We should have Listened to Mother Nature

By | Supply chain excellence, Supply chain planning | No Comments

SNAP.  CRACKLE.  POP.   Yes, we got what we asked for….  Efficient supply chains that snap and break under stress. Have you ever asked yourself the question, in the design of supply chain networks, should supply chain efficiency be the goal?  Based on seven years of supply chain research, I think not.  I think that the goal should be resilience.  Recently, I got the chance to reflect on this over dinner with two…

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Good-bye to the Breakfast Club

By | Supply chain planning, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

We met for five years at the Wyndham Hotel on Broad Street in Boston.  It was usually for breakfast. My calendar was so full that it allowed very little face-to-face meeting time with a struggling start-up like Optiant; but since I have a passion to help start-ups, I rolled out of bed early for the breakfast club. The group, due to turnover, was never the same.  The names changed—Jonathan, Sean, Matt,…

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Innovators Dilemma

By | New technologies, Supply chain excellence, Uncategorized | No Comments

Kodak owned the original patents for the digital camera, but did not create the market. Why? They were afraid of killing the profitable FILM market.  The rest is history.  Blockbuster could have easily created Redbox; but they were too tied to the conventional definition of the STORE. A simple redefinition of delivery created NEW value. Software as a Service (SaaS) is growing in popularity with the Line-of-Business (LOB) buyer; yet, only…

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Some Flowers may be Perennials

By | New technologies, Supply chain excellence, Supply chain planning | No Comments

I am a gardener. I love to spend Saturday afternoons with my shovel and trowel.  Having a neighbor stop by to comment on its beauty, gives me pleasure. To get the accolades, I need to have the right mix of annuals and perennials.  Annuals have bigger, brighter flowers, but they only last a season.  Perennials have less flair, but are the dependable contributors season after season.  It dawned on me this week, that my garden has some parallels…

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I will never win the Miss Congeniality Contest

By | Supply chain excellence, Supply chain planning | No Comments

In my experience as an analyst, 70% of teams selecting supply chain software become polarized and dysfunctional. Why the melt-down?  It is simple.  Teams are not clear on what is required before they start the system selection process.  I often find myself as an uwilling participant in the heat of a battle.  They can get very UGLY.  When this happens, teams call asking “should I select vendor X or Y?  Which is best?”  I don’t win…

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Avoid Speed Bumps

By | Supply chain economic recovery, Supply chain excellence | No Comments

As we climb out of the recession, expect speed bumps.  You know, those brightly painted yellow concrete bumps that rock your bones, but make you slow down?  As the wheels of the extended supply chain start to turn at a higher gear, expect to navigate over a lot of these speed bumps <ouch> and navigate many troubled waters. To help readers, I will publish a monthly post on this blog to…

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The Supply Chain Black Hole

By | Demand driven, New technologies, Supply chain economic recovery, Uncategorized | No Comments

We have a black hole in the center of supply chain applications.  A black hole you say?  Yes, a black hole has developed between transactional systems focused on order-to-cash and procure-to-pay processes and supply chain optimization technologies.  It is not there by design. It has evolved because the design of supply chain technologies were insufficient to meet today’s requirements. Understanding the Black Hole What is a black hole?  In quantum…

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Be the Bridge over Troubled Waters

By | New technologies, Supply chain economic recovery | No Comments

It was late November 2008. Factories were idle, demand was uncertain, and supply chain leaders were navigating new waters in uncertain times.  I met with economists, strategists and operating officers to discuss which letter of the alphabet (L, U, V, or W) best described the recession.  However, the burning question, and the one that they REALLY wanted answered to know was “how do I best manage my supply chain through the…

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