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Cognitive Computing: Getting Clear on Definitions

By | Big data supply chains, demand driven | No Comments

No doubt about it. The decision-support technologies that we use today–price management, trade promotion management, network design, supply chain planning, transportation planning, supplier risk management–are on the cusp of redefinition through new forms of analytics. We are on a hype cycle. There is no common definition of cognitive computing and there are many variants. A blue ocean lies ahead. We can only imagine what this means.   Navigating the Hype…

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Lassoing S&OP

By | customer-centric supply chains, Demand, Sales and Operations Planning, Supply Chain Leadership, Supply Chain Talent, Supply Chains to Admire | No Comments

A lasso is what supply chain leaders would like to have. Why? To align S&OP. The processes are out of control. Let me explain. As companies transitioned from regional to multi-national organizations, Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) processes proliferated. Today, the average company has seven S&OP processes, but a global chemical company averages over 30. In contrast, as a regional supply chain leader in the 1990’s, my company had one…

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Building the Network of Networks: Some Insights

By | Demand, Supply Chain Excellence, Supply Chain Insights Community, Supply Chain Leadership, Supply Chain visibility | 2 Comments

Let me start this blog post with a story. I believe that supply chains build economies and save the planet. It is about value creation. I also believe that finance is the art of money changing hands until there is nothing left. Supply chain processes and financial flows often run in counter currents. Two years ago I completed a research study on supply chain visibility.  When the report published it…

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A New Red Wagon?

By | Big data supply chains, Global Supply Chains, Supply Chain Insights | No Comments

I grew up in the mountains of West Virginia. In my youth, my mom would frequently exclaim, “Be careful where you hook your red wagon.” The mountain expression is a warning. My mom wanted me to make smart choices and be careful on placing my bets for the future. Amazon bought Whole Foods Market. Google is launching autonomous vehicles. There are seismic shifts occurring between industries in value chains. Fear…

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Looking Beyond Red Arrows

By | Demand, Inventory Management, market-driven value chains, Market-driven value networks | No Comments

When I engage with supply chain leaders , I ask, “Are you making progress?” Most will nod their heads ‘yes’, but upon a closer look at the data they admit they are stuck. Acknowledging this truth is a freeing moment. Why? It is hard work to maintain the status quo in metrics performance. Most leaders are treading water. When asked to do more, they try to deliver. They often fail. A downward-facing…

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Tell Me Why

By | Supply Chains to Admire, Uncategorized | No Comments

As a blogger, you can get feedback in real-time. Pretty cool. Right? I answer every question I get and sometimes I share my answers.  This is the case today. Recently I had a comment on the Supply Chains to Admire post.  The comment was, “While I appreciate comparing companies to their peers, I am lost on how Amazon and Walmart can be excluded (nevermind P&G). Amazon’s because of their breath…

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Announcing the Supply Chains to Admire 2017 Award Winners

By | Supply Chain, Supply chain excellence, Supply Chain Excellence, Supply Chain Leadership, Supply Chain Performance Index, Supply chain planning, Supply Chain visibility, Supply Chains to Admire | No Comments

Supply chain excellence. It is easier to say than define. Getting it clear is important. Why? The answer makes or breaks a supply chain leader’s career and defines corporate value. Let’s take an example. When we look at the relative progress of industries within the Technology Value Networks in Table 1, you see a lot of red.  The first number in a cell represents the average value for a specific…

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Getting Serious About Outside-in Processes

By | Demand, Demand driven, Digital Supply Chain, digital supply chains, Downstream data | No Comments

Within a supply chain organization there is turmoil. The enlightened leader knows that the efficient silos do not create the most effective supply chains; however, it is hard to deviate from the traditional path that focused inside-out. Most are on a fixed march for process standardization to build efficient vertical silos. These traditional processes are batch, often using latent data, and the focus is inside-out. The building of outside-in processes,…

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Good People Can Make a Difference in Outcomes

By | customer-centric supply chains, Demand | No Comments

I closed the door of my hotel room and grimaced at the overflowing trash can. Heaped high with plastic, it violated my principles as an environmentalist. Ironically in the city of San Francisco, which alleges allegiance to Corporate Social Responsibility, I had no option. As a frequent traveler, sometimes the road stories are ones we’d like to forget. This was a bad week. The flight into San Francisco on American was…

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Three New Insights on Supply Chain Talent

By | Supply Chain Leadership, Supply Chain Talent | No Comments

On Tuesday this week I will present the findings from the recent Supply Chain Insights study at the Penn State Forum. As I worked on my presentation,  three themes emerged. 1) Opportunity. The most satisfied respondents on the survey were technologists and academics by profession, Baby-Boomers by age group, and those with the ability to work from home.  The least satisfied are those in manufacturing work teams. A central theme in…

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