When You Least Expect It

Sometimes you find supply chain-logistics issues where least expect it.  Back in 2009, a documentary film entitled “The September Issue” was released. It told the story of putting together the 2007 September issue of Vogue which is one of the leading indicators of fashion. Right near the beginning of the movie in Paris, the editor of Vogue, Anna Wintour meets with Burton Tansky, the then CEO of Neiman Marcus.

And what does one of the leading fashion retailers talk about with the leading editor of the leading fashion magazine in the film? That demand is high, fashion is getting late to the stores, and could she talk to the fashion industry about this issue? Anna Wintour mumbled something about making fashion less complicated. The subject never came up again in the movie.  The movie’s presentation of Anna Wintour is highly focused individual who ignores anything that those not have a high priority with her. Supply Chain definitely was not her focus.

But it needed to be for a retailer like Neiman Marcus. Yes, in 2007 a lot of the super supply chain software was not yet out there or in early development stages. Numbers tell the present story but do not have the ability on their own to make things better . That is where management skills and adding value with your employment to the organization comes in. It was a wise decision by the Neiman Marys CEO to start asking these questions to improve the supply chain which would lead to increase store sales. And like any journey, there will be some dead ends but that should not stop the search for a better process.

Knowing what we know now, 2008-2010 were years recovering from a world wide recession. So any supply chain process change for the peak of 2007 was would also need to deal with the valley to follow.  So the peak may create the birth of energy to seek process change when things are not working out. But remember, the process change must all deal with down times, also






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