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Supply Chain Digitisation – Sarah Barnes-Humphrey from Let’s Talk Supply Chain

  • 3 min read

Sarah from Let’s Talk Supply Chain and Shipz joined me for a great chat about how digital trends are shaping the wider supply chain industry, and how procurement fits neatly into that. We both agree that increased collaboration and the developing trend of both functions reporting into the same line can only be a good thing when it comes to better alignment of business objectives and delivering value to organisations.

Supply Chain Digitisation – Sarah Barnes-Humphrey from Let’s Talk Supply Chain


Sarah’s story of how she went from the family business to Let’s Talk Supply Chain as a stand alone full-time business and how this has spawned various spin-offs and sub-niches.


Is Supply Chain ahead of the curve with digitalisation versus Procurement?


We talk about the concept of a Chief Value Officer as Head of both SC and Procurement, and how continuity of supply and cost savings could be meshed into one overarching objective for both functions to deliver. This joined up thinking could drive benefits across the business through better alignment of objectives.


Procurement’s lack of involvement in managing the spend of the Supply Chain function and how this total cost of operation is still quite siloed in many organisations, with often minimal procurement involvement in the supplier relationship management of logistics vendors.


How can technology help to propel Supply Chain out of the Covid-19 crisis? What types of innovations could be key?


Sarah touches on issues with legacy 3PL IT systems, and we talk about how a lot of 3PL and 4PL vendors don’t have fully integrated systems across all functions and how this can lead to a data deficit when evaluating optimisation opportunities.


We talk about 2 possible scenarios to deal with increased supply chain volatility in future, and the different potential consequences depending on which of these approaches an organisation decides to take.


Will more statistical modelling become popular when it comes to considering total LIFETIME cost, considering aspects such as TCO, risk management, capex investment and impact on inventory held? What other technology is out there already which will be adopted much faster by organisations when we emerge from the crisis?


We discuss how innovation is driving the trend for larger companies to partner with and get to know innovative startups. The future will likely see more collaboration in this space between medium-sized companies and startups, rather than just large corporates, in order to ensure they don’t get left behind.


How being forced into remote work is actually proving to be popular and is likely to become mainstream post Covid-19.


We touch on the remote work and geo-arbitrage opportunities that this could drive and how this could be of benefit to both employer and employee from a cost perspective.


Sarah talks about her new startup which helps to match SME shippers with ocean and airfreight forwarders, her goal and vision for the business and how it plugs a gap in the current market.

How to connect with Sarah:

Connect with Sarah on LinkedIn

Let’s Talk Supply Chain website (includes links to podcast and YouTube channel)

Shipz website

How to connect with James:

James Meads Consulting website

James’ LinkedIn profile

Book a Call with James

Follow The Procuretech Podcast on LinkedIn