Neil Clover talks about bridging the digital divide; design thinking; the challenges of integrating new tech; & empowering workers by simplifying solutions.

411: Bridge The Digital Divide, with SDI

Today I’m joined by digital supply chain brand, SDI – an organization who’s people, process, and technology have enabled the worlds’ most efficient supply chains for over 50 years.

SDI is the supply chain solutions and services company that specializes in helping large, multi-site facilities and plant maintenance leaders reduce costs and risks while driving overall performance, results and outcomes.

Today Neil Clover, Chief Technology Officer at SDI, will be talking all about bridging the digital divide by bringing people and technology together. Neil will be sharing his extensive journey through the tech world and his vision for integrating technology with human potential in supply chains. We’ll be diving into design thinking, and its role in tech implementation; navigating the challenges of integrating new technologies; and the importance of simplifying tech in empowering workforces.

Guest bio:

As SDI’s CTO, Neil Clover spearheads the integration of cutting-edge technologies like AI, Machine Learning, and IoT into supply chain management, focusing on enhancing operational efficiency and resilience. A champion of innovation, Neil possesses a comprehensive background in designing, building, and implementing tech strategies that meet global business objectives across various industries. His leadership tenure at IBM Research, Tyco Intl, and AT&T Bell Labs has imbued him with profound expertise, enabling organizations to navigate and excel in the complex modern supply chain landscape.



[07.09] Neil’s journey through the world of tech; his reflections on what’s changed and what he’s learned; and why we all need to focus on the art of simplicity.

“There’s a lack of simplicity, a lack of elegance… and technology gives us the ability to overcomplicate things – on steroids!”

[13.05] Why supply chain is still about people, despite technological advancements; and Neil’s vision for integrating technology with human potential in supply chains.

“We have to think of technology as just another tool. When forklifts were introduced, they didn’t replace the people – they augmented the people… There are a lot of repetitive things that machines are built for, but people are the glue, the purpose. You can do a lot of things to a machine, but you can’t put passion into it.”

[15.35] The power of design thinking, and how it’s influencing SDI’s approach to implementing technology in supply chains.

“I’ve sat in so many corporate meetings with people saying ‘we’ve got the solution’ – but that isn’t the problem we’re trying to solve.”

[20.27] From competency to cost, the biggest challenges Neil sees when introducing new technologies, and the lessons he’s learned from them.

“Process before technology… the technology is not the answer.”

[23.18] Why workforce resistance to new technology is so common; the impact of change management; and how organizations should be thinking about balancing people and technological change.

[27.41] The importance of simplifying tech, and engaging workers by developing solutions that truly work for them.

“Give people what they need, and only what they need – and they’ll love you for it.”

[31.25] SDI’s strategies for adapting technological tools to align with the expectations and needs of the emerging workforce, and the importance of bringing different generations of workers together.

[34.47] How organizations can use those strategies to create operational efficiency and cost savings, and to achieve impactful quick wins at the same time as laying the groundwork for future success.

“If you can take the pressure down, learning increases. And stop with the all-in-one tools! Do those two things, and efficiency goes through the roof, because confidence goes through the roof.”

[38.49] How organizations can keep the human aspect front and center during the technological evolution of supply chain.

“Happy employes are naturally more productive.”

[41.50] How SDI plans to continue to help clients bridge the digital divide, simplify, and leverage technology for frontline efficiency.




Head over to SDI’s website now to find out more, and discover how they could help you too. You can also connect with SDI and keep up to date with the latest over on LinkedIn, YouTube and X (Twitter), or you can connect with Neil on LinkedIn.

If you enjoyed this episode and want to hear more from SDI, check out 378: Achieve 360° Supply Chain Visibility for Greater Control and Optimization, with SDI or 391: Gain Supreme Power Over Your Supply Chain, With SDI.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.


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