Transforming Complex Supply Chains (with Hervé Hillion)

00:08 Introduction
00:32 Hervé, perhaps we could start by you telling us a little more about your background?
01:40 What are the verticals in the supply chain industry that are a little bit behind in their approach to the supply chain?
04:40 What you are saying is that this software was implemented during the 80’s and it became frozen in time because it already worked?
07:29 Hervé, how do you approach that change when a new technology requires a new skillset? Do you support with training or is it easier to just find new resources?
11:05 Can you see a day when supply chains will be fully automated?
14:30 Would you take a different approach If you had to introduce change to some of the “white collar” roles?
17:24 There are a lot of buzzwords around the technology industry. How do you differentiate between what is a buzzword and what is a piece of technology that is here to stay?
21:20 We are seeing some rapid changes due to technology at the moment. How should we be approaching these changes? Where do you see these changes going for the next 50 years?


Supply chains have to undergo profound changes to benefit from software innovations such as predictive optimization technologies. However, transforming complex, many-decade old organizations is difficult.

For this episode of LokadTV, we are joined here in Paris by Hervé Hillion, one of the founding members of SAY Partners, a renowned supply chain consultancy. With more than 20 years experience in operations consulting and the strategic management of complex supply chains, Hervé explains how change can be effectively conducted across an entire supply chain.

Together with Lokad’s founder Joannès Vermorel, we discover how various business sectors that were once considered incredibly ahead of their time concerning the modernity of their supply chains are now lagging far behind other verticals.

Over the years, supply chains have fundamentally changed. We discuss what the organisational structures of tomorrow could potentially look like and the skills needed in order to adjust to the introduction of the numerous new technologies available today and the overall complexities of modern supply chains.

Historically, it used to be the repetitive, mundane jobs that were being replaced, however now white collar jobs are also gradually being replaced. Should we fear a complete disappearance of middle management in favour of a complete automation of supply chains? In this episode we try to understand how these white collar roles could be evolved, what are the skills required and how management should deal with such large organisational changes.

Finally, we talk about the many buzzwords that are thrown around in the world of technology, such as AI, Deep Learning, Cloud Computing, Machine Learning, etc. With so many buzzwords and their often short-lived fads, just how can we actually discern what is simply a trend and what is actually a piece of technology that is here to stay - therefore worth a company investing both their time and money in? We try and provide you with some tips for successfully navigating this ever-changing tech landscape.