Category

Global Supply Chains

Control Towers: If Only There Was A Clear Definition

By | Global Supply Chains, Inventory Management, Market-Driven | One Comment

We finished dinner. I pressed my neatly folded napkin to my lips. As we waited for coffee, silence hung heavy in the air. My client writhed in her seat and hung her head as she asked, “I read your article on control towers, but I am confused. What is an easy definition? I am embarrassed to ask, but we were discussing the topic at our board meeting yesterday, and I…

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Have You Given Your Planner Love Today?

By | Change Management, Demand, Global Supply Chains, Market-Driven, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Talent | No Comments

As I write this blog, Valentine cards scatter my desk. This is the week for love: a time to send cards and letters to those that we appreciate. I am in the middle of sending the cards to my grandchildren. It is in this spirit, that I write this post. The most unloved employees in the back office are supply chain planners. As supply chain leaders, I would encourage you…

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Our Walk In The Fog

By | Global Supply Chains, Supply chain excellence, Uncategorized | One Comment

Woolly descriptions. Fuzzy definitions. Over-arching superlatives. Last week as I spoke at an European event, I struggled to gain clarity in a world of increased confusion. If I struggled, I am sure that others face the same challenges. Together, we walk in a fog. Let’s reflect. Supply chain innovation is slowly simmering in the face of radical disruption. The supply chain visionary wants novel and new. I find technology providers…

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Should We Celebrate this Marriage?

By | Digital Supply Chain, Global Supply Chains, Network of Networks, New technologies | One Comment

E2open is acquiring INTTRA pending federal approval. Is this a knot to be tied? Does this deserve congratulations or concern? Here I share some thoughts. Reflections Three decades ago, I was sitting on a hotel bed with my friend Ellen Chen. Ellen currently works as a consultant at Cap Gemini. I consider her the best in the biz for transportation management consulting. At the time, we were both deployed as…

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Yowza! A Nine-Step Decision Process to Help Guide Supply Chain Planning Selection

By | Demand, demand driven, Digital Supply Chain, Global Supply Chains, Sales and Operations Planning, Supply chain excellence, Supply chain planning | No Comments

Yowza: Excitement or approval Get a cup of coffee. This is a long post. <Bear with me….> Here I share a nine-step process in an attempt to help companies unravel the process for buying supply chain planning software. The genesis for this post stems from frustration. I get the same questions over-and-over again, and see companies making the same mistakes. Let’s face a hard fact: the supply chain planning market…

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Be Careful What You Ask For

By | Global Supply Chains | One Comment

Companies asked for integrated supply chain planning. They got it. It does not work so well. Now what? Sharing A Story Last week, I met a client for breakfast in Frankfurt. Let’s call her Sally. As a leader of a global supply chain organization, her goal was simple. She was trying to define and drive supply chain excellence. In the last year, she worked with three consulting companies. Each recommended…

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A Framework for Supply Chain Leaders to Understand Supply Chain Analytics

By | Big data supply chains, Global Supply Chains, supply chain analytics, Supply Chain Insights Community | One Comment

I dialed in, took a sip of coffee, and rocked back in my seat. I asked, “How can I help you?” (This is my standard modus operandi. When not traveling, I answer nine calls on average a day.) When I asked the question, an awkward silence followed. A strained request from a marketing director for a software company ensued, “You didn’t list us in your analytics report, and we want…

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Probabilistic Forecasting: Right Fit for Your Business?

By | Demand, Global Supply Chains, innovation, Inventory Management | One Comment

In the design of planning systems, it is important to think through the elements. These include data inputs, data model fit, engines, outputs, visualization, ease of use, workflow/what-if analysis, master data, and integration. The least problematic element is integration. However, and ironically, integration fears drove many decisions in the past decade. A Closer Look at Forecasting Traditionally, companies forecast using history (shipments or orders) as inputs and apply linear regression…

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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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