Author Archives: thedoctor

iZombie: A Prelude Part I

8:00 am – You arrive in the office and head straight for the coffee station.

8:02 am – You pour a coffee and head for your deck

8:06 am – You scan your e-mail … 30+ from suppliers, probably all complaints … 20+ from project stakeholders, probably all demanding results without providing any additional information … half a dozen or more from executives asking for update … at least one from your boss and …

8:11 am – Your boss charges in demanding the historical spend report for the sourcing event that’s about to start

It’s in the system, but the system didn’t automatically e-mail it on schedule due to a failed update to of the SSL certificate, but it’s three levels down and requires the application of custom filters which, apparently, only you can find

8:21 am – You’ve finished re-running the report and exporting it in PDF and Excel formats with all the raw data and e-mailing (yes, e-mailing) it to your boss

8:22 am – Back to the e-mail queue … you’re about to open the first one from your boss, just to make sure the report will satisfy her for now and …

8:23 am – Your strategic supplier for a key widget calls … you recognize the number … you have to pick up … they are screaming that their invoice, due 30 days ago, still hasn’t been paid and AP won’t give them any answers … you promise to look into it and get back to them within an hour just so you can put the phone down

9:21 am – You call the supplier back and explain you spent the last hour tracking down the issue. AP refused to talk to you because the head of Finance marked the invoice “Do Not Pay” because Engineering refused part of the shipment and said not to pay until the shipment was replaced. The replacement shipment came with a separate invoice, and although it had the same invoice ID, that was miskeyed to a separate invoice — so AP had no clue the shipment was replaced and Engineering never cleared the issue. But the invoice has been deleted, an accepted shipment been rekeyed to the original, and it’s now in the payment stream to be paid on the next processing date in 5 business days with your boss’s approval. (And she is not happy that you interrupted twice in an hour with the management meetings coming up and her not prepared.)

9:22 am – Back to e-mail. The first e-mail you check was from your boss indicating she needed the spend report first thing this a.m. and the second email indicates she needs a progress report on all of your active sourcing projects by noon. Sh!t!

12:15 pm – You finish that progress report, which first required constructing an updated historical spend summary of the historical spend summary across half a dozen key projects to verify the savings projections against the most up to date spend and current market projections; then required running the metric reports to show that 7 of the 11 projects are on time; then it required that you dig into the final 4 projects and call half a dozen stake holders to find out what the delays were; and then summarize the status, and reasons for, of the final four by hand, compile all the information, and hand craft the one page executive summary that is the only thing all of the C-Suite, will read. (However, the CFO’s underling will spot check 25% of your work, and you don’t know what. So all you can be confident of is that two of the last three hours were wasted.)

You have a team meeting on the new cog project at one, so you decide to duck out to the Taco Truck for a quick bite and some fresh air before the usual screaming match between marketing and manufacturing erupts …

One Hundred and Thirty Five Years Ago Today

The (in)famous Orient Express made its first run, and luxury train travel became a regular thing in an age where travelling of any kind was rough and dangerous. And Parisians could reach the orient in a little over a week!

(The journey is so iconic that even though the Orient Express ceased to operate almost a year ago, The Society of International Railway Travellers still holds an annual, weeklong, luxury rail voyage on the original route on the Venice-Simpion-Orient-Express. The next trip is August 23 to August 28, 2019 and you can book a double cabin for a mere £7,600.)

This was a historic day as supply chains rely on people, who need to be able to move around the world, and this took us a leap forward in accepted train travel.