The Internet of Things (IoT), a market expected to reach 26 billion connected devices by 2020, according to Gartner, will connect nearly everything to the Internet through sensors that share data in real-time. For supply chain management (SCM), this means streamlining many of the processes, utilizing the insight the data generated provides to deliver to deliver extremely customized and predictive processes.
Wanted: Skilled employees to integrate SCM & IoT
Electronics OEMs are already looking for talented people who understand the potential role of new technologies in the organization. Businesses that understand these new dynamics are better able to position themselves in the race to add efficiency and value to the supply chain. It's becoming clear that attracting and retaining talented technologies is critical for future success. At the same time, supply chain workers who understand this shift need to find educational programs and certifications that will give them the knowledge to lead and implement innovation in the supply chain.
Rutgers Business School Executive Education (RBSEE), a leading provider of management education programs for both organizations and individuals, is launching an accelerated certificate program aimed at exploring the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) on the next generation of supply chain strategy. Glen Gilmore, an attorney and social media strategist, who is one of the instructors in the new Rutgers Mini-MBA: Supply Chain in a Digitized Network, told EBN that "Rutgers course aims to help students understand how new technologies and models can be leveraged to add new efficiencies for businesses and consumers." Other programs of interest for supply chain professionals include the Rutgers Mini-MBA for Engineers and Technology Managers, the Mini-MBA: Business Management for Military and Veterans, and Corporate Programs that "can bring our faculty and subject-matter experts directly on-site," Gilmore said.
The program curriculum offers participants knowledge, case studies, interactive sessions, and class exercises on how to lead innovation in the organizational structure (i.e. talent, globalization, mergers and acquisitions, financial drivers, and Centers of Excellence). The technological coursework will focus on Internet of Things (IoT), machine-to-machine (M2M), robotics, omnichannel enhanced customer experience, and digital manufacturing. The program also covers a variety of best practices including predictive and advanced analytics, cloud computing, risk mitigation, procurement, fulfillment, lean manufacturing, and green principles.
The program focuses on providing tools to help SCM efforts in a connected world. "Companies want employees who can provide actionable insights from the immense data that is being generated by so many connected devices and digital communications," Gilmore said.
How the IoT is evolving the supply chain
Gilmore, also a thought leader in the emerging field of the Internet of Things (IoT), who has appeared at number thirteen on Inc.'s list of the Top 30 Internet of Things Experts as well as at number twelve on Onalytica's list of Top 100 Thought Leaders for The Internet of Things, believes that the IoT has "immense applications for supply chain management:"
- From global supply chains to "hyper-local" supply chains as consumers and businesses begin to demand speedier product production and delivery system. With IoT supply, demand can be identified and routed in real-time. This demands greater agility in production and supply representing new opportunities and challenges.
- IoT lets retailers capture real-time consumer demands and shifts in demands and convey them to the supply chain.
- M2M communications, leverages IoT technology to allow systems to communicate to each other about supply and maintenance needs, in order to speed up and streamline the supply chain.
"We live in an extremely mobile, digital,
and data-driven economy. Companies
are looking for employees that can help them
leverage the new technologies that are disrupting
old ways of doing business," Glen Gilmore told EBN.
Image Source: Rutgers Business
School Executive Education
Encouraging diversity in the supply chain industry
According to Gilmore, more than 40% of the people who have applied for the course so far are women. "That's a fairly high percentage, but we would love to see that percentage increase in order to prepare more women in the supply chain industry for top positions," Gilmore said. "The harsh reality is that there is a gender gap in the IT fields that disadvantages women," says Gilmore, who hopes that the new Mini-MBA, like all of Rutgers programs, "will draw a diverse study body and help equip its participants for success in a digitalized age."
Gilmore believes that talent, or opportunity should never be disadvantaged because of gender. However, he noted that "a 2014 report from the U.S. Department of Labor shows that there is still a substantial gender gap in the field of information technology (IT), a field and skill set critical to supply chain management leadership. There can be no doubt that gender bias in the IT arena has also discouraged females from focusing on IT in their educational paths," he added.
The Mini-MBA program, Supply Chain in a Digitized Network will take place from November 30 to December 4 at the Heldrich Hotel in New Brunswick, NJ. Both experienced and emerging supply chain leaders who seek to understand the current and future impact digital innovations and technology will have on the supply chain industry are encouraged to apply.