Supply Chains in VUCA Environments with Jim Tompkins

Jim Tompkins and Joe Lynch talk about Supply Chains in VUCA Environments. Jim is the Founder and Chairman of Tompkins Ventures, a partner firm that helps executive teams address five main problems: entrepreneurial growth, industrial development, leadership, logistics partnerships and technology.

About James A. Tompkins, Ph.D.

Dr. James A. Tompkins is the Founder and Chairman of Tompkins Ventures. Jim Tompkins is an international authority on designing and implementing end-to-end supply chains. He is a serial entrepreneur who has started several businesses; worked with private equity; designed many industrial facilities and automated materials handling systems; implemented many supply chain information technology solutions and worked to enhance the performance of many 3PLs and 3PL clients. Earlier in his career, Jim founded Tompkins International. During his tenure as at Tompkins International the company evolved from a supply chain consulting firm into an end-to-end supply chain consulting and solutions company, with business units focusing on supply chain consulting, material handling integration, and robotics. His 40-plus years as CEO of Tompkins International and his focus on helping companies achieve profitable growth give him an insider’s view into what makes great companies even better. Jim received his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering in 1969, his Master of Science in Industrial Engineering in 1970 and his Ph.D. in 1972, all from Purdue University.

About Tompkins Ventures

A partner firm that helps executive teams address five main problems: entrepreneurial growth, industrial development, leadership, logistics partnerships and technology. Founded by business strategy and supply chain expert Dr. James A. Tompkins in 2020, Tompkins Ventures has more than 60 partners who have all held executive positions. Each of the selected partners have a passion for helping organizations turn one or more of the above big problems into a competitive advantage for their company. Tompkins Ventures is headquartered in Raleigh, NC with partners spanning Africa, Asia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Central America, China, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Panama, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States.

Key Takeaways: Supply Chains in VUCA Environments

  • VUCA Environments
    • VUCA stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity.
    • How to handle VUCA environments and unprecedented times.
    • Covid-19 is VUCA, a “black swan” event.
  • What happens to Supply Chains in a VUCA Environment?
    • VUCA can also be hurricanes, wildfires, social evil, political issues, and others. It’s not just one event; it’s a combination of many.
    • 2021: Uncertainty about uncertainty.
    • Supply chain: the art and science of synchronizing supply and demand.
    • COVID and the associated VUCA forced us to completely redesign what we do and how we do it.
    • The supply chain strives for control and predictability, the opposite of VUCA.
    • Finding solutions that can adapt to VUCA environments.
  • How to be more resilient?
    • Understand what visibility and awareness entail.
    • Creating a many-to-many network.
    • Embrace a digital supply network.
    • Visibility needs to lead to actionability.
    • Connect the process through artificial intelligence that can address the problem.
    • Deploy machine learning to create rules and guidelines.
    • Create agility with AI to work through VUCA environments.
  • Supply chains instead of supply chain
    • Be aware that every product has it’s own unique supply chain.
    • Reshore and nearshore supply chains and manufacturing to increase resiliency – the anti-brittle supply chain.
    • Focus on optionality as optimality is obsolete with VUCA.

Learn More About Supply Chains in VUCA Environments

Jim’s LinkedIn

Tompkins Ventures LinkedIn

Tompkins Ventures

The Mandate of Supply Chain Resilience

2020 – It was one heck of a decade

The Logistics of Logistics Podcast