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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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Demand Driven: Can We Sidestep Religious Arguments?

By | Demand, Demand driven, Demand sensing, Demand shaping | 5 Comments

The 2016 US presidential political contest was brutal. Emotions are still quite raw. I hated it. When emotions run high, everyone loses. Unfortunately, I think the concept of “Demand Driven” is headed down the same path. I feel the discussions are becoming religious arguments about right and wrong instead of healthy discovery  (much like this picture of Tibetan monks debating). Let’s face it, the definition of demand-driven is evolving. There…

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The Job Is Not Done

By | Supply Chain, Supply Chain Excellence | One Comment

Imagine driving down a dusty road for years. One without any towns, road signs, billboards, or rest stops. Sounds boring, right? I agree. This is the world of the supply chain leader driving process improvement. The road to supply chain excellence takes time and patience. There are no clear landmarks or directional signage. Today, in organizations, there is a large gap between technology and process effectiveness. Here we examine some…

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Digital Transformation: It Takes a Village

By | Big data supply chains, Digital Supply Chain | No Comments

As I participate in technology briefings with vendors, I am trying to piece together the future of supply chain management. For me it is not clear. I believe that supply chain leaders are in the middle of step change in process innovation driven by not one, but a confluence of technologies. In each briefing, presenters bandy about the word “digital” like I throw Parmesan cheese on a pizza. (The more the better.)…

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