#SupplyChainTech: What Is Supply Chain Technology, and Why is it the Biggest Investment Opportunity of Our Lifetime?

  • I will put forward a definition of supply chain technology (#SupplyChainTech) that builds on our previous work,
  • I will explain how we think about the scale and scope of the opportunity — in other words I will explain why #SupplyChainTech is important,
  • I will discuss some areas of application that we are focused on at REFASHIOND Ventures,
  • I will discuss some of the opportunities for different categories of investors, and finally
  • I will conclude with some final observations.
  • First — Supply Chain Management, which is concerned with the design and management of upstream and downstream production AND consumption networks. Supply Chain Management is mainly focused on consistently delivering superior customer service at reduced cost. Supply Chain management has the goal of improving the long-term financial performance of both each individual company within a supply chain AND the supply chain as a whole.
  • Second — in the words of Martin Christopher, Supply Chain Logistics is “ . . . the process of strategically managing the procurement, movement and storage of materials, parts and finished inventory (and the related information flows) through the organisation and its marketing channels in such a way that current and future profitability are maximised through the cost-effective fulfilment of orders.
  • Third — Supply Chain Finance, which is a network of intermediaries, processes, relationships, and technologies that provide funding and financing methods to facilitate and enable the activities that occur within global supply chains. This is sometimes referred to by the term Trade Finance.
  • First, everything around us exists because of a man-made or natural supply chain.
  • Second, every industry has a unique and distinct supply chain as its foundation.
  • Decision Analytics (aka Data & Predictive Analytics) — which is about using data, information, and computational technologies to make better decisions in the face of uncertainty by harnessing the best of human creativity AND computational power. This was the focus of REFASHIOND Ventures’ inaugural Quarterly Executive Salon which we announced on March 11, 2021, featuring the work of Warren Powell — a professor emeritus of Princeton University, cofounder of Optimal Dynamics, and world renowned expert in Computational Stochastic Optimization and Learning. It is available on video here.
  • Next-Generation Logistics — which is mainly about using technology to improve how society manages the logistics infrastructure and networks that facilitate the storage, transportation, and distribution of physical goods AND in the process to reduce harmful emissions and waste.
  • Advanced Materials — which is about using advancements in computational technology AND material science to reduce waste through the creation of circular and regenerative supply chains.
  • Advanced Manufacturing — which is about using advancements in computational technology, materials science, AND manufacturing processes to shift towards manufacturing that fulfils actual demand AND away from manufacturing that is done to fulfil anticipated demand which may never actually materialize.
  • First, they enable the flow of goods and services from producers to consumers.
  • Second, they facilitate the transfer of information about the movement of goods and services between every entity that is part of the supply chain network.
  • First, although I argue that climate change is driven by mankind’s choices in designing, managing, and operating man-made supply chains, I do not think that all climate change technology (#ClimateTech) should be classified as #SupplyChainTech. I believe that all #SupplyChainTech is #ClimateTech, but not all #ClimateTech is #SupplyChainTech. For example, carbon capture and sequestration technology would not fall under my definition of #SupplyChainTech although it is clearly #ClimateTech.
  • Second, because supply chains run on energy, innovation and technology transformation in energy supply chains is one of the areas of greatest promise and consequence. Mankind’s transition from fossil fuels to more sustainable and renewable sources of energy is one of the most exciting opportunities there is. However, I am of the opinion that the transition will be slower than we would like, and so I am as interested in technologies that disrupt energy supply chains as I am interested in technologies that incrementally but meaningfully make our use of fossil fuels less harmful to our planet.

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Early-stage VC — Supply Chain Tech. REFASHIOND. #TWSCF. NYUTandon. FreightWaves. | I’m not afraid to be different. Blog @ www.innovationfootprints.com.

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Brian Laung Aoaeh, CFA

Brian Laung Aoaeh, CFA

Early-stage VC — Supply Chain Tech. REFASHIOND. #TWSCF. NYUTandon. FreightWaves. | I’m not afraid to be different. Blog @ www.innovationfootprints.com.