Category Archives: Uncategorized

Training for the Next Triathlon. Insights for You?

By | Market-Driven, Supply Chain, Uncategorized | No Comments

I have never been an athlete. At the age of 58, I buried my mother in November 2012. She died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. It was a long hard eight-year struggle that was tough on my family. One of the sad outcomes of the disease is that you don’t know how to grieve.  The victim of Alzheimer’s slowly slips away. The person that you bury has very few resemblances to…

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Unilever and Colgate: Two Bookends?

By | Supply Chain, Supply Chain Insights | 2 Comments

Bookend: be positioned at the end or on either side of (something) Oxford Dictionary Today, I published a new report on supply chain excellence. To prepare the report, I worked with Abby Mayer ( @indexgirl ) to analyze ten years of supply chain financial ratios. We waded through spreadsheet after spreadsheet of data for the last three weeks and contrasted the progress of the high-tech, consumer products, food, pharmaceutical and industrial industries.  The…

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A Toast to the Shaman

By | Bricks Matter, Demand, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Insights | 2 Comments

Tonight, I pour a toast. This is the third birthday of the Supply Chain Shaman. I created this blog three years ago. At the time, I had just left AMR Research. I was scared. I had a broken foot, and I was hobbling around on crutches, and thinking about starting a new chapter of my career. My best friends thought that I was daft. I was happy at AMR and I…

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Raise a Glass to the Smell of INK!

By | Bricks Matter, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Insights, Supply Chain Insights Community | No Comments

My soul craves a holiday. Like many of you, I’ve sat in one too many airline seats, hustled for one too many cabs and slept in too many hotel beds. I need to unwind. I want dust to gather on my suitcase as I bake my special holiday treats. I crave time to step off the treadmill of life to think. It is time for reflection and celebration. The book Bricks Matter is currently…

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How Did We Get It All Wrong?

By | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Last week, my mother died. It was not unexpected. She was 88; and she had been in and out of consciousness for the last year. In between tears, picking out a casket and talking about the funeral service with the preacher, I got a random call. At first, I was not going to pick it up; but I thought, “I need a diversion.” It was Steve. I do not know him,…

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Three Lies and a Truth

By | Market-Driven, Supply Chain, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

When new groups come together, the forming process is often awkward.  Teams want to know each other, but introductions are strained. So, how can they do it quickly and move on to solving business problems?  Ice breakers help. One of my favorite is the game, “Three Truths and a Lie.” In this team activity, people who do not know each other list four statements and ask the group to guess which statement is false. It…

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Convergence Is REAL. It Is NOW.

By | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

This morning I am sitting at my kitchen table, sipping coffee, writing a report. The coffee is good, the sunflowers are blooming on the deck and the words are flowing from my fingers.  The results of the Supply Chain Insights retail mobility study are compiled, and I am excited to report on the data.  I think that it is compelling. Tomorrow, I will roll my suitcase onto yet another airplane to…

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Big Data: A Revolution, Not an Evolution?

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Supply chain management is now 30 years old.  As companies plan for the next decade, we believe that supply chain leaders should expect that the new technologies they deploy will represent a revolution, not an evolution.  They will be powered by big data analytics and focused outside-in on market sensing.  (This will be a redesign of buy and sell-side sensing with new systems to sense the health of channel and supplier…

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Uncorked!

By | Uncategorized | One Comment

As it rolls across the ground, you know that you are in trouble.  A soda can that falls from the machine on a hot day is going to explode as you open it.  You just know it.  This is how I feel this Friday afternoon.  I have rolled around the industry, traveled across the globe, listened and talked a lot.  I am hot. It is sweltering.  I feel that I need to explode.  This…

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Yes, I Am a Contrarian.

By | Uncategorized | One Comment

Rising commodity prices.  Tight margins.  Flat growth. To me, this sounds like it could be a stimulus plan for supply chain excellence.  However, I am not sure.  Will it be enough for supply chain leaders in consumer products to change their ways and improve their processes? The jury is still out.  Many are struggling. Some are getting wrong signals that they are doing well.  I feel that unless they change their ways, they…

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