We love Amazon. At Supply Chain Insights, we are loyal Amazon shoppers. They deliver pantry supplies to our small office in Baltimore <without charging us shipping> a couple of times a week.  The experience is fun; and for us, convenient.  We also feel that they are a wonderful case study of how supply chains can make a difference in driving value.

This week, we celebrated the launch of their same day delivery model with a glass of wine. They are redefining retail and opening up an opportunity for consumer products companies to ship directly to their consumers and disintermediate. The question for most bricks and mortar grocery retailers should be “What is the role of the store now that Amazon has launched their new model?”

I am a rebel at heart. I always will be. It is my goal, just as Amazon is leading the mission to redefine the retail industry, to redefine the Industry Analyst model and shift power to the enterprise buyer. I want to make research more digestible, and actionable.  I want to make it more available. We are using social networks to put research at the center of the model. We are busy combing twenty-five years of financial balance sheet data and combining it with quantitative research studies to try to help the world understand the true value of supply chain excellence. We want to be the team that you will turn to first.

Launching a start-up is not easy. It is hard work. No one calls and offers you business. There are many new “research” firms and the marketing is confusing. You have to earn the business. We want to overcome and distinguish ourselves. It is in this spirit, that today, Supply Chain Insights is publishing the first community newsletter to over 6000 supply chain professionals. It contains four new reports and an announcement of the upcoming launch of the Supply Chain Insights Community

The Supply Chain Insights Community is a JIVE community currently under construction. We have asked our design agency, 7Summits, to make it edgy, clean and fun.  It will be easy to access and free for all supply chain leaders to join. It is designed to be global and to allow supply chain teams to freely network at the intersection of their “interest graph” and their “social graph” in a new and edgy way.

The community will feature job postings, a WIKI and benchmark data. It will become an extension of the training that we will launch with the publication of the book Bricks Matter in the fall of 2012. It will showcase our research, but allow anyone –even other analysts– that has educational materials or research to share their work widely. We feel that the community should decide relevance. Members of the  community will rate the materials, and the threads from the writing will carry into discussion groups that will be facilitated by industry experts. It will also feature ratings and reviews of software providers and consultants. We will mine this rating data and launch evaluative frameworks called the “Voice of the Supply Chain” in 2013.  We want to redefine the industry analyst model and return the buying power to the buyer of enterprise software through the community, thought-leading research and training.

This has been hard, but fulfilling work. We have been busy. Our research agenda is aggressive. We will keep this research cadence through the rest of 2012.  We just feel that there is too little research in the market on how to use new approaches to technology, why supply chain matters, and how to redefine processes. We are bullish about helping companies build market-driven value networks. Please let us know your thoughts and give our community a try.

We give thanks to our customers that have helped us on our journey. We would like to hear from you.

Lora Cecere Founder of Supply Chain Insights

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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