Tag Archive: simplification

The Value of Simplification

November 24th, 2014

supply chain

I just left an executive SIOP (sales, inventory & operations planning) meeting with a client. We are rejuvenating the process to gain alignment and to spur a rapid improvement in on-time delivery (which will be followed by a reduction in lead times). I’ve been working with quite a few of these types of projects lately, and they have reminded me of how easy it becomes to get caught up in non-essential detail. Since SIOP process relies on data, the natural tendency is to dig further into data and think up all sorts of interesting ways to look at information; however, what I’ve seen “work” is simplifying with a relentless focus on the critical success factors.

For example, if the data shows we have 50% excess capacity for a particular work center, it doesn’t matter whether it is 40% or 60% or if the numbers were calculated before or after an accounting adjustment. The point is that 50% is a significant, directionally correct number. Put together plans to leverage this new finding. Thus, in this example, perhaps you could re-allocate crews from this work center to a different overloaded work center if you provide training during the transition.

One tip to implement this week: I find that the vast majority of my clients get hung up in finding the “perfect solution”, in analyzing “one more” set of data and the like. On Monday, take a step back to think about your top 3 priorities. Then, re-evaluate the metrics being tracked and your performance to the metrics. Ask someone intimately involved in the day-to-day process for their thoughts on the topic. Simplify: decide what is relevant, stop focusing on the non-essential (which can be a significant portion of our day) and move forward. Progress and results will accelerate!

Looking for more ideas to keep your supply chain talent? Access more tips and resources on my blog. And keep connected by subscribing to my newsletter and email feed of “I’ve Been Thinking…”