Daily Archives: June 22, 2007

Avoiding Supply Chain Disasters

Last year, Supply Chain Digest documented The 11 Greatest Supply Chain Disasters of all time which contained a number of lessons on what not to do if you want a successful supply chain. Since it’s probably been a while since you scanned it, now would be a good time for a brief review. The lessons therein are valuable.

  • Don’t rely on unproven / untested technology or aggressive automation.

    The rate of technological advancement these days is rapid, but that’s not a guarantee the systems will be ready when you need them.

    (Foxmeyer, GM, WebVan, Adidas, Denver Airport)

  • Don’t upgrade all your core systems at once.

    Integration is usually more involved and time consuming than you think. The big-bang approach doesn’t work.
    (Foxmeyer, Hershey, Nike)

  • Don’t overestimate your capabilities.
    A sure way to lose customers is to over-promise and under-deliver – especially if the short-fall is significant.
    (Toys R Us.com)
  • Don’t forget the basics of good demand planning!
    Forecast, read signals, and repeat.
    (Cisco, Apple)
  • Don’t sacrifice quality for perceived lower costs.
    Lower costs don’t always exist, especially if your costs are low and quality best-in-class, relatively speaking.
    (Aris Isotoner)
  • Don’t count on an unlimited budget.
    Capital is always limited.