Breaking the .XLSX Chains: Corporate Venture Supply Chain Software as the Potential Game-Changer
From 2018 to 2022, a whopping $55 billion of venture capital poured into supply chain technology. This mammoth investment spawned 27 ‘Unicorn’ companies. Yet, despite the relentless digitalization hype since the mid-2010s, the stronghold of Microsoft Excel remains unbroken. For around the 30th consecutive year, Excel reigns as the most-used Supply Chain Management tool. Multinational Corporations (MNCs) continue to rely on hefty .xlsx files to operate substantial segments of their supply chains. So, what became of this enormous capital injection? Where are the refined solutions that we were promised?
In the sphere of supply chain technology, particularly in LogTech, an ill-guided narrative emerged. This tale suggested that logistics service providers were severely outdated, and lacking in digitization and transparency. This provocative storyline attracted substantial funding, unfortunately often directed towards founder groups with scant logistics understanding. However, this narrative is fundamentally flawed.
Logistics service providers have consistently innovated, adapted, and remained at the forefront. They were never the problem. The real issue lies with the MNCs splurging millions on ERP projects, striving to shoehorn their unique supply chain configurations into an outdated, standardized tech set-up hailing from the 90s.
Trying to fit a dynamic, highly-customized supply chain into a one-size-fits-all tech mold is as futile as trying to squeeze a square peg into a round hole. It’s doomed to fail. The fallout from this mismatch is often thrown at logistics service providers to resolve, leading to disjointed processes managed by trusty .xlsx files.
So, where do we go from here? Is there a viable solution?
Yes, and it revolves around acknowledging that supply chain management is far from monolithic. What benefits one corporation may harm another, and what proves effective for one business unit could be detrimental to another. Technology needs to respect this diversity. The venture capital funding should be redirected towards developing adaptable, customizable solutions tailored to cater to a corporation’s specific needs, rather than merely aiming for rapid, unsustainable revenue generation at high churn rates.
As we chart our course forward, we must understand that digitalization isn’t just a buzzword, but a path toward crafting more efficient, resilient, and customized supply chain solutions. In this context, Corporate Venturing emerges as a potential game-changer. Grounded in real-life experience, solving real-world problems: this approach of devising solutions to everyday challenges has given birth to some exciting products. Examples are no-code tailoring SCM platforms unifying scattered Supply Chain ecosystems, allowing for the customization of supply chain software without draining IT resources.
By championing solutions developed from hands-on experience and tailored to real-life scenarios, Corporate Venture Supply Chain Software companies can potentially break the chains of .xlsx, leading the way toward a more adaptable, effective, and digitized future for supply chain management.
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About the Author
Jonas Krumland, born in Oldenburg, Germany, completed a dual course of study at Leschaco, a globally-active freight forwarding company, where in different non-managerial and managerial positions, across various functions, he built his expertise in both the fundamentals and special niches of supply chain management. From 2014 to 2016 Jonas was a Key Account Manager and Business Development Manager and in 2016 he took over responsibility for Leschaco’s global digitization efforts as Head of Global Business Transformation. In 2018 he developed the idea and concept behind Logward, a company that combines supply chain expertise with software know-how to create a cloud platform that serves shippers and beneficial cargo owners. Since Logward’s foundation in April 2018, he is in charge as Chief Executive Officer.