It's back. First published in 2003, we have revised for 2006 our popular "Twas the Night Before a Supply Chain Christmas," a takeoff on the famous Clement Moore piece. We think you will enjoy it.
Twas the night before Christmas, and I was alone in the DC.
Not much inventory left – we forecast right, I can see.
Our performance reports were hung by the office with care,
And it looked like 2006 bonuses soon would be there.
As VP of Supply Chain, the buck stops right here,
But I would say overall we had a pretty good year.
Now the job isn’t easy – for me or my team.
This year’s challenges were as great as I’ve ever seen.
Cycle times shorter – we took out one more day,
While working with 5% less budget, by the way.
Oh the Transportation headaches! Capacity and cost!
But it just doesn’t matter – great customer service can’t be lost.
We re-optimized the network, pursued global sourcing in full,
And kept driving our supply chain to less push, and more pull!
As I pondered our year, there quick arose such a sound,
I feared a tall bay of rack in reserve had gone down!
I jumped into my Cushman, raced past each and every dock door,
Towards the back of the DC – what would I find on the floor?
But as I swung round bulk storage, I saw I had nothing to dread,
For there sat St. Nick, on a new Raymond truck, green and red.
The red matched his bright suit, which could not have been finer,
Though a small tag in the back did say “Made in China.”
He was hanging some stockings from the racking’s first beam,
And I could see on each one the names of my supply chain team.
On a pallet sat a big bundle, which he grabbed with a laugh,
And I wondered what Santa could have in store for my staff.
He said, “I brought you the gifts that will help you to achieve,
Supply chain excellence and agility in 2007, I believe.
“For your director of transportation, a real-time load optimizer,
And carrier bid tools, so your freight contracts are wiser.
“For your forecasting head, real-time demand information,
And a new S&OP process that better guides allocation.
“For your inventory team, I can remove much of their pain,
Through complete visibility across every echelon in the chain.
“Your DC manager will like the voice pick system she’ll be receiving,
And the advanced WMS that supports task interleaving.
“For you, a new Supply Chain dashboard, with all the metrics you want,
So you can see by the second who’s performing, and who’s not!”
Then he paused for a second, and put a finger to his lips,
Reached in his bag, and pulled out a fistful of chips.
“And the greatest gift of all, as I’m sure you’ll agree,
Is for everyone, everywhere – lots of RFID!”
He dropped the tags in the stockings, turned round with some flair,
Pushed a button on the Raymond, and it took off in the air!
“Thank you Santa,” I shouted, “These are really great tools!
But we’ll need help to deploy them, configure business rules!”
Santa yelled, “Yes, the value from tech is sometimes not resultant.
But my elves are just coders – better hire lots of consultants!”
And I heard him exclaim, as he floated high above,
“Yes supply chain’s sure hard, but it’s the business we love!”
Hope you enjoyed it. You can access a pdf here if you would like. Nearby, you'll find some of our most popular pieces from 2006, as well as some of our favorite letters from readers.
We're off next week. Thanks for another great year. You'll see many exciting new features in early 2007. See you next year!
Did you enjoy Twas the Night Before a Supply Chain Christmas? What issues and topics would you like to see us cover in 2007? How can SCDigest be improved? Let us know your thoughts.