OSS Supply chain – Shift No. 4

Shift No. 4: From Single-Company Product Design to Collaborative, Concurrent Product, Process and Supply-Chain Design.
OLD QUESTION: How should or company design products to minimise product cost (our cost of materials, production and distribution)?
NEW QUESTION: How should collaborators design the product, process and supply chain to minimise costs?

Laura Ross Kopczak
and M. Eric Johnson in the “MIT Sloan Management Review.”

Shift No. 4 in this series has my head spinning like the Fembots in Austin Powers. There are so many examples of how product, process and supply chain can and are minimising costs for CSPs.

If we look at product alone, this could extend to access mechanisms (eg smart-phones, tablets, etc), delivery mechanisms (eg various types of networks), delivery packages (eg the various service offerings from CSPs) and content creation / sharing (almost limitless examples from personal device to OTT to M2M to apps, etc). Which aspects are within the control of your supply chain and which are outside your supply chain?

Do you collaborate with the device manufacturers to stay abreast of their innovations and new products to build a business model around them?
Do you collaborate with content creators and sharers to deliver a more compelling service offering for your customers?
Do you collaborate with the various players in the M2M (Machine-to-Machine) or IoT (Internet of Things) industry to deliver packaged sensor networks?
Do you re-sell innovative third-party products/services (eg in the unified communications space) to ensure you get the product / service to market faster?

In the examples above, OSS would tend to respond to the changes rather than leading them. However, OSS themselves are items within the supply-chain. These products (and related processes) can have significant influence over the efficiency of the supply-chain, either good or bad. Collaboration with OSS groups that are outside the CSPs’ traditional supply-chains could still be a lever.

With OSS being incredibly large, complex and unwieldy within some large CSPs, third-party product and OSS services represent an exciting opportunity for the CSPs to get products to market faster and adapt to changes more readily. Many of these giants need to get past the not-invented-here syndrome to be able to build upon these innovative business models though.

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