Crowd-Sourcing Your Supply Chain?

One of my major contentions about the ‘Information Age’ is that it, in certain cases, shifts the balance between proprietary control and crowd participation: Connecting more and more people in intensifying interactions across great distances cannot but create such new opportunities.

My current studies focus on Supply Chain Management and I am therefore curious to find opportunities for ‘crowd-sourcing’ some basic business functions involved in the fields of procurement, sourcing, logistics, etc.

My supposition is that there must exist some areas of these fields which are ripe for revolutionary crowd-sourcing activity.  I’d like to share a few questions/thoughts with the hope of provoking conversation about where, specifically, such opportunities might be found:

+What if a large company presented a supply chain problem to the general public (or, perhaps, to lightly vetted, interested persons) and offered a reward, a commission, or perhaps, nothing other than recognition, to those who could put together the pieces of a supply chain strategy that would save money?

+Could such a problem be presented as a game, such as Foldit, which presents scientific problems in a gaming format?

+Clearly, a rich database of potential suppliers would have to be developed to make this problem tractable.

+Such an idea would likely have to be implemented in a very simple, relatively risk-free setting, at first, in order to understand some of the risks.

Feel free to call me crazy; but please check back in with me in twenty years before you finalize your conclusion.


3 thoughts on “Crowd-Sourcing Your Supply Chain?

    • Sorry to take so long to read your very thoughtful blog! I haven’t been focused on SCM issues as of late, and am glad to see that others are thinking of the field from this perspective!

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