Fini is the French word for finished. As Ms. Rector taught me in my high school french class,”C’est fini!”  It is finished.

I love the sound as it rolls off my tongue; but yes, the Metrics that Matter book is finished. I finished the page proofs last week. The book is the end of a long journey. It has been a team effort and I will be glad to hold one in my hand and smell fresh ink.

The book is a story of a supply chain leader named Joe. He does not want to be an average Joe. As a result, he is trying to figure out how to define supply chain excellence. Joe’s struggle is focused on figuring out what is possible in driving supply chain metrics, and how fast can he move forward. Like many of you, Joe works in a dysfunctional organization that doesn’t quite get the concepts of supply chain, and each person on his leadership team is sure that they understand what supply chain excellence means. The CFO used to work at GE, and has defined supply chain excellence based on this experience. Joe’s boss is sure that it is all about Lean operations, and is a strong advocate that Joe should just define everything by the Toyota Way. In contrast, his vice president of sales has great disdain for supply chain, but thinks if Joe does everything like they did it at Procter & Gamble, that all will be right with the world. No one on the team realizes that these companies are stalled in driving supply chain performance. This may be similar to the dynamics in your organization.

In the course of the story, the team collectively learns that they have very different paradigms of supply chain excellence, and that they need to align to move forward. To do this, the team reviews the progress of over three hundred companies on balance sheet metrics for the past decade and they read case studies on how supply chain leaders built organizations and defined metrics systems to improve performance. At the end of the story, after much angst, they build a roadmap for their organization.

The political dynamics for the supply chain leader is as great of a challenge for the supply chain leader today as the nuts and bolts of building the supply chain. This is the story captured in the book.

Our next focus is to build a computer-simulation activity based on the models in the book to illustrate the differences between inside-out and outside-in processes. Supply chain management can be heady-stuff. While people may say that they understand it, we often find that it is only fully understood when they experience it. Remember the Beer Game? We are actively designing what we hope will be the next-generation of this type of educational simulation exercise. Our new game builds on the concepts of Metrics that Matter. We will showcase the new simulation activity at the Supply Chain Insights Global Summit. We hope to see you here!

Author Lora cecere

Lora Cecere is the Founder of Supply Chain Insights. The research firm Supply Chain Insights is paving new directions in building thought-leading supply chain research. She is also the author of enterprise software blog “Supply Chain Shaman. The blog focuses on the use of enterprise applications to drive supply chain excellence. Her book, Bricks Matter, will be published in August 2012. As an enterprise strategist, Lora focuses on the changing face of enterprise technologies. Her research is designed for the early adopter seeking first mover advantage. Current research topics include the digital consumer, supply chain sensing, demand shaping and revenue management, market-driven value networks, accelerating innovation through open design networks, the evolution of predictive analytics, emerging business intelligence solutions, and technologies to improve safe and secure product delivery. She comes to the stage with over forty years of diverse supply chain experience. She has spent nine years as an industry analyst with Gartner Group, AMR Research, Altimeter Group and is now the founder of her own firm Supply Chain Insights. Prior to becoming a supply chain analyst she spent fifteen years as a leader in the building of supply chain software at Manugistics and Descartes Systems Group, and twenty years as a supply chain practitioner at Procter & Gamble, Kraft/General Foods, Clorox, and Dreyers Grand Ice Cream (now a division of Nestle).

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