocketed, multi-national companies.

Canada was built by supply chains – it’s in our national DNA. And, as one would expect there are both opportunities and challenges inherent to our genetic components. On the plus side, we rank as one of the top countries in the world for attracting people and companies because we offer a stable political, economic and societal infrastructure. This enables Canadian and foreign-owned companies to move, store and manufacture their raw materials and goods from ground to consumer safely and efficiently. The Canadian supply chain enables CA$1 trillion worth of goods movement, generating CA$66 billion in gross domestic product (GDP), and is creating new jobs at an average rate of 1.5% annually.

However, Canadian public and private sector entities recognize they cannot be complacent about their supply chains and remain globally competitive. This is especially true for small and mediumsized organizations whose founders often serve as the ‘head of’ supply chain, sales, customer service and finance. Meanwhile, the larger companies, public sector organizations and governments have the human and financial resources to research and adopt new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) but are challenged to distinguish between the ‘flavour of the month’ and a technology on which to build a future.

In its simplest iteration, AI is the brainpower you tap into when your smart phone learns, remembers and autocorrects new words. And, unlike us humans, it only has to learn it once. So when AI is applied to machine learning in the manufacturing facility such as additive manufacturing (3D printing) or telemetrics in the Internet of things, the possibilities are truly limitless.

That’s why I’m so proud of our association’s role in SCALE AI. On February 15, 2018, SCALE AI, an industry led consortium with enabling partners like SCMA and academic institutions, was designated as a federal government Innovation Supercluster Initiative. More than 75 industrial partners have already committed CA$700 million to create an AI-powered supply chain ecosystem. The federal government plans to invest more than CA$900 million across five regional superclusters so the funding that SCALE AI receives from both industry and government will accelerate innovation, job creation and supply chain integrity. SCALE AI will focus on three verticals: Consumer and Retail; Industrial Goods and Manufacturing; and, Construction and Infrastructure.

Since I am writing for an Italian publication I want to emphasize the advantages that SCALE AI will bring, particularly to the small and medium enterprises (SME) who want to expand and connect their supply chains with the EU. The innovations that can be developed and commercialized through SCALE AI will empower SMEs to bid on public procurement, leverage emerging technologies in order to simplify regulatory compliance, facilitate trade and overcome the resource challenges associated with supply chain visibility and traceability. Further coordination in these areas will support strong and effective supply chains while ensuring the economic well-being of both Canada and the EU member states.

In 2019 SCMA will mark its 100th anniversary. To put our milestone in context, it means SCMA has directly and indirectly trained thousands of supply chain professionals – the men and women who build, feed and protect our country. New technology demands new thinking and problem-solving skills and this is where SCMA and its premier designation, the SCMP will play a pivotal role. For SCMA, enabling a vibrant ecosystem and developing the supply chain professional (or technician) of the future is our responsibility to our members, to Canada and by extension, the global supply chains.

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