Bring the Wisdom of Crowds to the Supply Chain

Supply chain professionals have been fighting to get a seat at the table and help make strategic decisions for the organization. Fortunately, more and more the top brass are making room—and many organizations even have a C-level title for procurement and supply chain activities.

That's good news, because research shows that many minds get to better answer than fewer. New Yorker  business columnist Surowiecki in his book The Wisdom of Crowds argues that “under the right circumstances, groups are remarkably intelligent, and are often smarter than the smartest people in them.” Take a look at the infographic from Domo below to learn more about his thoughts on the topic.

The electronics industry already has a pretty decent track record of applying “collective intelligence” to some of its activities. Consider, for example, the huge number of electronics designers who test out the popularity of their ideas by asking people to put their money where there mouth is by helping to fund development on a crowdfunding platform such as GoFundMe, Kickstarter, or Indiegogo.

In its annual 2015CF – Crowdfunding Industry Reportmassolution, a research firm specializing in the crowdsourcing and crowdfunding industries, looked at 1,250 active crowdfunding platforms (CFPs) worldwide and found that they had raised $16.2 billion in 2014, a 167% increase over the $6.1 billion raised in 2013. North America still accounts for the largest market but 2014 saw Asia overtake Europe, by a small margin, the report said. 

At the same time, there's still room for more innovation by leveraging collective wisdom. “To answer the most vexing innovation and research questions, crowds are becoming the partner of choice,” an article in the Harvard Business Review said, pointing to Apple's efforts to include users and developers worldwide to improve it's products. “Despite a growing list of success stories, only a few companies use crowds effectively—or much at all.”

How do you think the electronics industry in general and the supply chain in particular could better use collective wisdom for better business outcomes? Let us know in the comments section below.

— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN Circle me on Google+ Follow me on Twitter Visit my LinkedIn page Friend me on Facebook

1 comment on “Bring the Wisdom of Crowds to the Supply Chain

  1. MarkSindone
    September 11, 2018

    Is a crowd really a good thing? In my opinion, it really depends on the situation at the end of the day. For some scenarios, more input would only result in a chaotic outcome. On other occasions, the bigger the participation, the more fruitful the discussion would be. The way we sieve through the input also matters so that we are able to filter out only what we need. If we can manage to perform all that, then it would indeed become much more rewarding having more minds working together instead of just a single-handed person taking the wheel.

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