October 5, 2015

I am in Las Vegas for APICS 2015, and I went to see LOVE (the Beatles Cirque du Soleil) this evening. The show had amazing sets, color, songs, acrobats and much more. Much of the show had as much color as this Beatles-inspired picture below.

My favorite scene included lobsters and jellyfish under the sea. Quite amazing! To put on a show of this caliber and complexity, the supply chain has to be robust. What would go into the end-to-end supply chain to design, produce and maintain the costumes, sets, video, etc.? If you think of even the easiest of supply chains, there is more complexity than we realize.

One tip to implement this week:
Think about one of your products or materials. What does your supply chain look like? Start with one aspect such a the person before you in the supply chain. For example, if you make desks, what materials go into the desks? How many variations are there? Where is that material sourced from? What is required to get the material from wherever it is produced to your facility? Who does that supplier get material from? And so on.

Your end-to-end supply chain can contain countless links. How well do you understand your supply chain? Are you prepared for volatility and disruption? Those who fully understand and collaborate with their supply chain will be more resilient – and successful in the long term. Start by just digging into one piece of your supply chain and expand from there.