Because, as this recent article in Supply Chain Brain on how Market Intelligence Helps You Avoid Embarrassing Questions About Your Supply Chain, your competitor could purchase a stake in your key supplier and cut off supply on a moment’s notice (if your contract is on the supplier’s paper and allows for termination on significant change in control) and you wouldn’t know until supply stopped.
That’s why you need to be continually monitoring the market so that you’ll know:
- when a supplier is in financial distress and looking for an investor,
- when supply is limited due to spikes in demand or raw material shortages, and
- when opportunities arise to acquire new sources of supply.
And when you need to bring counter-intelligence strategies into play. So check out how Market Intelligence Helps You Avoid Embarrassing Questions About Your Supply Chain. It will be worth your time.
Nor can you solve a problem that won’t admit exists. Industry Week recently ran a great article on Surfacing Problems Daily that pointed out a harsh reality: the culture of many organizations dictates that they only face problems that they know how to address.
But if you only face problems you know how to solve, the problems you don’t know how to solve grow and fester … until, someday, they paralyze you. But it doesn’t have to be the case. You can recognize the problem as soon as it becomes apparent. Even if you can’t solve the problem right away, the sooner you begin to address it, the sooner you are likely to come up with a solution.
So what can you do to improve? According to the article, you can:
- Assess the Current Condition
and make sure you know what to do when you see a problem.
- Develop a Mechanism
to insure that the problem is properly recorded and tracked.
- Establish Non-Monetary Incentives to Surface Problems
to insure that they are identified and recorded.
- Define How Leaders Should Respond
since workers will not surface, track, or even acknowkledge problems if the leaders don’t support the initiative.
And make sure that you understand the nature of problems … as old ones get solved, new ones surface. It’s a never ending cycle.