Recently I had the opportunity to contribute to a Supply Chain Quarterly article about the value of moving from a single-mode supply chain approach centered on operational excellence to a multimodal, segmented supply chain strategy. Following is an excerpt of the article, which was co-authored by Ehap Sabri, an adjunct professor for the MBA program at University of Texas at Dallas, and Shiva Esturi, supply chain fellow at Western Digital Corporation:

“This single-mode approach works well for a linear supply chain with low demand fluctuation and a network of local suppliers that can support short lead times and just-in-time deliveries. However, geopolitical conditions, a rapidly evolving global economy, and growing demand and supply volatility are shaking the very foundations of this ‘one size fits all’ approach. Many companies are now questioning whether a single-mode strategy is still the right fit for an increasingly ‘multimodal’ world.

We believe companies should be asking themselves that question. In an uncertain world, a multimodal approach—one that balances operational excellence with supply chain agility—is the best way for companies to address their customers’ needs while meeting financial mandates. To help supply chain managers understand what that entails, we outline a three-step process for moving supply chains to a multimodal model. And to put this recommendation in practical, ‘real world’ terms, we also offer a case study of Western Digital Corporation’s journey to a multimodal, segmented supply chain, including a look at how that transformation has benefited the company and its customers.”

Visit Supply Chain Quarterly to read the entire article, Making the Journey to a Multimodal, Segmented Supply Chain.