The Complex Role of Innovation in Supply Chain Management

Tags: Logistics, Technology , Supply Chain

Dr. Nagesh Kadaba is senior advisor, ipCapital Group and John Cronin is managing director and chairman, ipCapital Group.

Supply chain innovation (SCI) is important for companies of all sizes. With new enabling technologies causing disruptions across the supply chain, the supply chain space is ripe for innovation. According to a recent study by the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics, most innovations in supply chain management build on existing achievements and reconfigure known methods and technologies rather than invent new ones. However, incremental change using emerging enabling technologies represents a huge portion of innovation used to stay ahead of competition.

Virtualized innovation technique will allow possible disruption to the normal course of innovation development. Virtualized innovation can enable companies to respond much more rapidly and cost-effectively to declining product life cycles, accelerating technological change and intensifying competition, perhaps even from non-traditional sources.

New technologies can completely redefine the nature of competition, such as the Internet of Things, mobility, telematics and sensors, cloud, big data, deep learning, artificial intelligence, drones, and 3D printing. Startups are often launching with technology-driven innovation.

New service models and connectivity are disintermediating business models and traditional distribution/marketing channels, such as on demand, peer-to-peer, crowd, always-on, dynamic routing, and real-time visibility. Even with R&D spending continually increasing, R&D on its own is no longer enough to drive innovation.

What is Virtualized Innovation?

Virtualized innovation is the process of using systematic invention creation methodologies and carefully selected situation-specific idea/creativity tools to leverage Invention as well as utilizing the entire resources of the internet to create product or service change, alteration, revolution, upheaval, transformation, metamorphosis, or breakthrough at the business, market, product, or technology level, and to document and own the new products/service creations through rapid IP protection using a patent factory approach.

Applying Virtual Innovation Techniques to the Supply Chain Space

First, we need a framework for innovation, invention, and IP capabilities.

An IP strategy is only as good as the information and input that goes into it. Align your business issues with the content and direction of the competitive landscape, and the IP strategy will support your business objectives. Document the greatest concerns to your business for clarity and consensus. Capture your unique business issues in a framework for communications. Strategically target and compile the right set of IP for your business concerns. Understand the business impact of IP trends in your space. Uncover new revenue and cost savings opportunities through IP strength analytics. Comprehensive analysis of external IP to better understand and inform investment or acquisition decisions. Build a strategic IP portfolio using best-in-class invention creation processes. Harvest, strengthen, invent, and document business-critical IP. Support monetization objectives throughout the invention lifecycle.

Virtualizing Innovation – Systematic Process

The Virtual Innovation Process and Patent Factory approach can yield up to 30 strategic product or service inventions in 90 to 120 days.

• Find the Innovations Types Needed in Business

• Search the Patent Literature for Insights

• Search the Non-Patent Literature for Insights

• Develop Innovation Strategy – Cross Map

With new enabling technologies causing disruptions across the supply chain, supply chain space is ripe for innovation. Applying Virtual Innovation to the supply chain space can generate hundreds of inventions.

Virtualized Innovation will enable possible disruption to the normal course of innovation development (e.g., R&D, M&A, Open Innovation, JVs, licensing, etc.), empowering companies to respond much more rapidly and cost-effectively to declining product life cycles, accelerating technological change and intensifying competition.






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