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 International, a company that helps clients achieve supply chain excellence and profitable growth.

About James A. Tompkins, Ph.D.

Dr. James A. Tompkins is the Founder and Chairman of Tompkins International. Jim is an international authority on designing and implementing end-to-end supply chains. As the founder and chairman of Tompkins International, his focus over the last several years has been in the areas of digital commerce, omnichannel and supply chain reinvention. Over the last 40 years, Tompkins International has 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.

About Tompkins International

Tompkins International has two subsidiaries, Tompkins Solutions and Tompkins Robotics, creating a global supply chain consulting and solutions firm dedicated to helping clients achieve supply chain excellence and profitable growth. Founded in 1975, Tompkins has integrated its decades of experience in strategy, commerce, logistics and technology to provide unique supply chain consulting, material handling integration and robotics. By combining best-in-breed services and technologies, Tompkins delivers a true end-to-end supply chain solution, enabling clients to improve the customer experience and ensure long-term success. Tompkins is headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina and has done work on all continents except for Antarctica.

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

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