By thinking and viewing numbers holistically, I mean numbers need to looked at the context of their environment. I ran across a fun example of what I mean by this on Youtube in non-logistics, non-supply chain example, but I will connect it in a moment to logistics and the supply chain.
The video is a TED talk video by Amy Webb. She decided to use numbers to find the best husband for her needs as she wanted to get married. The video is here:
So she developed 72 variables for the ideal mate, weighed them, searched the database and found the winner. She contacted him, and all she got was silence. She found out that she forgot to figure out what the market wants. It is sort like optimizing for the best transportation cost in a Transportation Management System (TMS) or optimizing your warehouse to best cost with Warehouse Management System (WMS), but forgetting about what the customer needs and wants.
Your KPI’s and use of data can not be an end to itself. It is part of process of meeting the demands of your market. For example, if customer needs fast replenishment you may need to invest in additional storage space near the market though it is cheaper to centralize inventory. Data needs to be used in the context of the overall good of the organization not just for a benefit of a silo.
Amy Webb learned from her error, which something that is important. She next did a data survey of what attracts men to answer ads, which can be summarized as offering as energy and confidence. She revised her profile, and soon start to get responds from men she was interested in. She did find a mate.
Using numbers holistically can win you customers and help keep the customers you did have.