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 at press. In my mind, I imagine a factory of printing presses whirring with the words that I have written; the smell of ink hangs heavy in the air; the printing line is busy stacking cut sheets on skids, assembling the book onto pallets; forklifts are putting the cases onto trucks. I think that it is only fitting that a book about supply chain is born this way into the real world.
I anxiously await to open my first box. Holding the first book in my hands will be emotional. It represents 18 months of hard work. The presses are rolling. The hard copies of the book will ship from the Amazon warehouses on January 4th and the digital versions will be available the week of December 22nd. Emotions are swirling in my head. I am anxious. What will people think? Will I have the courage to read the ratings and reviews? I feel a bit naked.
In between strategy days this week, I had a call from Branka in Croatia. I do not know her, but she reads the Shaman and is an active member of the Supply Chain Insights Community. She stumbled on the website through a Google search, and she has become a loyal reader. She said that she has a group of friends that reads the blog and they have placed their pre-orders on Amazon. They are also anxiously waiting to open their boxes. She invited me to visit Croatia to speak about the book to her group in March. We now have six book signings confirmed in the spring. I love the thought of swapping stories with supply chain pioneers around the world and discussing the book. (You can follow the book tour and my insights on a new website dedicated to the book at www.bricksmatter.com.)
I am glad that it is Friday. It was a busy week. In between writing deadlines for next year’s January publications, I also had a call from Sam, who had read my post about Steve, asking for help on S&OP. He started with a simple question. He had a need for an S&OP technology. He asked, “Would you be willing to help me too?” I said, “Yes.” His chemical company had been spun off many times and the regions had started very autonomous S&OP processes. There were many of them, and he needed to bring them together in an executive dashboard. He had read my research report Putting Together the Pieces and wanted to chat about his options. I give thanks for Sam and for Steve. I am amazed that this blog has allowed me to connect with Branka in Croatia, Mark in China, Dudes in the Philippines, Eric in Brazil, Niels in Australia, Trevor in Canada, and Jose in Mexico. The list goes on and on…. I am in awe and wonder that a simple blog allows me to connect with 5,000 people around the world in a meaningful way.
This evening marks the third anniversary of the Supply Chain Shaman’s blog. This post is the 147th. I purchased the domain when I announced that I was leaving AMR Research. It was a cold day in Boston three years ago. The sting on my face from a nor’easter was one that only a Boston resident could know. I held my coat tight as the tears froze on my cheeks. I was scared. I could not go forward as an analyst after Gartner Group’s purchase of AMR Research, but embarking on my own journey was frightening. I did not want to do it, but I had to.
I started my new company, Supply Chain Insights, on February 10th, 2012. We published 19 reports this year and had 62,513 views on SlideShare of the work that we have written. The best read report was Does S&OP Improve Supply Chain Agility? It’s been read by over 2,750 line of business users. The Cash-to-cash Cycles report that we published December 4th has already been viewed by over 600 readers. The power of ink amazes me. The viral nature of being an analyst in a world of social technologies is exhilarating. I love writing. I love helping Scott, and Sam, and connecting with people around the world. Tonight, I raise a glass to the power of ink. Happy holidays.