Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Building the supply chain of the future
Getting there means ditching today’s monolithic model in favor of splintered supply chains that dismantle complexity, and using manufacturing networks to hedge uncertainty.
JANUARY 2011 • Yogesh Malik, Alex Niemeyer, and Brian Ruwadi
Source: Operations Practice

This is an interesting twist on supply chain management recognizing the uncertainty expected in the future.

"Many global supply chains are not equipped to cope with the world we are entering. Most were engineered, some brilliantly, to manage stable, high-volume production by capitalizing on labor-arbitrage opportunities available in China and other low-cost countries. But in a future when the relative attractiveness of manufacturing locations changes quickly—along with the ability to produce large volumes economically—such standard approaches can leave companies dangerously exposed......
.....The bottom line for would-be architects of manufacturing and supply chain strategies is a greater risk of making key decisions that become uneconomic as a result of forces beyond your control.
Against this backdrop, a few pioneering supply chain organizations are preparing themselves in two ways. First, they are “splintering” their traditional supply chains into smaller, nimbler ones better prepared to manage higher levels of complexity. Second, they are treating their supply chains as hedges against uncertainty by reconfiguring their manufacturing footprints to weather a range of potential outcomes. A look at how the leaders are preparing today offers insights for other companies hoping to get more from their supply chains in the years to come."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Finding Stability at the Core of Change
 John Hagel

Although a bit more philosophical than our usual posting, his reflections are very interesting:

"Sources of stability
....if we truly understand what is required to succeed in an ever more rapidly changing world, we will at the same time discover sources of stability that will provide us with the firm grounding that we all, even the most jaded adrenaline junkies, need to thrive....
...Tacit knowledge. data proliferates, something else becomes more and more valuable and yet more difficult to access.  Tacit knowledge is the knowledge deeply embedded in each of us, our relationships and our unique contexts. 
...Trust-based relationships. ...At the time when we are consumed by short-term transactions, long-term, trust-based relationships acquire more and more importance....The best way to access tacit knowledge is in the context of trust-based relationships...
...Talent development...In a more rapidly changing world, our success and, in a very real sense, our survival, depends on our ability to learn faster and accelerate the development of our talent. ..

To get to the how, we need to find ways to access the tacit knowledge embedded in the people experiencing these changes. And, as we have seen, accessing tacit knowledge requires deep, trust-based relationships. This is exactly why tacit knowledge and trust-based relationships acquire increasing value as the pace of change accelerates – without them, we will never be able to develop the most valuable skills required to succeed and survive in a more rapidly changing world."


Thursday, January 06, 2011

The Seven Deadly Sins of Measurement
Jim Champy, coauthor, with Harry Greenspun, of Reengineering Health Care: A Manifesto for Radically Rethinking Health Care Delivery, introduces a lesson on the pitfalls of measurement from Faster, Cheaper, Better: The 9 Levers for Transforming How Work Gets Done, by Michael Hammer and Lisa W. Hershman.

Very interesting summary and I strongly suggest going to the article. Remember, you only get what you measure:

"....Vanity. One of the most widespread failings in performance measurement is to use measures whose sole purpose is to make the organization, its people, and especially its managers look good.
 ...Provincialism. This sin permits organizational boundaries and concerns to dictate performance metrics..

...Narcissism. This is the unpardonable offense of measuring from one’s own point of view, rather than from the customer’s perspective.
 ...Laziness. This is a trap into which even those who avoid narcissism often fall: assuming you know what is important to measure without giving it adequate thought or effort.
...Pettiness. Too many companies measure only a small component of what matters
...Inanity. Metrics drive behavior, but too many companies implement metrics without giving any thought to the consequences of these metrics for human behavior and consequently for enterprise performance.
...Frivolity. Not taking measurement seriously is perhaps the most grievous sin of them all"