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On Demand News: 01/30/19

How to use data and opportunities to transform your supply chain.

The Playbook

30 January, 2019 // Last year at about this time, we wrote about the supply chain lessons of the Philly Special, a trick play that helped the Eagles beat the Patriots in Super Bowl LII.

Not only did coach Doug Pederson’s play call go against the conventional wisdom of taking a three-point field goal on fourth down near the goal line, it was wildly creative, original thinking. Our point then was that doing what everyone else does leads at best to average, good results. But, if you want to excel, you have to put a little Philly Special in your supply chain—crunching data and finding the opportunities to transform your systems.

Recently, ARC Advisory Group VP and Forbes supply chain blogger Steve Banker argued there really is a playbook of conventional wisdom for successful supply chain strategy. While we agree with what’s in Banker’s playbook, we would point out that it’s far from common thinking.

His recommendations fall into the category of seemingly obvious and simple ideas that all too often get overlooked in the tactical complexity of global, multi-party operations. Ideas like aligning supply chain to overall corporate strategy, integrating systems and processes, training, communication and—wait for it!—actually designing end-to-end business processes that build backwards from what the customer wants. We have lost count of how many supply chains we have analyzed where the needs of every constituent were addressed except for those of the customer.

Banker also cites digital transformation as a crucial, new addition to his playbook. The phrase “digital transformation” is quickly becoming a triple score on supply chain buzzword bingo. Yet, like Banker’s other common-sense but often ignored categories, it contains a powerful insight. Gathering good data on what’s actually happening across suppliers, time zones and functional silos is vital if you have any hope of assessing efficiency and improving operations. We couldn’t agree more, which is why our sister company, ChronosCloud, specializes in connecting all the unconnected events in outsourced supply chains.

Banker’s piece is, as usual, worth a read. If you really want to put his ideas into action, though, beware: Driving common sense through an extended supply chain requires effort that’s a lot tougher than just kicking the field goal.

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Morgan has the technology, experience and analytics to help the world’s top manufacturers transform their transportation supply chains and inventory ownership. Click below for a free assessment and to learn how Morgan can bring a little Philly Special to your supply chain performance.

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