I recently finished reading Jared Diamond’s book Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, a quick walk through the history of the last 13,000 years of human society, and I was intrigued by the parallels between his section on the development of written language, and how Supply Chain seems to be progressing with frameworks. The section of his book that deals with language stresses the importance of having written language to administer large human organizations –empires, kingdoms, nations, etc.
In my role with SCC, I recently had a great discussion with some healthcare research and provider groups in the US, relative to the development of Supply Chain Strategy – segmentation, setting strategy, benchmarking and so forth (see an excellent online CBT on Strategy and benchmarking at http://supply-chain.org/resources/scormark/tutorial). The conversation followed the normal course for discussion – the high cost of healthcare in the US, what is appropriate segmentation, where are benchmarks for healthcare in the various areas? Continue reading
We are all well acquainted with the story of “the cobbler’s son,” whose father can’t keep his own children shod. Likewise, there is the saying “Physician, heal thyself,” which suggests the problems a doctor faces when he or she undertakes self-diagnosis. Then there’s the advice: “When going into a barbershop, always choose the barber with the worst haircut: He’s the one who’s been giving the other barbers their great haircuts.” And so on and so forth. In business we have our own funny stories. HR has problems with staffing and IT has problems when it seeks to automate its own services. Finance, remarkably, is immune; I’ve never heard of controllers being not able to manage their own budgets. At HP, we had the experience of “Physician heal thyself” when applying business analysis (read supply chain management) to IT processes, with some good results, and I’ll share with you the way we approached this. Continue reading
A little over four years ago the Supply-Chain council began distribution of a set of enhancements to the SCOR™ framework which incorporated a set of components to identify, measure, and characterize supply chains from an environmental perspective. Continue reading
Many years ago (September, 1994) I read an Scientific American article “Software’s Chronic Crisis” with interest – my job at the time being precisely “Software Development”. The article introduced me to “CMM” (Capability Maturity Model) in software development, as an aid to improving software to avoid the inevitable ‘crisis’. “Maturity” here didn’t connote age (there are certainly very old IT organizations I’ve worked in I would hardly call ‘mature’) but rather ‘well developed’. Continue reading
I spoke at a conference last November in San Diego, about different supply chain management techniques and how the “compete” with each other. What impressed me at the conference was that after years of discussion around Six-Sigma, SCOR, LEAN and other approaches, people are now completely accepting true ‘convergence’ and ‘condensation’ around supply chain process work, and understanding the proper place of different methodologies within overall change management. Continue reading
“When you have a hammer,” so the saying goes, “everything looks like a nail.” The implication, of course, is that when you have a good problem-solving technique, you tend to look at every problem and see examples of problems that would benefit from the use of your technique. By extension, this saying suggests that people with hammers often try to use them when they are completely inappropriate. Continue reading
One of the big mistakes teams make with capturing supply chains when they’re using reference frameworks is to make sincere attempts to force business process ‘subject experts’ to use their reference language to describe their processes. Imagine going to a doctor, and the doctor handing you a list of ailments, and asking you to describe your problem in medical language – “hey doc, I’ve got mild diffuse neuralgia in the upper left gluteus”. Continue reading