4 FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019 Consulting®
Shor tTakes Trends, Views and Analysis
Supply Chain… and Demand
When it comes to the ‘networked value chain,’ EY’s Glenn Steinberg says the
future belongs to the connected
Consulting: What is the overall state of
the supply chain consulting market?
Steinberg: It’s an amazing time to be a
supply chain professional. We’re in nirvana.
It’s always been about visibility end to
end, making faster and better business
decisions with data, maximizing customer
service levels at the optimal cost, reducing
inventories and flexibility to respond.
What’s really great is that the technology
is finally here to pull it off. Supply chains
are no longer linear, but they’re complex
ecosystems and that requires a fundamental
reinvention of the supply chain and
operations of a company. Companies
have been selling products and services
through linear value chains, and companies
owned dedicated parts of that value
chain. So traditionally you have supplier,
manufacturer, distributor, customer, and all
systems were internally focused, on-prem.
With digital technologies we’re disrupting
the entire linear model and we’re creating
networked value chains that can respond
simultaneously rather than serially. Near
real-time information across the value
chain accessible to all. All the data is in the
cloud. I would say the future belongs to the
connected in this world, powered by IoT
and fueled by data in a fully interconnected
society. That’s what’s going on in supply
chains that move from a linear to networked
value chain. Couple this move with the
convergence of events that we’re seeing
right now and you’ll understand why my
phone is ringing off the hook right now.
Consulting: What are some external forces
driving clients to think about supply chain?
Steinberg: Think about U.S. tax reform,
Brexit, EU anti-dumping rules, the global
trade war, all of those are direct hits on our
clients’ supply chains. Every client is really
looking at their footprint, where they should
manufacture things, where they should
store inventory, where should they source
materials from, where should they do final
assembly. This is increasing the pressure on
Although not always among the hottest topics in consulting, a company’s supply
chain has always been a hugely critical part of its business infrastructure.
Emerging technologies, along with new ways of looking at how the supply
chain functions have moved it from a behind the scenes consideration to a
real driver of value and differentiation. This is a big part of the evolution
of the supply chain EY describes as the networked value chain. Consulting
caught up with Glenn Steinberg, EY’s Global and Americas Supply Chain
Leader, to talk about the business and consulting opportunities around the
supply chain, and why he says the future belongs to the connected.