First Thoughts
  By Dan Gilmore - Editor-in-Chief  
  Dec. 14, 2012  

Twas the Night Before a Supply Chain Christmas 2012


Long-time readers know we do something special each year for Christmas, and this year we are offering a new edition of "Twas the Night before a Supply Chain Christmas."

I actually wrote a version of this our first year in operation, and have used it every few years after that, and while I am quite happy with it, decided to try my hand at a new version for 2012. You will find it below.

Gilmore Says:

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us here at SCDigest

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Twas the Night Before a Supply Chain Christmas 2012


Twas the night before Christmas, and throughout the supply chain section,
My team was all gone - a unanimous election.

As VP of supply chain, I was winding my day down too;
And I knew once again it was a tough year we'd been through.

Demand planners, global sourcing, distribution, transportation,
Production schedulers, network planning - my team sure earned some vacation.

All of us in supply chain understand the pressures we face;
It's tough, and we know it - yet it's a challenge we embrace.

Drive out cost, increase service, and oh, while you're at it,
We'd like a lot fewer risks - so when can we have it?

Our work is vitally important - yet so few understand it;
I wish my family, at least, knew some more, to be candid.

As I pondered these thoughts about a supply chain career,
I heard a loud clank and clatter that first caused me some fear.

I move quietly over in the great noise's direction.
And realized I had nothing to fear, upon inspection.

It was none other than Santa, outside the elevator door,
And he looked right back at me while sitting flat on the floor.

"Sorry to startle you," Santa said, with a smile;
"I'm used to chimneys; haven't used these lift things for a while."

"What are doing you here good Santa?" I asked from the heart.
"Isn't your gift giving tour soon ready to start?"

"That's correct," Santa said, "but I must first tell you it's true
Supply Chain now is key to everything that we do.

"But with my work with the children, I can't get to business,
Yet my gift bag is available, for those desiring supply chain fitness.

"I picked you out because you run a good supply chain thing.
Please pass the word on about the supply chain gifts I can bring.

"First is S&OP excellence - it's far from universally here,
Though at the North Pole we advanced to Integrated Business Planning this year.

"Next in my supply chain sack you will find
Inventory Optimization software - the multi-echelon kind.

"To help in multi-channel fulfillment you will also see too
Distributed Order Management software; it's used by too few!

"I have all kinds of software, and I am really quite proud,
To note all of it is now available on-demand, in the Cloud!

"In our Arctic DC, we've had great success with Voice,
So that's another gift I have - an excellent choice!

"We use labor management software too, and you should certainly know,
We have discrete engineered standards available to go.

"Also key at the Pole is great visibility to demand,
Reach deep and you'll find "demand sensing" tools there on hand.

"Oh, let me add, we have a great overstock situation
On RFID tags from that old Walmart "mandate" creation.

"There is quite a bit more, this stuff companies need to succeed;
The tools are available - but not all companies will proceed.

"We know the challenges first hand, me and my elves.
We now must compete with ourselves.

"And what's worse is that while our interest is keen
That Bezos guy won't sell us a single Kiva machine.

"But that's OK because for years we've been plotting
A breakthrough advance in our software for slotting.

"The point is," said Santa, "practices and technology are available to all,
Yet there are really great differences in how companies answer that call.

"There are SCM leaders and laggards, and it's easy to get lost;
The laggards are too cautious, and think it's only about cost.

"I can provide the tools, but I can't lead the way.
And that's what really matters, at the end of the day.

He laughed loud and merry and into the elevator he hopped,
Put his finger to his nose, then reached for the button to the top.

"Oh… there's one other path to supply chain greatness, by the way -
Keep yourself well-informed - read Supply Chain Digest every day!"

And I heard him say, as he at last rose off with a jerk
"Supply Chain plays a great role - be proud of your work!"

Hope you enjoyed it.


I usually manage to get myself two weeks off this time of year, but the calendar tells my we may just be off with this newsletter for next week only. See you the first week of the year, though stories on our web site as always will be update frequently.


We have big plans for 2013. You will soon see a modest new look to our home page and story pages, for example. Hope to launch an exciting new supply chain data source site in early 2013. A lot more planned.


Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us here at SCDigest.


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