Welcome To The Blog

In early 2022 as Europe and America emerged from the emergency phase of the COVID pandemic, and before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there was hope that the inflation spike experienced during 2021 would gradually subside as supply chains reopened and readjusted.

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On my Interlinks podcast series, I recently interviewed two of my colleagues from the Supply Chain Special Interest Group at the Society for the Advancement of Consulting (SAC), Lisa Anderson of LMA Consulting in the Los Angeles Metro Area and Dr. Karen Y. Wilson-Starks of Transleadership Inc. in Colorado Springs. In our discussion, we explored some of the challenges that organisations are facing at the current time in a post-COVID world characterised by ongoing disruptions and challenges at home and abroad.

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What is really going on out there in the world of supply chain right now? Unless you have a plausible answer to that question as regards the competitive environment that your business operates in and what are the key points of advantage and leverage that your business possesses, you cannot possibly have a cogent strategy for your business.

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Nobody is without imperfection, we all have our strengths, weaknesses, and blind spots, whether we are aware of them or not. The way to compensate for our weaknesses and blind spots is a combination of being open-minded to the fact that they might be there, working with other people who are stronger where we are weaker, and counting on the counsel of others who have a track record in achieving those things that we wish to achieve, but cannot, because we are stuck in one of our blind spots.

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Are you protecting your trade secrets effectively? Many larger corporations are very conscious of the existence and value of their trade secrets and have very comprehensive regimes, processes, and systems in place to protect them and to maintain confidentiality. Probably the most well-known examples would be the multinational soft drinks companies who are renowned for their very elaborate and effective protections of the ingredient formulas for their products.

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On my Interlinks podcast show I always ask my interviewees, who include businesspeople, entrepreneurs, academics, and diplomats from all over the world, where they think we are headed with the process of globalisation. The most common answer I get is that globalisation is here to stay and is a process that, while it may change, it will not stop.

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In times past, major warehouse automation projects were largely the domain of big corporations. In the 1990s and early 2000s, the perception was that these projects were expensive and risky, required lots of technical expertise to operate and maintain, and introduced a high degree of inflexibility into operations. Additionally, they generally required large scale, preferably 24/7 operations for payback and return on investment to stand up. In an era of plentiful, and relatively affordable labour combined with low inflation, that was justifiably the case.

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It is true, left untended, things do tend to fall apart. It’s the law of the universe. I learned this at college in engineering as The Second Law of Thermodynamics and the phenomenon is known as Entropy, that is, the natural tendency towards disorder and chaos. This explains why hot cups of coffee go cold, cut flowers wilt, and why the paint peels off your garden fence.

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One of the best books on business strategy that I have ever read is Good Strategy, Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters by Richard Rumelt, Professor Emeritus at UCLA Anderson. In the book, Rumelt states “Strategy is a cohesive response to an important challenge”.

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Strategy should be a tool that you use to guide your decision-making every day, in every meeting, workshop and review. Let me show you how.

In manufacturing, distribution and logistics services, strategy should be a tool that you use every day as a manager, executive or business owner – a living, organic and pragmatic tool – not an abstract concept or an idealistic aspiration written down in an unread folder on a shelf. It should be present in every decision, meeting, review and workshop that you and your team conduct.

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