Enterprise hits and misses - retailers grapple with the global supply chain, radical workplace flexibility gets a call-out, and Dreamforce 2021 is in the books

Profile picture for user jreed By Jon Reed September 27, 2021
Summary:
This week - global supply chain instability has retailers scrambling, with holiday season bearing down. Radical workplace flexibility gets another advocate, and our Dreamforce 2021 coverage is ready whenever you are. Your whiffs include Apple's privacy gaffe, and the limits of AI music.

King Checkmate

Lead story - The global supply chain is still struggling - where do we go from here? 

The logistics interdependencies that have inconvenienced consumers - and put a drag on economic growth - don't appear to be going anywhere.

This has been an undercard theme in Hits and Misses all summer. Kurt brings it front-and-center with his must-read, The global supply chain is still struggling - with profound implications for enterprise production plans:

Given the centrality of shipping to every link in the supply chain, the consequences of such bottlenecks for retail sales, inflation and corporate planning are dire.

Some hoped the supply chain/pricing volatility of the spring would have stabilized by now, but there's no end in sight. Enterprises aren't going to let supply chain disruptions clobber their holiday revenue goals if they can help it. As Kurt explains, enterprise supply chains now need another level of redundancy. He details steps major retailers are taking. This quote from Walmart's President and CEO gives a flavor for the new retail resolve:

We are learning very quickly how to use our supply chain assets, including local assets, upstream assets, distribution assets, very dynamically to be able to move product and assemble orders in a way that is most efficient to meet the customer promise.

However, as Kurt points out, supply is a moving target:

Over-stuffing retail distribution centers only works if there is supply to be had, however. Asian manufacturers have become much less reliable as COVID outbreaks have spread unpredictably across the region.

Kurt asserts:

Indeed, supply chain management is the most critical factor to success in retailing.

This holiday season will certainly put retailers to that test.

Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week

diginomica's Dreamforce coverage - highlights and use cases

Miss any Dreamforce sessions of note last week? We didn't. Well, maybe we missed a few, but not many. You can check our entire monster Dreamforce coverage archive here, from use cases to keynotes, from product news analysis to exec exclusives. Meanwhile, here's a few of my best-of-Dreamforce-coverage picks, including a notable update on Slack integration:

Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from the rest of our vendor coverage:

With Software AG's virtual conXion show on deck, Phil and I filed advance stories:

Best of the enterprise web

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer

My top six

Overworked businessman

Whiffs

The good times roll on LinkedIn:

Not so much on the freeway though:

Some news headlines write themselves: Party bus with stripper pole, neon lights saves day for school field trip. Peeps were not amused by Apple's latest push for the "privacy hypocrisy" award:

Finally, in a pigs-fly moment, I actually gave "AI" credit for artistic creativity, for its use alongside humans in composing Beethoven's never-completed tenth symphony:

But no, I was not giving AI credit for composing a symphony, that's a different matter entirely:

If you have time to listen to AI-composed music - and there's a lot of it out there - please tell me you've at least listened to every Miles Davis record first. See you next time...

If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses - in a good or bad way - let me know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does. Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed.