If you are a consultant, be prepared to be caste in an unfavorable light. Not by me or this blog, but by this presentation. Compiled by industry masters (tongue in cheek), you just know this is making the rounds at your company and/or potential clients. Here is the link to the slide share presentation, followed by my rather rude & coarse assessment of the effort. I am an optimist by nature, but there isn’t a pony to be found anywhere.
I patiently went through the presentation. I found the statistics, if accurate, to be intriguing. The graphics were nice and I’m sure the trends identified were well considered. Every other conclusion of the presentation was pure blather.
As an example, notice that India, SouthEast Asia nor Mexico barely mentioned ‘sustainability’. Africa and South America didn’t even seem to participate in the study. But every other ‘western’ nation was just gnashing its teeth and wrenching its garments about ‘sustainability’. Think this might display a bit of bias? Approximately 19% of the worlds population thinks sustainability is important while the other 71% weren’t either asked/included or are more worried about surviving.
With all of the trends and statistics that the study seems to present the 4 main Industry objectives concluded for the 2020 Future Value Chain?
1) Sustainability (marketing)
2) Shared Supply Chains by Competitors (used for marketing since it promotes sustainability)
3) Better Marketing to the affluent/technology consumer (at least they were honest on this one)
4) Health and Well Being of the affluent LOHAS consumer (and oh yeah, food safety for developing
nations – complete side note)
This is sad. These companies have the budget and influence to actually do good for this world and their customers. Instead they set up 4 objectives that are the ‘fuzziest’ targets in the world. These targets are difficult to achieve and a positive return almost impossible. Any value achieved will be swamped because invariably you need high priced outside consultants to understand what to pursue. Plain and simple they are promoting bull-shit.
They didn’t talk about anything that a company could do to improve their Supply Chain. 30 pages of blather and then one simple slide (#31) that suggests they apply the incomprehensible bull-shit of the preceding 29 pages to their own company. Slides 18 – 21 at least offer a glimpse into the real world of the Supply Chain. Then you go through the case studies and you see examples of improving productivity, accuracy, visibility and quality. This is stuff that the Supply Chain already does and has been doing for decades. Except now it is Sustainability, Shared Supply Chains, Marketing and Marketing…which is all just marketing and annoying to observe.
We have all been around the block long enough to know bull-shit when we see it. Business is about revenue, profit and growth. To achieve those goals requires that you deliver value to your customer. Innovation in a business should not be muddled down in platitudes and pretty pictures. These three industry giants obfuscate the reality of the Supply Chain. They begin to sound like Politicians and jade the perspective of their customers; either by swaying the executive suite with their business cards and brand names or by casting a pall of vapidity on all outside experts. I know many consultants will be offended by the suggestions offered in this study toward how to address the Supply Chain of the Future.
Sorry to be so passionate and opinionated…but these fools get my goat. As a Customer, your reaction is going to be one of two things to the aforementioned presentation. Either you are going to recognize it as a pile of poop or you are going to start digging into the pile convinced there must be a pony buried in there somewhere since the pile is so large.
Regarding the Supply Chain of the Future, business needs to hear 2 things:
1) Make the product as close to the consumer as you can:
Domestic production equivalent to the consumption of that nation’s consumers
By product is a ‘green’ world, employed consumer to actually buy the products, real dollar savings in products, agility to fluctuating demand, shortened lead time, improved product lifecycle and innovation.
2) Collaborate with Vendors, Employees and Customers:
- Use the subject matter experts in your company as well as those of your Vendors and Customers to review the 64 transactions that drive your collective ‘supply chain’. Identify joint & individual opportunity for productivity, accuracy and visibility improvements so that process differentiation v. product differentiation can be achieved as the world flattens
- By product increased revenue, increased margin, rapid/proven innovation, reduced risk, reduced costs, reduced disruption and less time wasted listening to stupid, broad stroke PowerPoint from consultants that want to politely rob you of your money for nothing in