The business strategist James Moore, who coined the term ‘business ecosystem’ said, “Innovative businesses can’t evolve in a vacuum. They must attract resources of all sorts, drawing in capital, partners, suppliers, and customers to create cooperative networks.” Today we see a large number of organizations existing in multiple overlapping and interconnected businesses, supported by vital and complex supply chains.
The power of ecosystems
This business ecosystems are clusters of ‘actors’ who all work together to deliver a specific product or service. This actors can be
- service providers
- government bodies
- research entities
- and more
Often formed organically, ecosystems co-evolve and realign to maintain agility. This allows all of the combined companies to thrive and respond simultaneously to the ever-changing customer needs.
It used to be that only the largest players could significantly impact the direction of an industry. Today however, business ecosystems are able to respond to changes in their environment. Made up of multiple smaller resources, they can adapt together, making them stronger than the business giants of the past.
Digitalization makes way for collaboration
Thanks to digitization, and the subsequent connectivity worldwide access to any kind of resource is now possible. Innovations in technology are fueling an ever-increasing interconnection in business creating immense transformations in production, trade and the global economic structure.
From the way of communicating, to tracking of goods, technologies facilitate collaboration inside a business ecosystem, and also across them. It is opening companies up to work in multiple ecosystems simultaneously. Supporting all of this is a growing level of integrated services. Of these, supply chains are of the services that are being particularly improved by digital technologies.
Ecosystems need digital supply chains
For example the automotive industry, a vast, global giant built by, and on, the collaboration of millions of individuals from thousands of businesses, based all over the world. Multiple members of multiple ecosystems who are all working independently and also together, to deliver products and services.
To reduce complication and errors and to allow the ease of global production, supply chains have been built to support the new approach to cross-company/country collaborative working. In order for the supply chains to function across these vast networks they require a common parlance. A solution widely seen in the automotive industry to this is the use of a TMS platform to connect, communicate and collaborate with suppliers, carriers and other supply chain partners Bringing together key players, each using a shared TMS enables functionality, the process to work, and the ecosystem to adapt and stay strong, ultimately delivering products.