View all Posts Supply Chain News

On Demand News: 08/14/19

DW Morgan Company OnDemand Supply Chain News-Leaping and Looking: Who says agility and stability are opposites.

Leaping And Looking

Who Says Agility and Stability Are Opposites?

14 August, 2019 // In her Gartner blog, “Agility vs Stability: The ‘and’ and ‘or’ Problem, analyst Deborah Wilson addresses enterprises’ Fear of Transformation.

The Silicon Valley mindset, which Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg famously summarized as “move fast and break things,” has always been unafraid of disruption. In other words, Netflix, Slack, Twitter and the rest can be agile because they ARE the disruptors.

For other organizations, the idea of changing quickly and on a large scale can be terrifying. That’s because they see agility and stability as opposites. Business leaders who like consistency and profitability can find themselves resisting even necessary long-term transformation.

Wilson points out the fallacy in this reasoning: “Many organizations believe that go be agile, they must be agile everywhere,” she writes. “This is a false assumption—that being agile means you cannot be stable.” 

Instead, Wilson argues that consistent core business elements can provide a foundation for the flexibility that transformation requires. She recommends a partial and incremental approach: “Don’t think you can do or plan everything at once. Bite off smaller pieces.”

Business process pioneer and author Dr. Michael Hammer once described this as the “Yellow Brick Road Model” for process change. Instead of placing all your bets on big initiatives with huge consequences, take a single small step towards a system improvement. Then a second step towards better process. By linking these steps together, an enterprise can make incremental progress down the road of transformation. 

Dr. Hammer referred to it as a yellow brick road because it’s certainly not the fastest, cheapest or most direct route to a strategic destination. Unlike a straight line, though, it’s a path that has lowest risk and highest potential for success. That’s because each step forward creates the little victories that reinforce an agility mindset—without sacrificing stability.

At Morgan, that makes sense to us. We think big. But along the way, our commitment to data and analytics keep us focused on the incremental wins that come from redesigning client transportation networks and inventory processes.  

Agility and stability. As Wilson reminds us, there’s an ‘and’ in the middle of that phrase, not an ‘or.’ 

Heck, even Zuck agrees now. He changed his motto a few years back to “move fast with stable infrastructure.” It’s not quite as cool a meme, but it’s one we can endorse. 

Wanna move faster with your supply chain? Contact us for a free analysis and we’ll see how Morgan might be able to help.



While You Were Shipping…

More Recent Stories You May Have Missed That Caught Our Eye

Unintended Consequences: Singapore Edition. (Straits Times) When the US and China start a trade war, Singapore is among the first casualties. Singapore’s daily paper reports that tariffs and concerns over the Chinese tech company, Huawei, have resulted in local layoffs and lower production. SEMI, an industry association for semiconductors, blames the adversarial environment in part for its estimate of a 12 to 13 percent decline in processor demand this year. The story also claims that Sinapore is losing market share to Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines.

Landstar’s Outlook for Trucking (FreightWaves) At a recent investor conference, trucking company Landstar System reported its 2019 expectations for the industry. Truck revenue per load and spot market volume are both down compared to 2018, a trend that’s expected to continue for the rest of the year. Still, FreightWaves says that Landstar management “describes the current market as a ‘relatively healthy freight environment,’ and noted that its financial results are still well ahead of 2017. 

Less Is More for Warehousing (Wall Street Journal; tiered subscription access) Robots continue to redefine warehouse operations, as evidenced by Attabotics’ $25 million funding round. WSJ explains that automation tech companies are helping fulfillment centers get more productivity out of smaller spaces close to consumers. Attabotics founder and CEO Scott Gravelle tells the Journal, “the system can pick, pack and ship using ’20 percent of the labor and 15 percent of the space’ of traditional fulfillment operations.” 

In Blockchain We Trust. (Supply Chain Management Review) IBM has announced the debut of a “Trust Your Supplier” blockchain initiative. SCMR reports that the new network is “designed to eliminate manual time-consuming processes,” including bank account information, ISO and tax certifications and certificates of insurance. Among the first participants are GlaxoSmithKline, Lenovo, Nokia, Schneider Electric and Vodaphone. More partners and industry verticals are expected soon.

Trucks Join the Internet of Things (Logistics Manager) Daimler Trucks is testing a new Truck-ID and Truck Wallet system, which assigns unique identities to each vehicle. The idea, according to project leader Helge Königs, is to enable trucks to talk to other machines, such as toll collection facilities, charging and fuel stations. If commercialized, the digital identity standard would “render it practically impossible to carrie out fuel card scams whereby criminals copy a fuel card and spy on the PIN number being entered,” Königs says. It also reduces non-driving responsibilities for drivers.

On Demand Supply Chain Blog

Continued Reading

Stay up-to-date with supply chain news and articles by reading more posts written by our team at D.W. Morgan.