The Dirty Dozen (A 101 Damnations Preamble)

No, we are not referring to the 1967 Robert Aldrich war film based on E.M. Nathanson’s 1965 novel about 12 prisoners who are recruited for an attack on a chateau on the night before the D-Day invasion of June 6, but instead the 12 types of damnations that plague you and your Procurement organization on a daily basis.

As we indicated in yesterday’s post, there are dozens upon dozens of challenges being thrown at us on a daily basis. And whether or not they are hurled at us with malicious intent is irrelevant — they still cause us nothing but grief and agony and divert our attention away from strategic planning, (should-cost) modelling, and supply assurance.

In fact, as our upcoming series will unveil, there are (at least) 101 damnations that we have to contend with on a daily basis. And that’s too many to address without some sort of framework. That’s why we have the dirty dozen — the 12 factions of risk, stress, and, in some cases, even malice that attempt to thwart us at every turn and hasten our decline from the order we create with our awards and partnerships into the chaos that, in the end, brings about the downfall of every organization.
Need we remind you that three of the most profitable companies ever, adjusted for inflation, were the Dutch East India Company, the South Sea Company, and the Mississippi Company (which were worth approximately 7.4 Trillion, 4 Trillion, and 6 Trillion in 2012 dollars) are now defunct? Like the Microsoft, Apple, and Exxon-Mobil’s of today, they were worth more than many countries, but corruption, uncontrolled speculation, and the bursting of a real-estate bubble brought each of these companies to ruin.

In the series that follows we will address each of the primary damnations in each of these categories. However, before we begin, will define each of these categories so that you may get a glimpse of the terror within.

  • Economic
    Everything the economy can throw at you from fiscal crisis to currency shocks to employment swings and the shocks they bring to your supply chain.
  • Infrastructural
    Planes, Trains, and Automobiles; the tracks and roads they travel on; and the services (water, energy, waste, etc.) infrastructure we all rely on.
  • Environmental
    Resource shortages, waste and pollution, and the fury of mother earth.
  • Geopolitical
    Governmental spats, global treaties and embargoes, and political unrest.
  • Regulatory
    Taxes, trade requirements, material bans, and labeling requirements.
  • Societal
    Crime, piracy, fraud, corruption, education, talent, worker’s right, unionization and the whims of the masses.
  • Technological
    Production technology, cyberspace, 3-D printing, robotics, IP & patents, and quantum leaps.
  • Influential
    Analysts, pundits, consortiums, and conferences. Where does the pied piper lead the rats?
  • Organizational
    Engineering, Marketing, Sales, Legal, and every other department (that might be out to get you).

  • Authoritative
    Shareholders, the Board, and your activist investors.
  • Providers
    Suppliers, carriers, BPOs/GPOs, and everyone else who can pull the supply chain rug from under your feet.
  • Consumers
    Governments, corporations, end consumers and the dollars you depend on.