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Shared Economy, Technology and the Supply Chain of tomorrow.

News   •   Aug 02, 2017 10:00 CEST

As technology continues to impact multiple facets of every day life, both private and business related, the opportunities for utilizing and understanding technology continues to develop.

One example of this, which has become hot seat discussion for supply chain professionals everywhere, is the evolution of the shared economy. Shared economy models display a case of disruptive technology and innovative thinking breaking down the barriers of the traditional business value chain. This model harnesses the capabilities to reimagine how the supply and demand of goods and services are sold to consumers, partners, collaborators and distributors.

Just in the same way that Uber and Airbnb have become staples in the everyday’s of millions globally, shared economy ideology has the potential to become a staple in the everyday of the global supply chain. Bringing consumers closer to the supply chain, tapping into the potential of cross-sector collaboration, innovating new configurations of industry structures, creating entirely new sectors and utilizing technological advancements to drive this mutual platform of business-to-business growth.

A recent article by Jonathan Webb, in Forbes Magazine, delved into the utilizations of shared economy models that have already come into the marketplace and shown success in the B2B sector. Furthermore, he discussed how these kinds of businesses have the potential to create earth-quaking shifts in the traditional genetics of the global supply chain.

2 of the ventures listed were Goshare and WeWork.

These companies are utilizing the shared economy model to transcend traditional sectors of trucking, delivery and logistics (Goshare) and real estate (WeWork) through tech and business-to-business collaboration.

Goshare has developed a digital logistics platform where companies can collaborate, fulfill mutual delivery needs and improve overall logistics efficiency by sharing legs of journeys. ‘Dead leg’ trips are an industry term used to label trucks that have already made a delivery and are driving back to their origin of departure. Goshare has developed their application with shared economy as a central value, enabling companies to collaborate utilizing the full-range of a transport’s capacity by filling the trucks up on their return trips home, reducing fuel costs, reducing wasted CO2 emissions and creating a more efficient utilization of delivery trips made.

WeWork is turning the traditional paradigm of real estate on its head. “In the manufacturing space, companies can access and 'share' a range of untapped production facilities that would otherwise lie dormant. This is the beauty of the shared economy: It uses technology to connect supply with demand irrespective of sector, industry or even past business relationships” (Webb 2017).

Businesses of this caliber exist and thrive thanks to the technological advancements and interconnectivity of users, despite the models of traditional value chains. For this reason, shared economy modeled tech has great potential for transforming the global supply chain as we know today. 

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