Supply chain directors don’t always put it like that – but they always mean it exactly like that.
I love helping them uncover hidden optimization potential, which is another way of saying I love showing them the money.
But this post isn’t about one of those encounters. It’s about a little fantasy I have of turning the tables on a supply chain director and asking him to show me the money. The missing money.
“What,” I would ask, “is preventing your supply chain from achieving higher levels of profitability? What’s the missing piece that’s holding you back? What do you need to succeed beyond your wildest dreams?”
Supply chain directors, generally, aren’t given to flights of fancy, but this one would be willing to humor me. Here’s what he would say.
. . . . . . . . .
I always knew where the bottlenecks were, and how to optimize them.
I had an instant overview of under- and overcapacity throughout my supply chain, and immediate insight into how to respond in the most appropriate way.
I always knew exactly which orders to accept, and at what price.
I could equip my sales managers worldwide with up-to-the-minute information about the most profitable products.
I could constantly squeeze surplus inventory out of my supply chain – intelligently.
I could create a more agile supply chain that responded profitably to changes in supply and demand, and enabled us to improve our customer satisfaction ratings.
I could easily explore the financial impact of introducing new products and services.
I could make informed investment and divestment decisions by exploring a comprehensive array of scenarios, instead of relying on guesstimates.
I had immediate insight into the financial impact of any event in my supply chain.
My wild dreamer would then shake his head ruefully and mutter, “Of course it’s going to be many, many years before all this is possible.”
. . . . . . . . . .
Is that your reaction too – at least as far as some of the items on that wish list are concerned? If so, I’m happy to say that the missing piece of the profit economy already exists, and has been implemented all over the world. It is already transforming information from a wide array of systems (ERP, MES, HRM etc.) into profitable plans. It is already showing supply chain directors the money.