Category Archives: Top Three

The Top Three XII: Summary

Even though the analysts (Aberdeen and AMR) and vendors (Andy Monin and Greg Holt) are still recovering from ISM and other conferences, Tim Minahan and Vinnie Mirchandani are still globe-trotting, and Jason Busch is still catching up on ISM posts, I’m going to do an initial wrap-up. When more posts hit, I’ll update this post and add a comment.

So far, we’ve had the following great posts:

Author Post
Michael Lamoureux Culture, Complexity, and Visibility
Lisa Reisman Global Sourcing Savings Maximization, Volatile Commodities Management, and Savings Implementation
John Miller Slow is the New Fast, The 90-mile Rule, DIYS
Kevin Brooks Listen to Your Audience, Repeat Repeat Repeat, Keep it Simple
Doug Smock World Class Metrics, Cross-Functional Collaboration, and Value Engineering
Dave Stephens Cost, Complexity, and Compartmentalization
David Bush Adoption, Adoption, Adoption
Jean-Philippe Massin Live Spend Analysis, Best-in-Class Suppliers, and Change and Culture Management
Chris Jacob Abraham Forward: SCM 2.0

Supply Chain Talent

Closed Loop Supply Chain Management and Supply Chain Collaboration

Eric Hiller Design for … What?
Doug Hudgeon Dale Earnhardt
Charles Dominick Measurement, Benchmarking, and Skills
Randy Littleson Strategy, Strategy, and People
Haydn Jones Sustainability, Sustainability, Sustainability

Even though it looks like the posts are all over the map, one starts to see a common theme emerge – a three C’s theme in fact, even though not the three C’s proposed by Dave Stephens. The three C’s I see emerging are: Culture, Complexity, and Collaboration. Supply chains are global – they embrace all cultures, exist at various levels of complexity, and require a great deal of collaboration to pull off – especially if one wants to do it efficiently and cost-effectively. Not to say that all of the other points made aren’t valid – they are – but it seems that these three C’s will be center of tomorrow’s supply chain and any supply chain management 2.0 solution must address, and improve the handling of, these three C’s.

The Top Three XI: Dale Earnhardt

Today I’m thrilled to bring you a guest post from The Blogging Thunder From Down Under. It’s been a while since the MacQuarie Bank let him out of the vault, so I hope you enjoy Doug Hudgeon’s guest post – as it might be a while before they let him out of the vault again.

Aaah, the number three. Is there another number so pregnant with

metaphor and meaning? Tripartite systems have been in vogue for

centuries with everyone from Euclid (triangle) to the Christian God

(Trinity) to Adam Smith (Rents, Wages and Stock Profits) speaking in

threes. Given our apparently innate tendency towards triposis, Michael

has chosen wisely his topic of the Top 3.

I associate “Top 3” with Dale Earnhardt, who dominated the NASCAR

speedways driving car number 3 – he was undoubtedly, the Top 3 of his

era. And from there, I am reminded of a terrific article by David

Ronfeldt, “Social Science at 190 MPH on NASCARs Biggest Speedways“.

The article discusses the conditions under which competitors cooperate

on the NASCAR circuit (cars drafting in a line travel faster) and the

conditions under which they compete (a driver can ‘defect’ from the

car in front by pulling aside from the lead car’s bumper thus trapping

the lead car outside the drafting line causing the car to lose as many

places as there are cars in the line; whilst running the risk that the

third car may follow the first thus leaving the ‘defector’ hung out to


The article concludes that the best strategy is tit-for-tat,

cooperating with those who cooperate with you and punishing those who

leave you hung out to dry. This allows you to develop allegiances with

‘friends’ and discourages your friends from defecting. The drivers

viewed as most capable of leading others to the front will develop the

most friends – success breeds success.

There’s lessons in this for all of us.

The Top Three X: It Keeps Going and Going

Chris Jacob Abraham of @ Supply Chain Management posted his forward piece on Supply Chain Management 2.0 in anticipation of his pieces on the top three issues in Supply Chain Management and gave us his first post on supply chain talent.

Randy Littleson of Kinaxis on Response Management posted his piece on strategy, strategy, and people.

Eric Hiller of Cost Cents offered his initial post on Design for … What?.

But more importantly, a number of bloggers still haven’t entered the fray. Between non-stop travel (Vinnie Mirchandani), London Lag (Tim Minahan), SAPPHIRE fixation (Jason Busch), last minute assignment (Greg Holt, since Paul finally managed to sneak away for a short vacation), analyst schedules (surprise guest bloggers from Aberdeen and AMR), a burning need to do multiple posts (Chris Jacob Abraham and Eric Hiller), and the desire to build up anticipation (one or more surprise guest bloggers), the fray is destined to continue for another week. ( Of course, they might just be waiting for your adoration, in which case a comment on their blogs indicating how much you value their opinion and how great their last post was could speed things up. )

The Top Three IX: The Blogsphere Heats Up!

More posts hit the blogsphere yesterday. David Bush of eSourcing Forum posted his contribution on Adoption, Adoption, Adoption and Jean-Philippe Massin of Strategic Sourcing Europe posted his entry on Enabling Live Spend-Analysis, Sourcing Best-in-Class Supplier, and Managing Change and Cultures.

And now that the week is half over, I expect a few other bloggers may finally get around to posting their Top Three as well.

The Top Three VIII: The Bloggers Enter the Fray

Dave Stephens was the first of the well-known sourcing samurai to enter the ring this week with his post The Three C’s – Cost, Complexity, and Compartmentalization. Makes one even more anxious to see what the other regulars, or should I say irregulars, of the sourcing space have to offer. Guess I’ll have to wait until tomorrow, when David Bush’s post is scheduled to go live on eSourcing Forum. And now that the European leg of Procuri’s Supply Management 2.0 Forum is over, you can be sure Tim “Mr. Perfect” Minahan’s post will not be far behind!

Also, Haydn Jones’, of A.T. Kearney Limited, will be blogging his post Sustainability, Sustainability, Sustainability over on the European Leaders in Procurement Blog shortly. And Chris Jacob Abraham of @ Supply Chain Management let us know that his post is forthcoming shortly as well!