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November - 2006 - issue > Editor's Desk
The-Demand-Driven-Innovation
Pradeep Shankar
Thursday, November 2, 2006
Globalization is stretching supply chains across geographies. The intriguing thing about supply chain management is that there is always room for improvement. There are plenty of opportunities to take supply chain performance to even higher levels. This time we feature Manhattan Associates, which is at the forefront of building the framework to make the next generation of global supply chain.

For those of you who have read ‘The World Is Flat’, the author Thomas Friedman traces all the parts that were ‘supplied’ into his Dell notebook as a result of this global chain. Astonishingly, there were 400 different suppliers and 30 key parts that came from at least 30 different countries.

This speaks of enormous opportunities that a global supply chain offers for engineers to innovate. However, the point is, this new supply chain will respond directly to customer needs. Going forward, what matters to companies is what the customer’s customer is buying.

Today’s buyers are finicky and demanding. They expect the right products to be available at convenient times and locations. Companies are under increasing pressure to rapidly read buyers’ signals, develop products attuned to their needs, and deliver when customers are ready to buy. With customer desires changing all the time, speed for ‘thriving innovation’ is crucial.

Demand-driven innovation is driving every part of the modern business, including the supply chain. To reduce development time for demand-driven innovation, a number of companies are relooking at how the product is being developed.

Techies should seize the opportunity to cut across business functions and look for areas where they can innovate. This also calls for being highly collaborative and very effective in communication. Above all, what’s required is conviction and persuasiveness.

Like always you’ll find informative stories and thought-provoking ideas in our pages.
We appreciate your time and look forward to your feedback.

Pradeep Shankar
editor@thesmarttechie.com
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