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  First Thoughts

    Dan Gilmore


    Supply Chain Digest

Dec. 18, 2020

Twas the Night before a Supply Chain Christmas 2020

Something a Little on the Lighter Side as We Gladly Bid Goodbye to 2020

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

I run it every other year or so. This year, I added some signifcant tweaks, in view of the crazy year we have experienced 2020


Hope you like it.

Gilmore Says....

"Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from SCDigest!"

What do you say?

Click here to send us your comments

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 2020 bonuses soon would be there.

As VP of Supply Chain, the buck stops right here,
But I would say got through this strange crazy year.

Now the job isn't easy - for me or my team.
This year's challenges were as great as I've ever seen!

The virus pandemic walloped supply and demand,
But you just have to execute no matter what you had planned.

Labor was affected at each plant and DC,
It was hard just to ensure we had enough PPE!

The need for supply chain resilience hit us right in the face,
As disruption and spikes have become commonplace.

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

And don't get me started about port congestion -
The dwell time at LA/Long Beach gives me indigestion.

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 2021, I believe.

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

"For your planning team, real-time demand visibility,
And a new IBP process to drive much 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 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 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 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 early 2021. See you next year!

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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