“Entrepreneurial Supply Chain” is an emerging concept of paramount importance that needs to be well known and understood in order to be able to cope with the digital transformation. So, let’s introduce from where this mix of “Entrepreneur” and “Supply chain” emerges.
“Entrepreneur” refers to an individual who starts his own business (start-up) with an innovative idea which is scalable, Technology-based and has exponential growth with potential profit.
“Supply Chain” refers mainly to the network that involves different activities, entities, information and resources involved in transferring the product or service from raw material to finished product and delivering it to the customer.
“Entrepreneurial Supply Chain” emerges due to the presence of challenges in different areas of the network of supply chain as each block in the supply chain has a pain that needs a solution. As a result, the start-ups mission starts to find different innovative solutions for each pain in the different areas of the supply chain in order to solve the industry challenges and to convert these pains to opportunities through making the supply chain and its activities more agile, efficient, adaptable, visible, and flexible. There is a great difference between Traditional supply chain and Entrepreneurial Supply chain. This article will be focused to differentiate between the changes that happened to the sectors as well as the modifications that happened to the business and operating model.
Differences between “Entrepreneurial Supply Chain’ and “Traditional supply Chain” Due to the difference between “Entrepreneurial Supply Chain’ and “Traditional supply Chain” the sectors have been changed. The “Traditional Supply Chain” sectors were “Planning”, “Procurement”, “Manufacturing”, “Warehousing”, “Physical distribution & delivery”, “Traditional trade” and “Freight Forwarding”. However, these sectors are updated in “Entrepreneurial Supply Chain” to be “Predictive analytics & Planning”, “E-procurement”, “Digital Manufacturing”, “Warehousing Automation”, “Digital Distribution & Delivery”, “E-commerce logistics” and “Digital Freight Shipping”, “Tracking & Tracing”, SC Shared Economy”, Supply Chain Visibility.
As a result of the change that happened to the sectors, the business and operating models have been modified. Even the start-ups that operates in the same sector have different business and operating models. For example, in “Digital Distribution & Delivery” models can differ in terms of Mode of Transport used as it can be land, air or water also in terms of Means of Transport used through delivery like trucks, cars, bikes or motorbikes, moreover, models can differ in terms of Focusing area of delivery as it can be “First Mile Delivery” which means from the supplier to the manufacturer, “Middle Mile Delivery” which means from a warehouse or distribution center to fulfillment or “Last Mile Delivery” which means from warehouse to consumer, also they can differ in terms of Delivery Time as it can be “On demand delivery” instant delivery, “Same day delivery” or “Next Day delivery” within 24hrs, 48hrs.Furthermore, models can differ in terms of “Asset Model” which means owning assets like office, cars and warehouses or “Asset Free” which means outsourcing. Also, it can differ in terms of Types of goods transported as it can be specialized in certain category like food & beverages, cosmetics, pharmaceutical or it can be diversified in different categories.
Additionally, entrepreneurial activities might be either "replicative" or "innovative". Entrepreneurial “innovative” activities are truly innovative as they offer truly new ideas and leadership models. The great percent fall into the “replicative” group as they replicate or closely follow previous achievements. However, even replicative entrepreneurial ventures originated with innovative approaches.
To Sum up, the entrepreneurial supply chain concept is extremely important nowadays, especially in light of the digital transformation era & Covid-19 global impact. It is critical to know and understand this concept in order to survive and grow, as it goes beyond the traditional focus on cost, quality, and delivery to also embrace innovation and growth. Entrepreneurial Supply Chains are built to respond to the industry's needs and pains by grabbing opportunities that call for growth-oriented responses. However, it should be noted that shifting from a traditional to an entrepreneurial supply chain is not always simple. It necessitates major mindset shifts.
Written by Hesham Al Araky, Supply Chain Incubator Manager at AAST Entrepreneurship Center Researcher Participation : Remonda Ashraf Azzay