Our supply chains operate in a world that is full of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity; a VUCA world where;
V = Volatility: there is a lack of stability with what being known today changes often without warning.
U = Uncertainty: there is a lack of knowing all of the variables and being able to accurately predict operating conditions.
C = Complexity: there are multiple competing and overlapping influences that lead to confusion and complicate decision-making.
A = Ambiguity: there is a lack of clear definition that can lead to confusion and increasing the potential for being wrong.
As with logistics and supply chains themselves, that the notion of VUCA was conceived in military undertakings is no surprise. We have all heard of the “fog of war”, referring to the vagueness and uncertainty experienced in battle; and that “no plan survives first contact with the enemy” from Helmuth van Moltke in the 19th century. These are both references to VUCA before the term VUCA existed.
Operating supply chains today is also a battle; in fact, a stream of battles running simultaneously and sequenced one after another. Whether from trade wars and tariffs, or governments commandeering production for national use, or natural calamities causing disruptions; supply chains today face VUCA and supply chain professionals are increasingly pressed to update their risk profiles and be ready to act quickly.
In this episode of Supercharged Supply Chain, Ron and Joseph will discuss some of the challenges facing supply chains and professionals alike as they operate in a VUCA world like at no other time in history; some of the influencers, perils, and countermeasures.