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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
By nicole_smythe

Many experts say that supply chain is backbone of our modern-day economy – maximizing uptime with advanced technologies, enhancing visibility, and driving sustainability efforts.  

Much like supply chain, Mothers are often referred to as the backbone of a family but instead of driving high-level corporate strategies, they’re driving the structure within a household, (and, of course, the kids to soccer practice).  What many don’t realize is that mothers and supply chain have more in common than what meets the average eye.   

Let’s dive into the three special characteristics that both supply chain and mothers share.   

Reliability: Knowledge of the Missing Pieces 

Picture this: you’re running late for work and cannot find your keys.  You’ve looked in every cabinet, drawer, and space possible and… nothing.  The next step is obvious, right?  You simply retrace your steps?  No. You try to remember the last place you had it?  Wrong.  You call for Mom?  Correct!  Mothers are the steady source of reliability in a household, always knowing where each item is – from keys to cleats to everything in between.   

Much like Mom’s have a sixth sense about misplaced items, advanced tracking technologies, like Business Network Global Track and Trace, now give companies the power to utilize real-time data to gain visibility into their orders and shipments.  This enhanced technology allows companies to mitigate risk and elevate their customer experience.   

On a recent episode of The Future of Supply Chain Podcast, my mom, Eileen Smythe, Vice President of Supply Chain at Arkema, explains how this technology ‘provides a more holistic look or view or lens of the activity. [Also], the speed at which we transact and make decisions and get visibility has just advanced at warped speed, right?  The way that I've seen technology change is, really, it's supported the speed at which I get my job done and it's really supported the ability for quick decision making.’ 

So, whether Moms are trying to make quick decisions whilst keep their household happy, stress-free and on-time (thanks for always finding my wallet, Mom!), or companies are trying to gain sharper visibility into their processes, there is an unmatched power into this knowledge and real-time decision making.  

Resiliency: Bouncing Back from Risk and Setbacks 

Whether it’s cranky kids, busy work schedules, or upcoming PTO meetings, Moms are faced with the daily balancing act of work, home, and life.  On top of this, there is always the chance of unexpected events – such as rescheduled meetings, overlapping sports games, or sick kids.  No matter what life throws at Moms, they find a way to make it work.  In other words, they’re resilient.  

What the pandemic has taught us is that not only are mother’s resilient, but so are supply chains. As the world has entered a state of perma-crisis, it has become more critical than ever that companies adopt a risk-resilient mindset when it comes to their internal processes. Nowadays, the ability to sense, identify, or even predict changes in supply and demand and other market disruptions is just one side of becoming a risk-resilient supply chain. You also need agile business processes, like SAP Integrated Business Planning for Supply Chain, in place to have the ability to respond to these changes. This starts by mapping out your supply chain to identify critical areas of inherent risk and create contingency plans to respond. 

No matter the risk or setback, no problem is too big against the power of resiliency. 

Innovative: Finding Ways to Transform  

Moms always seem to find ways to make the impossible happen.  Class projects due the next day or cookies needed for the bake fair are miraculously made and created by 7am that next morning – all, of which, look professionally crafted and created.  Moms have the power of innovation where they can turn something ordinary into extraordinary.   

Companies now have the power to do the same with their supply chains.  Instead of it being an after-thought, top executives are now utilizing their processes to become a catalyst in innovative change.  Solutions like SAP Enterprise Product Development allows companies to have a holistic view into the full design process.  In doing so, it introduces new and innovative products faster by connecting insights, processes and people.    

Whether a company is looking to do a full digital transformation to become a market leader or Moms are finding innovative ways to present a book report, both companies and mothers, alike, have the power to be innovative drivers for futuristic change.    

So, this Mother’s Day, as many come together to celebrate, remember to take a moment to appreciate how reliable, resilient, and innovative both Moms and supply chains are, as they are the backbone for a thriving family and economy.   

Happy Mother’s Day to all!  


To learn more about how to get on the path to a Risk Resilient and Sustainable supply chain, download the Oxford Economics Research. 
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