SC Digest: Twas the Night Before a Supply Chain Christmas 2009
Gilmore, Editor-in-Chief, Supply Chain Digest
a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a
current article from Supply Chain Digest.
Twas the night
before Christmas, and I was alone in the DC.
This was the
strangest year in Supply Chain I ever hope to see.
reports were hung by the office with care,
But in this
kind of year, it was more hope and a prayer.
As VP of Supply
Chain, I must lead the ship,
But 2009 was
sure a year I could skip.
a “new normal,” they say,
I’d love to
find someone confident they now know the way.
My focus this
year was largely to cut, cut, cut, cut;
Did we take
it too far? I say “Yes” in my gut.
is a new fact of life;
While we chopped
inventories with a rather blunt knife.
As we took a
look at our network, we now all realize,
There is much
opportunity to re-optimize.
cost, more variable,” our CEO insists.
But is an “accordion
supply chain” not without risks?
As I sat and
pondered this year and next, there quick arose such a clatter,
I thought a
bay of reserve racks falling down was the matter.
I jumped into
my personal Cushman, raced past each and every dock door,
back of the DC – what would I find on the floor?
But as I swung
round bulk storage, I saw I had nothing to dread,
For there sat
St. Nick, on a new Crown truck, green and red.
The red matched
his bright suit, which could not have been finer,
Though a small
tag in the back did say “Made in China.”
He was hanging
some stockings from the racking’s first beam,
And I could
see on each one the names of my supply chain’s first team.
On a pallet
sat a big bundle, which he grabbed with a laugh,
And I wondered
what Santa could have in store for my staff.
He said, “I
brought you the gifts that will help you to achieve,
excellence and agility in 2010, I believe.
“For your head
of global logistics, finally some real software has landed;
Today they fight
global trade management challenges simply one handed!
head will like ‘demand sensing’ tools quite a lot;
No ones quite
sure what they are…but they really seem hot!
“For your director
of transportation, a real-time load optimizer,
bid tools, so your freight contracts are wiser.
“For your inventory
team, I can remove much of their pain,
optimization across every echelon in the chain.
“Your DC manager
will like the voice pick system she’ll be receiving,
And an advanced
WMS that supports task interleaving.
“For you, a
new Supply Chain dashboard, with all the metrics you want,
So you can see
by the second who’s performing, and who’s not!”
Then he paused
for a second, and put a finger to his lips,
Reached in his
bag, and pulled out a fistful of chips.
“And the greatest
gift of all, as I’m sure you’ll agree,
Is for everyone,
everywhere – lots of RFID!”
He dropped the
tags in the stockings, turned round with some flair,
Pushed a button
on the Crown, and it took off in the air!
“Thank you Santa,”
I shouted, “These are really great tools!
But we’ll need
help to deploy them, configure business rules!”
“Yes, the value from tech is sometimes not resultant.
But my elves
are just coders – better hire lots of consultants!”
And I heard
him exclaim, as he floated high above,
chain’s sure hard, but it’s the business we love!”
Questions: In hindsight, how has the downturn reshaped supply chain strategies?
Will retailers and manufacturers get more strategic with their supply
chains in 2010, or continue to “hunker down”? What supply chain technology
solutions will be most in demand coming out of the recession?