How Supply Chain Lost Its Mojo

By | market-driven value chains, Market-driven value networks, New technologies | 2 Comments

mo·jo: noun. A magic charm, talisman, or spell. “Someone must have their mojo working over at the record company.” In the 1990s supply chain had MOJO. Then it was sexy. Today, it is not. 90% of public manufacturing companies are treading water. There is a struggle. Improvement on the key metrics of growth, inventory turns, operating margin and Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) is elusive. Here I want to share a perspective…

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Healthcare: A Call For Action

By | healthcare | One Comment

In 1960, when I was in the first grade, healthcare spending was 5% of the US economy. Today, it is 17.9%.  By 2025, the projection is 19.9%. Yowza! This is trillions of dollars. To put it into dollars and cents, health care spending rose 4.3% to $3.3 trillion in 2016, or a cost of $10,348 per person. Being a supply chain gal, I think that supply chain leaders can help….

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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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How Can You Seize Opportunity If You Cannot Manage Risk?

By | Risk management | No Comments

Global growth is slowing to levels of GDP. Notice that the average growth for consumer nondurables (often termed household products) is 1.7%, as shown in Table 1. This is a far cry from the pre-recessionary growth rate of 6%. Public markets reward growth. As the rate of year-over-year revenues slows, companies attempt to grow through tactics. In consumer good supply chains, this includes new product launch, price incentives, and trade…

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My Take: The Role of Anaplan in Defining the Art of the Possible in Supply Chain Planning

By | Big data supply chains, customer-centric supply chains, Demand, Digital Supply Chain, digital supply chains, New technologies | 2 Comments

“…the art of the possible, the attainable — the art of the next best” ― Otto von Bismarck This morning I landed in Frankfurt. Keeping with my normal Sunday night ritual, I poured myself a cup of tea to pen my weekly post for the Supply Chain Shaman. I have been writing weekly posts for this blog for eight years. The length of time is hard to believe. I thank…

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Congratulating the Supply Chains to Admire Winners

By | Supply Chain Excellence | No Comments

This afternoon, I poured myself a cup of tea to sit down and begin to pen congratulation emails to the Supply Chains to Admire award winners. This is the fun part of my job. It is now our fifth year of analyzing balance sheets to understand which companies are outperforming their peer groups on the metrics of growth, operating margin, inventory turns and Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) while driving…

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The Fight of the Titans

By | Supply chain excellence | No Comments

In Greek mythology, there is a difference between a Titan and a God. A Titan was a primordial god born of Uranus and Gaea and ruled the earth until overthrown by the next generation, younger Olympian gods. The evolution sprung from chaos. Titans were born through brute strength and Gods drove more refined outcomes. Supply chain leaders are competitive. The field of supply chain management—combining source, make and deliver into…

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Parts Are Not Parts

By | demand driven | No Comments

Companies state that they want bold change; but within the company, I find swirling inaction. It baffles me. Why? Companies are at a tipping point. Traditional processes are not sufficient and there is a war being waged between traditionalists and reformers. Within IT organizations, there are many zealots of existing systems. I am speaking to companies that are being held hostage to SAP HANA upgrades with 70% cost overruns and…

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Provoking the Industry to Move Past Incrementalism

By | market-driven value chains, metrics that matter, New technologies | No Comments

Definitions: Provocateur. A person who or thing which provokes; a challenger, instigator, inciter, irritator; (in later use) specifically = “provocateur.” Incrementalism. Movement by degrees. Known by gradualism. I am tired. For the past month, I have been working alongside companies implementing digital strategies. In my experience, during the first session energy is high. As time goes on these high energies dissipate. Fear engulfs companies. Teams cannot help themselves. They guard the…

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Forecasting: Let’s Start by Asking the Right Questions

By | Supply Chain, Supply chain planning | 2 Comments

Ten calls.  They are all starting to sound the same. Here is the storyline: “We implemented SAP APO, and we now know its limitations. We have tried SAP IBP and are not impressed. Since SAP is not investing in improving the depth of their solutions for planning, we are looking for a new solution. Can you help us select a new approach? Which of these vendors do you suggest?” They…

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