Creating a demand chain out of an environment forged by a competitive and opaque supply chain mentality is no small task.

This change is particularly challenging in agriculture where there is considerable regulatory and interest group oversight and thousands of years of trading DNA pre-digital.

However, why should the agricultural supply chain be immune to the collaborative revolution spawned by the availability of digital data sweeping every other industry. Clearly, agriculture should not, so those who can conceive the future will have the opportunity to own it.

The characteristics of successful collaborative ventures appear to be similar irrespective of the market they operate in. Accommodation to car hire to books, where there is a market that can benefit from information, a logistic chain that is suboptimal, and a supplier base that opens up to change, the characteristics of a successful demand chain are similar.

  1. They are Transparent. End to end, the availability, costs, and value add is clear to all who can benefit from the knowledge.
  2.  They are  collaborative. Each component of the chain recognizes that their individual best interests are best served by serving the best interests of the chain.
  3. They are consumer centric. Delivering to consumers is at the core of the drivers of the chain. Sometimes this requires re-engineering of an existing chain, in effect innovating the delivery of an existing product or service, but increasingly emerging are value propositions made possible by new technology, driving development of demand chains that would not have been possible just a few years ago, like airbnbLyft, and Zappos.

Each of these characteristics adds to the capacity of the chain to reflect demand back through the chain, igniting the activity required to fill the demand.