Tag Archives: COE

The Credibility Gap

in the course of work, I frequently meet and talk to supply chain executives, and there’s one simple question I ask frequently to see what people are thinking about: “What prevents you from being successful in your role?” Many times we get the answer, “I’m implementing X”, where X may be S&OP, ERP, some special practice, outsourcing logistics, you name it. Then I clarify: “Isn’t X really just your job? What prevents you from being successful at implementing X?” That’s a showstopper, or at least a pause-inducer. Continue reading

The Supply Chain Management Process

The late Michael Hammer of “Re-engineering the Corporation” fame put it succinctly once in a forum I attended in Philadelphia: “An imperfect process is better than no process, and a good process is best of all.” I’ve looked at many Supply Chain maturity models for companies, and some look at vendor dimension – degree of collaboration – while another may look at resource – degree of rationalization. All are based however on having a supply chain management system which evolves to progressively improve overall supply chain performance. Continue reading

Metrics Always Win

Over the past two weeks I have had the pleasure of meeting with senior executives from a variety of companies in training situations where we could talk freely and discover opportunities within their businesses for improving their supply chains. SCC trainings—particularly in-house private trainings – take a practical, hands-on focus to supply chain improvement. Managers frequently leave the trainings with specific ideas and improvement programs laid out and ready to go. Continue reading

Demanding

To paraphrase Tolstoy “All successful Supply Chain teams look the same. All struggling Supply Chain Center of Excellence (COE) teams suffer in their own unique way.” One problem I’ve seen many times is a successful Supply Chain COE team, one which is successful in strategy, process optimization, streamlining – “transformation” – tends to have demand which very quickly outstrips their ability to perform work. Our team at HP grew in demand from 4 to 10 to 20 to 200 (sound of a faint explosion in the distance). Even with a well-performing team of 10-20 people, before there was a huge demand, we struggled with one critical thing: planning. Continue reading

Just Doing It

Recently we were running a segment of our design workshops for generating and managing Supply Chain Center of Excellence (COE) organizations for a large European company, and in defining their standard COE processes, we discussed with one sub-team what were their deployment strategies for projects. I was met with a kind of blank look, “deployment strategy?” Continue reading

Keep On Keeping On

Someone told me a bad joke this morning “How is Winnie the Pooh like Jack the Ripper”… They both share the same middle name. In Six-Sigma “DMAIC” or “DMADV”, there are five distinct phases of work, in what my company uses there is “SCADD”, or five distinct phases of work, in SCOR there are five distinct phases, in many methodologies there are 4, 5, 6 phases of work… and they all somewhat share the same ‘middle’ name, or analysis. I’ve written before here about not getting locked in ‘analysis paralysis’ by focusing on designing an analysis plan to answer a question, usually a question about what is a root-cause issue in business performance which doesn’t meet a requirement. However, finding a root-cause issue is not the same as solving the problem, and that’s the focus of my interest today. Continue reading

It Depends

The promise of Supply Chain re-engineering, like other management techniques, is the promise of a kind of business utopia where your business is growing, reducing costs, and simultaneously improving performance, all in a wonderfully self-optimizing system. Business people, however, are frequently rational, and to a rational business person, this utopian promise sounds a bit too good to be true. If you want to build up confidence in a supply chain center of expertise (COE) group, I’d suggest you try different tactics. A utopian solution is too hard to sell. Continue reading