Many people regard ordinary as bad. Yet, in the absence on a big shock, a large majority of companies appear satisfied with 'ordinary' supply chains.
Why is that the case?
Part of the reason is the assessment problem.
How Can You Assess Supply Chains?
On surface, one supply chain looks just like any other. How do you differentiate an ordinary supply chain from a good supply chain? Or, a good one from a great one?
From the benchmarks? From the awards handed out by self-interested media? From gut feel? From customer feedback? NPS? Costs? A bit of all these?
Go deeper beyond these external rubric, just a little bit, and you can start seeing differences in technologies deployed, as well as the methodologies.
Go a step deeper, and you will discover that just having a more expensive technology does not result in a superior supply chain.
It is far more important to use the right technology for the right purpose, and use it to the best effect. So, the question arises, is it possible to have a good, or even great supply chain without expensive technology?
The short answer is - Yes.
What makes any supply chain great, or good, or ordinary, or bad? How do we apply these labels on a supply chain?
Is there an objective standard?
A bigger question is this - would a great supply chain for one company be equally great for another company? How about a great supply chain for one industry, being equally good for another industry?
If we are to improve supply chains over time, clear and objective assessment standards are needed?
What determines 'goodness of fit' of supply chains?
Clearly, your supply chain must fit your business strategy. If your business does not have a clearly defined business strategy beyond some aspiration of a goal or outcome, even then your business has a de-facto strategy.
What results are you getting from your supply chain?
Are the customers happy with the service? Is your CFO happy with the margins and profits?
Would it be possible to increase the profits by more integration within your business? Can more optimisation increase the efficiency in the business?
How much money are you leaving on the table? For whom?
Is your current supply chain really good, or ordinary, or great? How sure are you of the answer?
Answering these questions will help you take your business from ordinary towards good, and beyond.
How to get from ordinary to good supply chain, and beyond?
For those who want to take a more systematic approach, if you want to objectively map out the terrain, and mark your business' position on it using cutting edge supply chain techniques, give us a call and we will help fix your position and create a clear path towards your achievable goal. We will even traverse the journey with you and guide the course till you get there.
For the last 20 years, that is all we have done for our clients, all day, every day.
If you are wondering why we value results so much, click on the link below: