Looking Back to See the Future

In reading this Forbes article from Lisa Caldwell and Sachin Lulla as well as several other pieces that I have read, it is becoming apparent to me that we are attempting to move into a direction where we treat our organizations and supply chains similar to how treated semiconductor fabrication factories in the 1990s. During that time the push towards in situ monitoring generating tons of data being fed into control charts as well as factory performance models attempting to optimizing flow through the factory accounting for equipment failure, etc. was relentless. The one thing that really held them back at the time was the lack of a common data model that was shared by all the components of the factory as well as the manufacturing execution system.  

While the complexity of modern supply chains demand tools like discrete event simulations to be able to analyze impacts of disruptions, I’m concerned that the lack of common data model could limit the usefulness of those tools. Utilizing resident entity models may help with the lack of a common model–just not sure yet.  

I’m really not sure at this point, but the way forward may be assisted with what our predecessors learned fixing smaller scale issues in the past.