First Anniversary of Supply Chain Insights

It has been one year.  We founded Supply Chain Insights on February 9th, 2012. One year later, we are an eight person team.

Supply Chain Insights is a true bootstrap startup. The team of Mikey, Jill, Constance, Heather, Abby, Naomi, Regina and I have all worked together to deliver a year of firsts. We have laughed, worked hard, celebrated each success and tried to fail forward.  This would not have happened without a committed team.

I am proud that we have published 24 reports, completed 14 quantitative research studies and have had over 72,000 views of our work on Slideshare. We also built a database of twenty years of supply chain financial ratios that we mine daily for companies to understand where they are on the Supply Chain Effective Frontier against their peer group. We are working to combine qualitative interviews, with quantitative data and supply chain financial data.  The team is learning every day.  Over the course of 2012, I feel that we made a lot of progress.

It is fun. Each day, I get invites from three to five supply chain leaders through LinkedIn that want to join us in our efforts to redefine supply chain excellence. The research is based on these volunteers. In Open Content research, we are dependent on companeis giving us their time to help us complete research studies. If companies give us ten minutes to finish our survey, then we will give them an hour to review the findings with them. Unlike others that do this as business development for vendors of IT solutions, we always keep our individual and company names anonymous. Trust is at the foundation of our model. We are trying to drive new insights into the market.  And, it is working. Over the course of the last year, we had 360 individuals from over 300 companies that participated in the research process. At the end of the first year, we remain committed to our Open Content research process and serving this audience.

I am also proud of the book, Bricks Matter, that I co-authored with Charlie Chase. It published on December 26th. In the picture, we are sending signed copies to contributors. The book is now in its second printing. Each morning, I awake to find new five-star reviews on Amazon for the book. The first review came from a digital reader in Australia. The second was from a reader in Poland. How cool is that?

Over the course of the past year, we kicked off a monthly newsletter, the free Supply Chain Insights monthly webinar series and the Supply Chain Insights Community. We now have over 500 members of the community and we are adding gamification and launching the Supply Chain Superheroes next month. It will be fun!

But, most importantly, at the end of this year, I give thanks to our customers who made this possible. Over the year we worked with over seventy companies on defining supply chain excellence.  I am proud that over 60% of business for Supply Chain Insights came from line-of-business leaders.  We made revenue through public speeches, webinars, advisory work, and custom research projects.  We have worked to remain the objective voice in the market. We do not endorse technology vendors or write white papers. We are committed to keeping our revenue model focused on the line-of-business leaders.

In 2013, we will continue to serve this community by expanding services. This week, we’re working on the initial episodes of our podcast series called Straight Talk With Supply Chain Insights. This series is free and will appear initially at our Supply Chain Insights website;  and, once we’ve gotten through the lengthy approval process, they will be available via the iTunes podcast app. It is our hope that you will download us to accompany you on your run or walk, or that we can help you move better on the treadmill.  We are also committed to building supply chain talent. To this end, we are also expanding services with the launch of public training on supply chain excellence (based on the published book Bricks Matter). This will be a monthly public two-day training course in manufacturing centers in Europe and the United States. Each participant will receive a customized view of their company on financial peer benchmarking and will leave with a much clearer view of how to define Supply Chain Excellence and Define the Path Forward for Supply Chain 2020.

This week, we are also announcing our Supply Chain Insights Global Summit to be held at the Phoenician on September 11th-12th, 2013.  I really did not want to do a conference, but I have been talked into doing this by popular request. The network of supply chain professionals are telling me that there are just too many conferences in the market that lack content and are too commercial. They are asking me to put on a content-rich, small event that will be limited in vendor attendance.  So, we have designed an event that will be limited to 120 people with a maximum of 40 vendors (IT providers and consultants). There will be no exhibit halls or paid speaking slots.  The focus of this conference will be the evolution of Supply Chain Metrics that Matter and the launch of the Supply Chain Index (a formulaic representation of supply chain excellence by peer group). The speakers will be the leaders of manufacturing and retail companies that have driven the best results in building supply chain excellence. The event will be made available to the wider population through videocast  during the event, and we will publish an ebook on the evolution of Supply Chain Metrics that Matter.

At the end of this year, I am proud. The work has been hard. The energies have run high. We have had fun, but I feel that we have accomplished a lot, and I am excited for the work that we are planning to do in 2013.  Thanks for your support!

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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