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Dec. 15, 2023
Supply Chain Digest Flagship Newsletter


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This Week in SCDigest

bullet Twas the Night before a Supply Chain Christmas 2023 bullet SCDigest On-Target e-Magazine
bullet Supply Chain Graphic & by the Numbers for the Week bullet New Stock Index

New Chain Cartoon Caption Contest!

bullet Trivia      bullet Feedback
bullet New Expert Column bullet On Demand Videocasts
first thought


Supply Chain Graphic
of the Week


US LTL Rate Gains far Exceed Rise in Truckload Costs


Supply Chain by the Numbers

Walmart Bets on Store Fulfillment

Language Change in Final UN COP28 Agreement on Fossil Fuels
Consumer Confidence is Weak
Unlimited Grocery Deliveries from Amazon


Show Us Your Supply Chain Wit!

Expert Insight

Why 97% of Supply Chain Professionals are Turning to RFID

Managing labor shortages tops the list of concerns for supply chain organizations in a new survey report

Supply Chain Technology Is Changing The Way SMBs Compete

Real-Time Visibility Into Inventory Levels, Order Status, and Shipment Tracking Enables SMBs to Monitor and Manage Their Supply Chains More Effectively


Sam Polakoff
Founder and CEO


Read Now

Cloudy Outlook but With a Glimmer of Optimism

Expectations of Lower Import Demand for the Rest of the Year and Retailer Cautiousness Will not Bode Well for the Last Mile


Jay Kent
Managing Director
SLB Performance


Read Now

 This Week's SCDigest OnTarget Newsletter

Cartoon, Top SCDigest Stories of the Week


What year did Amazon start selling more than bools and CDs?

Answer Found at the
Bottom of the Page


Twas the Night before a Supply Chain Christmas 2023

I first wrote a supply chain version of the Clement Moore classic poem "Twas the Night Before Christmas" our very first year in 2003 - 20 years ago.

I run it every other year or so. Two years ago, I added some signifcant tweaks, in view of the crazy year we experienced in 2021, with a couple more modest changes here for 2023.

Hope you like it.



"Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from SCDigest!"


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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 2023 bonuses soon would be there.

As VP of Supply Chain, the buck stops right here.

But I would say got well through another tough crazy year.

Now the job's never easy - for me or my staff,

As we navigated a very challenging supply chain path.

Like continued variability in supply and demand,
But you just have to execute no matter what you had planned.

The reported labor shortage was once again quite real,
Despite pay hikes and signing bonuses to sweeten the deal.

And the need for supply chain resilience hit us right in the face,
As we prep for a world with disruptions commonplace.

So we're re-optimizing our network for whatever is next,
Both to lower our costs, and to give us more flex.


And for most of the year across supply chain nation,
We battled soaring input costs amid rampant inflation.

And omnichannel, my goodness, I need a magic wand
With spells to keep our company from being Amazon'ed.

As I pondered our tough year, there quick arose such a sound,
I feared a tall bay of reserve rack had just fallen 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 Crown 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 team.

On a pallet nearby sat a large sack, 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 2024, I believe.

"For your director of transportation, I think he will have luck,
If I order for him a new electric Tesla Semi truck.

"For your planning team, real-time demand visibility,
And for logistic a new Control Tower to drive greater agility.

"For your inventory group, I can remove much of their pain,
Through true optimization across every echelon in the chain.

"For your DC manager, a mobile robot fleet,
For order picking productivity that cannot be beat.

"For you, a new 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 lip,
Reached in his bag, and pulled out a semiconductor chip.

"And the greatest gift of all, and where our futures lie,
Is for everyone, everywhere lots and lots of AI!


"And since I know that after that you're still yearning,

I will also send a link to download some logistics machine learning."


He dropped the chip into my stocking, turned round with some flair,
Pushed a button on the Crown, 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 back, "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!"


So there you have it. You can access a pdf version here if you would like.


We're happily taking a couple of weeks off here relative to newsletters, but please keep tabs on the web site for the latest supply chain news. Thanks for another great year. You'll see many exciting new features in 2023. See you next year!


Merry Christmas from Supply Chain Digest


Did you enjoy Twas the Night Before a Supply Chain Christmas? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback button (email) or section below.


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What year did Amazon start selling more than bools and CDs?

A: 1999