Integrating Physical and Digital Supply Chains: A Cross-Industry Perspective

Businesses are increasingly considering the “Internet of Things” (IoT) product enablement to implement connected supply chains to reduce costs through better inventory management and support rapidly evolving service business models. IoT is a scenario in which objects, animals, or people are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. Industrial and consumer goods manufacturing firms that are accustomed to managing physical supply chains are now suddenly finding themselves knee-deep in requirements to implement digital supply chains with which they have little experience. While many analysts predict significant growth of IoT over the next five years, it is clear that customers can be expected to walk away if they do not see the value or trust these new digital features of products. This session will provide a cross-industry perspective on how to undertake digital supply chain transformations. Bio: Peter Vanderminden’78 recently retired from Microsoft where he was industry manager of manufacturing and supply chain. He is a widely recognized thought leader in the “Internet of Things” and supply chain management practices, and is regularly invited to speak at industry conferences. Now, an independent consultant, he works with companies in the industrial manufacturing, transportation, and health-life sciences sectors, helping them to develop enterprise architecture and innovation strategies to integrate physical and digital supply chains for IoT enablement. He earned an MBA with Distinction from Leeds University, Leeds, U.K.; a Bachelor of Science in communications science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y.; and a post-graduate certificate in system dynamics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.