Redefining Supply Chain Research

By June 24, 2014Uncategorized

Last week, I attended Bridges, an event hosted by GT Nexus. While there, I was fortunate to attend a speech by Chis Bonner of Toms Shoes. He spoke about their GIVING supply chain. Essentially, Toms gives away a pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair of shoes sold. It is a part of their brand promise. As Chris explained, it sounds easier than it is. The management of his GIVING supply chain is quite a task. To deliver on the brand promise, his team must manage product delivery with the highest ethical standards while optimizing towards the greatest need.

As I sat in the audience, it occurred to me that we at Supply Chain Insights are operating a GIVING supply chain of sorts. It is a research supply chain. You give to us and we give to you; and in the process, we must maintain high ethical standards. When you fill out our surveys, and participate in our research projects, you give to us; and in return, we publish Open Content research, in front of the firewall/paywall for you to share with your teams. We are never pay-for-play and we will never breach confidentiality.

This month, we have published our 44th report and 95th podcast. At year-end, we will have published 60 reports and over 150 podcasts. It is our goal to be THE place to go to hear the voice of the supply chain leader. We want to drive change. Every day, we learn more and more.

As we pore through the data and pound out the reports, we are trying to uncover new insights. It is our goal to make it actionable for you. We can see that nine out of ten supply chain leaders are stuck at the intersection of inventory turns and operating margin, and we question if we have “best” of past practices. (we think that we have past practices and that we are entering into a new era of processes and technologies.) We want to crack the code to help supply chain leaders achieve the next level of the Effective Frontier. It is hard work full of fits and starts. Sometimes the answer is not what we expect, and we have to test it again. While other times, we have to redefine the methodology or take another path. Our goal is always to give to you high-quality research with unique insights.

To that end, we have launched two new services: The Supply Chain Index and a Supply Chain Benchmarking Service. The Supply Chain Index is a measurement of supply chain improvement. This month, Abby Mayer has carefully crafted an analysis of the consumer value chain. We will be doing a similar analysis of different value chains in our countdown to our Global Summit. Our second service, the Supply Chain Planning Benchmarking Service, is designed for companies that are greater than $1 billion in revenue and have at least five years of experience with supply chain planning. We would love your thoughts! And we hope to see you at the Supply Chain Insights Global Summit.

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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