Who Hijacked Your Supply Chain?

Who Hijacked Your Supply Chain?






January 8, 2019

I do not publish too many posts on LinkedIn any more because of ‘Gresham’s Law‘. However, once in a while I still publish content that would be relevant to that platform.

I was delivering the keynote speech at the Quintiq World Tour recently at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore – where I met over 200 supply chain professionals. I start my discussions of this nature with a simple question about the definition of supply chain in your company. It is always interesting to note that no two definitions of supply chain are exactly the same in practice.

The boundaries of supply chains within the companies are rarely clear. I have written about this extensively in my books and blogs – here is one small post for example. You do not have to be a C-Level genius to see the impact of this confusion on your business. Even a journalist with relatively shallow understanding of key business underpinnings can quickly grasp the enormous waste that results from confusion in planning.

What struck me in the event – when I was answering questions as part of the concluding panel – was that a number of supply chains have been hijacked by institutions for their own purposes. Sometimes an entire nation, or at least its government can be led to believe that supply chain is merely logistics, or procurement. In due course, this will show up as a huge disconnect between the government policy and commercial imperatives of the businesses it is trying to attract and keep in this global high-stakes game.

At a micro-level, you may get only the first level results and miss out the four higher level results from supply chains. This would be like owning a fruit laden tree and just harvesting the fruit from the lowest rung of the ladder, while leaving all the other fruit in the middle and top to rot on the tree. Here is a simple graphic to explain what I mean:

Source: www.unchainyourcorporation.com

There is a self-benchmarking tool at the source of this graphic – which may help you decide whether your supply chain has also been hijacked. If you have doubts about whether you should consider this quick self-benchmarking tool, consider the slide below (from my presentation at the event) shows the contrast between the two extremes of SCM clearly:

Do not forget – who defines your supply chain will also define your business. Might as well be you.

Copyright - These concepts, frameworks and ideas are copyright of GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN GROUP from the time of their creation. Do NOT copy these without permission and proper attribution.


  1. These ideas and concepts will be usually expressed by our thought leaders in multiple forums - conferences, speeches, books, reports, workshops, webinars, videos and training. You may have heard us say the same thing before.
  2. The date shown above the article refers to the day when this article was updated. This blog post or article may have been written anytime prior to that date. 
  3. All anecdotes are based on true stories to highlight the key points of the article - some details are changed to protect identification of the parties involved. 
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Our Quick Notes On Five Flows Of Supply Chain Management

Part of our new “Quick Notes” series – this report answers your most pertinent questions of the topic.

  • What are the five flows of SCM?
  • Why are they important TO YOU?
  • How can you map, track, and optimise these flows to serve YOU?
  • What is the importance of difference between "Supply Chain" and "Value Chain"?
  • What are the stellar case studies of each of the five flows?


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  • Hey, Vivek I know that you maintain your LinkedIn profile up to the mark and that’s very much needed in this era,

    I too follow you on LinkedIn and watch your posts daily on the news feed that posts are very informative for me as I am a supply chain executive in ESR logistics company

    Usually, I never comment on blogs but your article is so convincing that I never stop myself to say something about it. You’re doing a great job Man, Keep it up.

  • Theft, fraud, smuggling, sabotage, hijacking, and piracy were all present. Today’s complex networks of storage and intermodal transport face these challenges too.

  • I totally agreed with the statement above- “A number of supply chains have been hijacked by institutions for their own purposes”

    I would like to comment on-
    “Disconnect between the government policy and commercial imperatives of the businesses.”

    I read 1955 case that revel above statement is right- I do quote below-

    “Revenue from advertising is the lifeblood of any commercial television system. When the UK’s first commercial channel opened up in 1955 as ITV its blood was pretty thin. The print mass media had over half a century’s start and a firm grip on the market and Parliament, though anxious to see competition for the license fee-funded BBC had legislated more checks than balances for the new channel. Partly this was to do with maintaining the values of what Americans told MPs was ‘the best television in the world’, partly it was to ease in the new medium without too much damage to the old. No politician wants to be blamed for a newspaper going out of business.”

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