The Digital Supply Chain podcast

Post pandemic supply chains for student and practitioner - a chat with Penn State's Prof Justin Goldston

August 31, 2020 Tom Raftery / Justin Goldston Season 1 Episode 63
The Digital Supply Chain podcast
Post pandemic supply chains for student and practitioner - a chat with Penn State's Prof Justin Goldston
Chapters
The Digital Supply Chain podcast
Post pandemic supply chains for student and practitioner - a chat with Penn State's Prof Justin Goldston
Aug 31, 2020 Season 1 Episode 63
Tom Raftery / Justin Goldston

I was contacted on LinkedIn by Dr Justin Goldston of Penn State university. He was interested in coming on the podcast to share his learnings from the last few months with the audience of this podcast, so I immediately said "Absolutely, please do come on the show"

And we had a great chat about how supply chains are responding to the disruption, how students and supply chain professionals need to upskill, and what the silver linings of the pandemic are.

This was also a very timely conversation, as we are heading into the start of a new semester in colleges, and as I received a lovely message from an Instagram user called Chai, which I read out at the start of the podcast.

I really enjoyed putting this podcast together, I hope you enjoy listening to it. If you have any comments/suggestions or questions for the podcast - feel free to leave me a voice message over on my SpeakPipe page or just send it to me as a direct message on Twitter/LinkedIn. Audio messages will get played (unless you specifically ask me not to).

To learn more about how supply chain leaders improve end-to-end supply chain visibility, download the research study of 1,000 COO’s and Chief Supply Chain Officers – “Surviving and Thriving How Supply Chain Leaders minimize risk and maximize opportunities

And if you want to know more about any of SAP's Digital Supply Chain solutions, head on over to www.sap.com/digitalsupplychain and if you liked this show, please don't forget to rate and/or review it. It makes a big difference to help new people discover it. Thanks.

And remember, stay healthy, stay safe, stay sane!

Show Notes Transcript

I was contacted on LinkedIn by Dr Justin Goldston of Penn State university. He was interested in coming on the podcast to share his learnings from the last few months with the audience of this podcast, so I immediately said "Absolutely, please do come on the show"

And we had a great chat about how supply chains are responding to the disruption, how students and supply chain professionals need to upskill, and what the silver linings of the pandemic are.

This was also a very timely conversation, as we are heading into the start of a new semester in colleges, and as I received a lovely message from an Instagram user called Chai, which I read out at the start of the podcast.

I really enjoyed putting this podcast together, I hope you enjoy listening to it. If you have any comments/suggestions or questions for the podcast - feel free to leave me a voice message over on my SpeakPipe page or just send it to me as a direct message on Twitter/LinkedIn. Audio messages will get played (unless you specifically ask me not to).

To learn more about how supply chain leaders improve end-to-end supply chain visibility, download the research study of 1,000 COO’s and Chief Supply Chain Officers – “Surviving and Thriving How Supply Chain Leaders minimize risk and maximize opportunities

And if you want to know more about any of SAP's Digital Supply Chain solutions, head on over to www.sap.com/digitalsupplychain and if you liked this show, please don't forget to rate and/or review it. It makes a big difference to help new people discover it. Thanks.

And remember, stay healthy, stay safe, stay sane!

[00:00:03] I think that it highlighted the fact that collaboration is going to be very important to business, is going to be very important to supply chain management as well as, you know, the the continuous engagement with with with beer, with your peers, with your workforce, you know, with with your business partners, with then with them and organising within and outside of the organisation. [00:00:36][33.0]

[00:00:39] Good morning. Good afternoon or good evening wherever you are in the world. This is the Digital Supply-Chain podcast. The number one podcast focussing on the digitisation of supply chain. And I'm your host. Global Vice President of SJP, Tom Raftery. Hi, everyone. Welcome to the Digital Supply Chain podcast. My name is Tom Raftery with SCDP. [00:01:00][20.3]

[00:01:01] And I just wanted to start today's show with the message that I got from a user on Instagram called Chai's. He HHI, and she wrote to me a direct message on Instagram saying, Hi, Tom. I just wanted to drop off a huge thanks to you and your podcast, digital supply chain series on Spotify. Obviously, China's in the spotlight. Just lovely. I would begin my bachelors following this September specialisation in supply chain management and logistics and having already listened to you. I've built up such a wonderful framework of the problems I want to work on. Thank you for your vision, effort and time. You truly are making groundbreaking impact through this. I hope to learn more from you over time. Have a great day. Wishing you health and prosperity. Thanks so much for that, Joy. And that's absolutely a great Segway into our first guest, because our first guest is Justin. Justin is from the educational world. So, Justin, would you like to introduce yourself? [00:02:07][66.7]

[00:02:09] Yes. Yes. Thanks, Tom. I am Dr. Justin Goldston. I am a professor of project and supply chain management from Penn State University. And my primary research interests are centred around supply chain management, digital transformations and organisational change. So I look forward to our discussion and this is going to be engaged and I can already tell. [00:02:36][26.5]

[00:02:38] Thanks, Justin. [00:02:38][0.3]

[00:02:40] It is a thank you so much for reaching out, but coming on the show because we've had a lot of executives on the show and supply chain professionals. But this is the first time we've had an educator. And I'm acutely aware that there's a section of Reddit dealing with Supply-Chain who are very engaged and who do come and listen to this podcast as well. So it would be interesting, I think, not just for the professionals, but also for the number of students and young professionals on Reddit who listen to this podcast. [00:03:10][29.5]

[00:03:13] As as an academic. What we're in the middle of a pandemic, supply chains have, you know, had to respond to this. [00:03:21][8.5]

[00:03:21] Some of responded better than others. What what what are your takeaways from what's happened in the last five, six months of this pandemic? [00:03:28][6.2]

[00:03:29] I will say that from an from an educational perspective. Fortunately and unfortunately, there has been more notice in terms of the supply chain discipline. I've had a number of students reach out to me, undeclared students, general business students reached out to me enquiring on how to transfer into the supply chain discipline. So, you know, they asked us, why Supply-Chain? [00:03:59][29.5]

[00:04:00] Well, I've heard on CNN. I've heard that MSNBC and, you know, it sounds interesting. And there there's never a dull moment. And that's it. [00:04:09][9.5]

[00:04:10] That's the chain is so. [00:04:14][3.7]

[00:04:14] And for those students where, you know, their traditional operations management and supply chain management courses are a requirement within their undergraduate programmes, they are finding more of an interest. [00:04:29][15.0]

[00:04:30] They they're finding more of a connexion with the pandemic. They are. Well, I will say that the pandemic has has triggered myself and my fellow researchers within higher education to re-evaluate the curriculum and make changes and include things such as uncertainty, management, planning, as opposed to risk management planning, know in terms of project management and things like that. So so the pandemic has has uncovered a number of things. [00:05:10][40.5]

[00:05:11] I mean, of course, of course, as the uncovered a number of things within the industry, but it has within higher education as well. And now but now we see that, you know, we can't we can't look at supply chain management from a traditional sense where you just talk about logistics, purchasing, forecasting. You know, you have to take the the current developments and and apply them and make it more of a practise based curriculum as opposed to a theory based curriculum. [00:05:44][32.8]

[00:05:45] So far, far deeper, nauseated. For me, what's the difference between uncertainty and risk when it comes to supply chain? [00:05:52][7.3]

[00:05:53] So I will say that in a nutshell, I say that uncertainty is the current state. [00:06:01][7.9]

[00:06:03] You know, and I can say that the risk would be the future state vision and planning. [00:06:08][5.1]

[00:06:09] So that's essentially how how how I discuss it within the project management courses. And that's, you know, a lot of a lot of organisations, even professionals, kind of get those terms mixed up in code. [00:06:24][14.3]

[00:06:24] MANGOLD In and I try to I try to, you know, stress the fact that, you know, uncertainty management planning is a current state, the pandemic state and the risk management is is there is a future state where what's going to have to happen to supply chains so that they can not just get through this, but be ready post college if we ever get there to to to, you know, thrive and succeed and continue. [00:06:55][30.6]

[00:06:56] I think that going back to our our your previous question, organisations are going to have to have those uncertainty management plans and they're also going to have to have those risk management plans or strategies, because I say that supply chain disruptions are cyclical and that we although this is further amplified in which what we're currently experiencing now, we have these every year, you know, in in in the shape of earthquakes, in the shape of hurricanes and workplace workplace strikes around the world. [00:07:43][47.0]

[00:07:44] And if we look at an uncertainty management plan, you know, if we have a strike, how long will that strike in the last? And it can be translated to what we're experiencing now in that. How long is this pandemic going to last? You know, and we have to have a plan to to alleviate alleviate the what's the word I'm looking for? [00:08:08][24.8]

[00:08:10] Alleviate the hit to sure. That works. [00:08:12][2.3]

[00:08:17] So I think that, you know, the planning the planning is and it's project management planning, a supply chain management planning is its business strategy planning. [00:08:26][8.9]

[00:08:26] You know, the business trade business, our overall business strategy plans have been impacted by this. [00:08:33][7.0]

[00:08:35] You know, and I had a discussion I had a discussion with one of my peers, Luis Columbus', where, you know, he's a he's a Forbes columnist. I know. [00:08:43][8.1]

[00:08:43] Always had an lovely guy. Yes. Amazing man. Small world. [00:08:48][5.0]

[00:08:50] And, you know, we were talking we were talking about the development. [00:08:54][3.4]

[00:08:55] And he said that, you know, at the beginning of the year, he was saying that corporate social responsibility was going to be the hot topic. [00:09:02][7.6]

[00:09:03] Right. You know, and then once cold hit, you know, that is, you know, CSR kind of took the back seat. Exactly. Yeah. You know, two things. So how how does this pandemic affect an organisation, CSR strategy? [00:09:19][15.7]

[00:09:19] Worry it was a part of their, you know, 20/20 plan. [00:09:22][2.3]

[00:09:23] You know, and that's and that goes back. He goes CSR. It goes to diversity and inclusion. You know, it goes to, you know, a number of things, sustainable practises, you know, creating efficient reduce the inventory levels or make it be anything before operation or organisation, you know, organisation, strategic plan. [00:09:45][22.6]

[00:09:47] So and, you know, to that point, CSR or diversity, inclusion, all these kind of things haven't taken a backseat very much in the last few months. Should they I mean, do they matter? And particularly in a bit of a pandemic, they have taken a hit. Will they come back? [00:10:07][20.0]

[00:10:08] I think they're going to come back. And I think that's. [00:10:11][3.8]

[00:10:13] With the shelter in place, mandates and with individuals networking with people like people they haven't previously. Right. [00:10:24][10.3]

[00:10:24] You know, people working across across the country, across the world, around the world and experiencing different cultures. [00:10:35][10.5]

[00:10:37] I think that's that. And this is one of the silver linings that we're going to see from the pandemic in that they will be able to empathise. [00:10:47][11.0]

[00:10:48] They will be able to relate. [00:10:50][1.5]

[00:10:51] You know, they'll they were there will be additional buy in to those to that people aspect of of CSR and to the efforts in terms of diversity and inclusion. [00:11:04][13.2]

[00:11:06] Because now because previously I've been working remotely for since 2006, 2007, you know, and there's been a lot of cases where we tabone Zoom calls, hop on Microsoft teams when we didn't have this video technology. [00:11:23][16.7]

[00:11:25] And you heard the person's voice, but you didn't know what that person looked like. Right. Yeah. You know, you heard the you heard the accent. [00:11:33][8.9]

[00:11:34] You made assumptions. [00:11:34][0.3]

[00:11:37] But but now, you know, now you see that person's face. You hear that. You hear you hear their children in the background because they're homeschooled when there are kids, you know, and and took a break, you know, they take that call. [00:11:48][11.4]

[00:11:48] That's your own. And things like that. [00:11:50][1.6]

[00:11:50] So I think that this this this this is this is a positive outcome. [00:11:57][6.7]

[00:11:58] And I think that there's going to be people will will further. [00:12:02][3.6]

[00:12:02] Will will further embrace the CSR efforts, as well as the diversion inclusion efforts once we once we emerged from this. [00:12:11][9.0]

[00:12:12] OK. Interesting. Good, good. [00:12:13][1.2]

[00:12:14] You also mentioned at the start that you're involved in teaching organisational development. If I if I heard correctly. That's an interesting one given. Again, we're in the middle of a pandemic and organisational development is going to be severely impacted by this. I mean, organisations are going to have to change. If you think in terms of supply chain manufacturers, for example, will have to change their manufacturing lines. You know, even yourself as SAP as a university lecturer, you do a lot of remote lecturing now as opposed to in-person lecturing. And there's all kinds of other hits happening. How is this going to impact organisations? I mean, I can see in terms of manufacturers, they're going to have to increase automation to try and reduce the number of workers on lines to try and maintain social or physical distancing ordinances. You know that there's all kinds of impacts like that. [00:13:09][55.6]

[00:13:10] And for organisational development, it's going to be, you know, well, does that old refrain that technology is easy? People are hard. And I guess that's really what organisational development is all about. What? How are organisations going to develop post covered? [00:13:27][16.7]

[00:13:28] Do you hit the nail on the head in that technology? Next question. [00:13:33][5.1]

[00:13:34] So I think that we we both come from, you know, the ERP world. And, you know, that is that is the you know, from an organisational change perspective, the people is the hard part. You know, whenever we whenever we look back on failed implementations, it is very, very, very, very rarely been the solution itself. [00:14:01][27.1]

[00:14:03] It's been the people. [00:14:04][1.4]

[00:14:05] It's been the workforce embracing the project. It's been the leadership buy in, you know, and and I think this the same is going to hold true with this as we emerge out of the pandemic. And I think that dog is just just like ERP implementations. It starts with the Y. You know, the leaders of the organisations, the leaders themselves have to understand the why. Why did you call me in here? [00:14:38][33.2]

[00:14:39] You know, and and at as SAP, I used to I used to tell organisations this this ERP system is nothing but a million dollar piece of code. [00:14:49][9.3]

[00:14:51] You have to you have to, you know, influence. [00:14:55][4.5]

[00:14:57] You know, you have to empower the workforce. You have to be that transformational leader, you know, taken those theories you learnt in business school and demonstrating them, walking the talk, if you will. [00:15:10][12.9]

[00:15:11] You know, and and showing. [00:15:12][1.4]

[00:15:13] Showing the people. Why are we why are we embracing this technological change? [00:15:18][5.0]

[00:15:19] What how. How is this change going to positively impact you? Key term positively impact, you know. Right. [00:15:31][11.6]

[00:15:32] You know, and what's your role with in this project? Because that getting getting the input from the workforce is how they're going, how you're going to get them by workforce, by. [00:15:44][12.2]

[00:15:45] Of course. [00:15:45][0.1]

[00:15:46] And Tom and Tom, again, I mean, I'm I'm sure you can attest it is where we've sat in those conference rooms, done the requirements, gathering, you know, done. What do you want out of this out of this system? And the and the BBB leaders have their opinions, you know. But let's let's get the input of the workers. Let's do that gamble walk and say, what can we do to make your job easier? Well, would you want to see intervene in a solution? You're the one going to be is going to be doing this. One us on day to day basis. All I'm doing is looking at our ports. [00:16:22][36.0]

[00:16:25] But the biggest thing I've been speaking with people all in term in terms of in terms of organisational change and business transformations, would be would be the how this this automation is not going to take away jobs. [00:16:43][18.1]

[00:16:45] That's a huge concern. [00:16:45][0.5]

[00:16:46] It's going it's going to is going to assist. It's going to make their jobs easier. It's going to make them more efficient. [00:16:52][6.4]

[00:16:53] Right. And and I think that I think that that's going to be. [00:16:58][4.4]

[00:17:00] That should be the emphasis for these days. These new strategy, so RPA or robotic process, automation, business process, automation, industrial automation, that needs to be the foundation, that needs to be one of the first things that is discussed by leaders who implement these new solutions. [00:17:20][20.5]

[00:17:21] If I am a supply chain professional, I'm going to ask this question in two forums. OK. So there's two parts to the question. If I'm a supply chain professional, what should I. What what are the key things I need to be aware of for the next two or three years, given that we are right now in the middle of a pandemic? But, you know, hopefully in two, three years coming out of us. So A for a supply chain professional, what should I be thinking of? [00:17:54][32.4]

[00:17:54] And B, if I'm a student, either just starting to supply chain are just coming out of I'm starting into industry. Same question. What two, three things. Should I have top of mind. [00:18:06][12.2]

[00:18:10] I would say for both for for both of those for the both of those demographics, I would say. [00:18:17][6.8]

[00:18:19] You need to educate yourself in terms of the emerging technologies. [00:18:24][4.8]

[00:18:26] You don't have to be an expert, but you need to have a habit, have an understanding of of of technologies, because these technologies are going to be the competitive advantage, competitive advantage of organisations and by changing mentalities. [00:18:46][19.6]

[00:18:46] You're talking about a block change and also, et cetera, et cetera. [00:18:50][3.2]

[00:18:51] Yes. So so ERP applications, you know, are integrating artificial intelligence. And and it is it is he evolving by the day, by the week, you know, in terms of the use cases, in terms of the algorithms that are being built. [00:19:08][16.8]

[00:19:08] I just had it school. I had the discussion with with with the class on Monday. You know, those algorithms are in a way, struggling right now in that there is no there is no Koven algorithm. Right. What do those covert algorithms look like? What did the post code algorithms look like? [00:19:28][19.4]

[00:19:29] You know, by and I think that those emerging technologies are the understanding of those emerging technologies are going to be important. [00:19:37][8.3]

[00:19:38] People say I'm biased, but, you know, that's my that's my view on things. I think that, you know, both block shame. [00:19:44][6.8]

[00:19:47] And I think it's going to take time for block chain to catch on within the supply chain industry. There are some organisations using block chain, but just as with cloud computing, you know, like to cloud computing, 10 years to catch on. It's too late now. And now that's all that's all the vendors are offering. Yeah. You know, so, so blotchy is going to take is I think it's going to take time to to catch on BPA besides a business process. Automation. I think it's going to be and it's going to be continue to be integrated. [00:20:22][35.6]

[00:20:23] I think that I think that process intelligence I think will be emerging in terms of in terms of your ERP application application, tracking a process and essentially developing like a Visio diagram right on the back end. So. So was that important? [00:20:51][27.8]

[00:20:52] Well, as as the workforce, as the workforce that we have today continues to our hour begins to retire the brief retirement age. [00:21:02][9.5]

[00:21:03] You know, you're going to have a new wave of individuals coming into the organisation. So a lot of companies that I've worked with do not really have those process maps. You know, it's all it's all in those tenured employees heads. Right. But with this with this process intelligence that you're tracking those processes and those keystrokes and you're you're you're kind of creating creating those those those those diagrams on the back end. [00:21:35][32.2]

[00:21:37] You know, to to better understand the process of the organisation. I think that that's done. That's something that's very early on in the process. But I foresee that somewhat picking up from an efficiency perspective and from a standardisation perspective, because standardisation is going to be very important. But to do to address the the new college and the college students, I think that's another thing to consider are certifications. [00:22:11][33.7]

[00:22:13] So a number of institutions offer certifications. I know Penn State offers certifications and S.A.T. and ERP. [00:22:22][9.1]

[00:22:24] So we had within the project, project and supply chain management programme. You can take one more class as an elective outside of the curriculum and you receive an ERP, an essay piece certification. And, you know, I explain to them where that's a differentiator. [00:22:45][20.7]

[00:22:47] You know, I say that. I say that I am very candid with you all. [00:22:52][4.3]

[00:22:53] And once you once you start anger your senior year, you're getting in competition mode. [00:22:58][5.8]

[00:22:59] You know, you are going into competition with the Michigan State. You're in competition with Arizona State. You're in competition with the University of Arkansas. University of Arkansas came out of nowhere in terms of sploshing education. [00:23:11][11.3]

[00:23:12] They have built a machine down there. Oh, yes. So. So. [00:23:18][6.5]

[00:23:19] That's what I explain. [00:23:19][0.5]

[00:23:20] I mean, I tried to I tried to equate everything to business in that, you know, was going to be, you know, your differentiator, you know, so. [00:23:31][10.7]

[00:23:32] So I think that certifications are important for those college student certifications are important for for people, professionals within the industry. [00:23:41][9.4]

[00:23:43] You know, so so but also in terms of those certifications, you you you have to you have to have an understanding of where do you want to see yourself. [00:23:53][10.8]

[00:23:55] So like you say, where where do you see? Or so always the one where we see, you know, this is this situation in the next three years. Where do you see your career the next three years? [00:24:03][8.0]

[00:24:04] You know, that's going to that's going to kind of direct you in terms of like the a big or ACM CSICOP certification or the CPI M certification or so. [00:24:16][12.3]

[00:24:18] And that's that's that's where you know, where we we. Well, I explained to professionals when I explained two to two college students that that's going to enter into into the industry where certain for education is very important. [00:24:32][14.6]

[00:24:33] But certifications within the supply chain, the industry is very poor because of just what we've gone over the 20 minute mark. [00:24:42][9.2]

[00:24:42] And by I don't mean like to keep it somewhere between 20 to 30 minutes for the podcast. [00:24:45][3.1]

[00:24:46] Is there anything that we haven't touched on that you think, you know, I should have asked anything that you think it's important people to be aware of that we've not mentioned a thing that I want to highlight the point once again, that is that there is a positive outcome to the pandemic and that I think that it highlighted the fact that collaboration is going to be very important to business, is going to be very important to supply chain management as well as, you know, the the continuous engagements with with with with your peers, with your workforce, you know, with with your business partners, with then with them and organising within and outside of the organisation. [00:25:45][58.8]

[00:25:47] I say that because we we had no choice but to have that continuous back and that continuous communication. You know, I would say and I would say almost all organisation has kind of instituted those, you know, town hall meetings, you know, where the leaders discuss the current state of the organisation, the current state of the world. But I think that that should be a move forward approach. You know, that I'll move forward cadence within organisation, you know, because now you know, that's going to lead into increased trust within the organisation and outside the organisation. So I won't I won't to just, you know, highlight the fact that there is a there is a silver lining in this in this current situation. [00:26:41][53.9]

[00:26:42] Good. Nice. Nice. Nice note to end on. Just that people want to know more about yourself or about the courses you teach or anything like that. Where where would you have me direct them. [00:26:52][10.0]

[00:26:53] So that the best place to contact me would be would be on LinkedIn. [00:26:57][4.2]

[00:26:59] He reached Please Reach Out to me only in post a number of a number of a lot. A lot of content in terms of the supply chain practise in terms of project management practise and also what we're what we're cooking up in the lab. [00:27:15][15.7]

[00:27:15] I like to say, you know what? Within higher education at Penn State, within the projects and supply chain management programme. [00:27:23][7.7]

[00:27:25] Another thing I would like to add is that we we are we are hosting a Ted Ted X event where we are. [00:27:35][10.1]

[00:27:35] We are we're discussing supply chain management. We're discussing artificial intelligence. We're discussing diversity and inclusion. We're discussing women within industry. Jerry highish. Which, you know, is going to be a speaker with the night event. So we have an absolutely amazing line-up for that event. [00:27:55][20.3]

[00:27:56] So be on the lookout for that as well. Very cool. Very, very cool. [00:27:59][3.7]

[00:28:00] Just in. That had been fantastic. Thanks a million for coming on the show today. [00:28:03][2.7]

[00:28:04] All right. Thank you for your time. Thanks for the opportunity. [00:28:06][2.2]

[00:28:08] OK. We've come to the end of the show. Thanks, everyone, for listening. If you'd like to know more about digital supply chains, head on over to s.A. Pete Outcomes. You detecting supply chain? Or simply drop me an email to Tom Dot Raftery at SAP dot com, if you'd like to show. Please don't forget to subscribe to it and your podcast application of choice to get new episodes as soon as they're published. Also, please don't forget to rate and review the podcast. It really does help new people to find the show. Thanks. Catch you all next time. [00:28:08][0.0]

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