Driving Cultural Change in Supply Chain Organizations Using Mobile Devices

26 Mar Driving Cultural Change in Supply Chain Organizations Using Mobile Devices

Transforming a culture can be a daunting task and certainly requires more than can written in 1 blog post. However, there are a few items we notice in working in large-scale transformations over the past 3 years.

Communication. Not a new aspect of cultural change, but there is more than communicating values. High-level values such as “customers come first” do not mean much unless translated into actionable information for the entire organization. To communicate information, dashboards are commonly used today but to take communication to the next level, dashboards much be real-time, contextualize and role based. With communication, organization must focus communications on the right information to the right people at the right time. With email overload, many supply chain stakeholders are becoming oblivious to numerous team members on an email chain. To communicate effectively, sometimes less is more.

A mobile mechanism which can accept information and provide the information to those who need it is a crucial advantage vs. information overload.


Collaboration. With the velocity of business increasing over the last 20 years, collaboration has also increased in velocity. In the mid-80’s, collaboration may have been a fax to partners and internal stakeholders. Email and browser-based applications took over and now mobile devices are in vogue. To truly leverage mobile devices, organizations need to think more out-of-the-box. Just having email on a mobile device or dashboards on a mobile browser can help, but enabling collaboration in context can be Collaboration 3.0. How can this work? Enabling all members of a supply chain organization to review snippets of information not just in words, letters and pictures but as apps and/or metric apps – where metrics can be the center of collaboration and members of the team can drill-up, drill-down and/or drill-across to metrics apps so has to add to the collaborative knowledge of the team.

Collaboration-in-Context is more than just sharing information; it is the story behind the information. The story for one simple key performance indicator can be another metric app, or a collaborative discussion with members of the team.


Real-time. When referring to “real-time” and mobility, the concept of “real-time alerts” come to mind. While alerts can be an example of how to leverage real-time capabilities, the journey to real-time needs to be approached in a methodological fashion.

A primary step to drive cultural adoption in supply chain organizations using mobile devices is to develop a road-map which results in an acceleration of the visibility of the metrics.

For example, applying a stair-step methodology for each a series of KPIs to reduce time between updates:

This quarter:

Blog - Table 1


Next quarter:

Blog - Table 2


Notice two points:

  1. One KPI, Defects per 1000, is not accelerated due to the fact that no or minimal additional value is generated by accelerating visibility for this metric.
  2. In the next quarter, we add additional metrics to our roadmap.



Driving Cultural Change in Supply Chain Organizations Using Mobile Devices has numerous aspects. Three such as aspects are communication, collaboration and real-time. Each of these aspects need to be considered using conventional and unconventional thinking.