Operating in a Constant State of VUCA

By May 24, 2021blog
Operating in a Constant State of VUCA

Have the effects of 2020 put you in a VUCA state of mind? VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) is an acronym well known in the supply chain, and the massive disruptions spurred by the global pandemic have brought it top of mind for many industries and organization leaders.

In case you missed our last blog post, we provided a quick overview of VUCA and some questions that business leaders can ask themselves to reduce VUCA’s effects on your operations. Last year was one for real-time experimentation, and now it’s time to analyze what works well and what doesn’t, along with changes that are yet to be made that will positively impact your supply chain moving forward.

One of the best approaches to answer those questions and guide your business toward resilience and continuity is to operate in a constant state of VUCA. Now, this doesn’t mean purposely increasing volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity in your operations. Rather, it simply assumes that VUCA can rear its ugly head at any moment. Your decisions and investments should be made in a way that helps you reduce VUCA’s effects on your operations.

Here are some of the best practices we recommend:

Keep VUCA Top of Mind

You can’t address what you don’t talk about. Now more than ever, it’s important to keep VUCA as part of your leadership conversations and decision-making. Understand how geographical and political events around the world may impact your suppliers, customers, and partners.

Invest in VUCA-Focused Technologies

Technology’s core function to any business should be to simplify and streamline a process or task. This in itself can be an effective way to build resilience and continuity into your business operations. Technology inherently tends to improve visibility, reduce complexity, and shorten the time it takes to perform tasks, among many other benefits.

As technology evolves — whether it’s software to track your entire supply chain or tools to improve communication and transparency outside the organization. For example — incorporating VUCA-related strategies in upgrades and new purchases.

For example, investing in new software tools that improve supply chain transparency can help you better track goods along their journey. Also, identify the best vendor to suit your needs at a particular moment, and provide timely assurances to your buyers.

Leveraging smart technologies can also help companies to predict changes in their environment. Deloitte points to artificial intelligence that can predict sudden changes and respond with faster (and more accurate) decisions.

Understand Your Partners’ Strategic Operational Decisions

Reducing your VUCA vulnerability isn’t just contingent on your own operations, but also on those of your supply chain partners. It’s essential to understand how vendors, warehouses, and value creators like AeroMed Group prepare their response to rapid changes in the market.

When all arms of your business can function in alignment, you stand a much better chance of delivering on expectations across all fronts.

While there is no “cure” for VUCA, every business has opportunities to reduce its liabilities. When you make it a priority, it could be the very opportunity you need to get ahead – and stay there.

For more supply chain insights, head back to our blog.