This Is Not a Storm to Weather

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Jun 15, 2020 3:55:31 PM

While most business cycles ebb and flow, two or three times in a generation we encounter an earth-shattering change that fundamentally reshapes the way we do business. We’re in the eye of the storm – and it’s not one to wait out.

Many refer to the ‘new normal’ as a future reality, yet COVID-19 has had structural impact since its earliest protocols surrounding hygiene and social distancing. They have already transformed the way we do business and it’s only the beginning of a series of ongoing and disruptive changes. So, how are you preparing for the reckoning?

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The Hard Economics of Justifying a Supply Chain Digital Transformation

Posted by Bryce Boothby     May 4, 2020 3:50:09 PM

There have been countless times throughout my career where I was either a recommender or approver of significant IT projects. And, I must say, I have always experienced a prevailing attitude among senior management that these transformations are black holes and money pits.

I believe many (if not most) companies still feel this way. Why? There is a litany of cautionary tales: From Hershey’s widely reported $100 million failed ERP implementation in 2015 to our own personal stories. I’ve seen businesses engage consulting firms only to give up about six months in after slow progress and skyrocketing costs; I’ve witnessed first-hand how a $15 million project ballooned to $40 million before it was even finished.

Let’s talk about why this happens and what can be done about it.

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Time for Plan B: How Supply Chains Can Avoid the Mad Scramble of Disruption

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Apr 6, 2020 2:53:32 PM

The famous idiom “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” couldn’t be more appropriate these days. Supply chain management platforms deal with hypothetical and predictive constraints as part of their solve for uninterrupted results. But unexpected and exceptional events can trigger wildly adverse repercussions even with contingency baked into operational plans.

The Coronavirus – among other upsets, like tariffs – has supply chains scrambling for business network alternatives and “loophole engineering” (similar to what automakers have been doing for years). More than anything else, they’re grappling with the consequences of yesterday’s bad decisions. (It happens). While the focus now is to get things back on track in the short-term, businesses must also start acknowledging the new big picture. It’s time to adopt a platform that is more flexible and therefore resilient to today’s and tomorrow’s upsets.

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Supply Chain Solutions: How to Make the Smartest Investment

Posted by Sophia Shats     Jan 20, 2020 5:16:27 PM

We live in a highly demanding time. Customers want more, better, faster, and cheaper. Competition is steep, and meeting expectations while innovating and staying profitable can feel like a pipe dream. As supply chain practitioners invest in and leverage robust technology to deliver on ever-increasing demands and complexities, it’s vital that they see past the fads (quick fix solutions) and focus on long-lasting trends (solutions that best align with where the industry is headed).

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Optimizing vs. Maximizing: Obtaining a Bird's-Eye View Requires Digital Transformation

Posted by Jordan K. Speer     Jan 6, 2020 3:39:56 PM

I recently joined IDC as an analyst covering global supply chain execution and fulfillment strategies, and began by reporting on the difference between maximization and optimization in the end-to-end supply chain: how it’s important to move from the former to the latter, how optimization can only be achieved by viewing the whole ecosystem, and how difficult this has been to do historically. It also explores how a digital transformation (DX) and the promise of interconnectivity and visibility it offers, as well as the intelligence it enables when paired with analytics or AI, make the optimization of large, multi-enterprise, multi-country, multi-industry business networks a viable – and necessary – goal.

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3 Key Lessons on Creating Lasting Supply Chain Success We Learned This Year

Posted by Sophia Shats     Dec 16, 2019 5:30:41 PM

We spent the year breaking down how today’s supply chain practitioners are under the gun, feeling pressured to run smoother and leaner operations under thinning margins and during the most disruptive time that has ever existed. We’ve noticed that these conditions have spawned a sense of urgency for quick and easy fixes.

However, we also discussed how, much like lasting happiness, fulfillment, and self-actualization, there are no quick fixes in the journey toward industry leadership. Rather, it requires a thoughtful digital transformation to establish a firm foundation on which new processes and innovations can effectively flourish.

As we close out this year, here are three key takeaways for cultivating a lasting transformation and supply chain success.

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It’s Time to Stop Playing It Safe: Moving from Incrementalism to Transformation (XI)

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Dec 2, 2019 4:11:11 PM

We began the series by stating that simply good isn’t good enough. That in today’s competitive climate, which requires companies to innovate, expand their service or product portfolios, and contemplate what’s next at a faster pace than ever before, satisfaction with incremental gains is a setback. Most companies put off digital transformations because they see the cost as overhead, an expense to avoid, and not a necessity for future survival.

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The Best Business Advice for Your Supply Chain From Successful Leaders

Posted by Sophia Shats     Nov 26, 2019 12:26:48 PM

We talk a lot about digital transformations and how vital they are to stay ahead. But transformations are about more than staying technologically up-to-date and relevant, they’re about adopting a new mindset and revolutionizing the way you do business.

From practical guidance to contemplating the bigger picture, here are a few quick tips from those who have proven to know what they’re doing.

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5 Key Steps to Fast-Track a Digital Transformation (X)

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Nov 4, 2019 4:36:50 PM

If you’ve been following my series, Making the Case for a Digital Transformation, it’s apparent that such a venture can stretch out over many months – if not longer. Not every business has that kind of time to spare, and you may be asking yourself: “What can I do if I have to get a new platform up and running in the next quarter or two?”

With tacit approval from senior management to pick a solution and spend what it takes (within reason), here’s my advice for fast-tracking your digital transformation.

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Chances Are, Your Supply Chain Solution Is a Frankenstein Creation

Posted by Peter Nilsson     Oct 28, 2019 4:26:45 PM

More than two centuries later and the image of Frankenstein’s monstrous creation still looms large in our collective imagination. Mary Shelley’s timeless piece unfolds the story of a highly gifted scientist who is driven to uncover the secret of life. Using his expansive knowledge and unthinkable feats of engineering, he manages to assemble and animate a creature.

As with so many works of art – and as is so clearly our distinct pleasure – there are many lessons to take away from this tale. Even for supply chain solutions.

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5 Telltale Signs That Fear Is Stunting Your Supply Chain Business Growth

Posted by Sophia Shats     Oct 7, 2019 4:46:39 PM

The idea of innovation might sound enticing, but few are willing to take the associated risks in changing course. Treading lightly has its advantages, but the line between ‘careful’ and ‘cripplingly cautious’ can be thin, especially in such a highly competitive world.

Here are a few signs you might be letting fear get the best of you.

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Software Implementation Is No Cakewalk. Take Charge & Win Quick. (IX)

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Sep 30, 2019 8:24:33 AM

Now that the case for a digital transformation has been made and the go ahead given, it’s time for your supply chain software implementation...but don’t think it will be a walk in the park. It’s common to have a bit of friction between company departments – especially during transformations. Stamp out ‘turf battles’ early and map out a plan right away, so you can easily course correct when issues or delays inevitably arise. How you define success will also play a significant role throughout the process – don’t overpromise but strive to overdeliver.

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Peeling Back the Onion: Choosing a Software Provider With Due Diligence (V)

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Jun 4, 2019 9:22:33 AM

Both the digital transformation and each software provider are multi-faceted, so think of these next stages of the discovery process as ‘peeling back layers of the onion.’ The surface layers involve understanding each vendor’s capabilities and bid components. Slightly deeper are the back-end particulars of the transformation; your team will be focusing on everything from the platform to the financial and commercial terms to ensure the products and services you choose align well with your priorities and that the rollout will be feasible and smooth.

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How to Kick Off Your Digital Transformation by Building the Right Team (II)

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Mar 6, 2019 4:45:22 PM

We opened this series by discussing why digital transformation and continuous improvements are critical to long-term success. But once you’ve made this realization, how do you actually make it happen in an effective and streamlined way? Just because you’ve discovered the key to your company’s inefficiencies and the importance of aiming higher doesn’t mean everyone else does. Besides, small to mid-size businesses don’t typically have a dedicated professional or department to oversee the endeavor, so you need to champion internal support.

Here, we’ll take a quick look at how to craft a value proposition for executive sponsorship, then focus on who you should enlist to ensure the endeavor is handled intelligently and without delay.

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