Aug 17

Supply Chain-Making AI Transparent

There has been a lot written on AI. It is a software that learns from previous iterations and searching the web, maybe both internally and externally. There are many opportunities to use this software in the supply chain and it will undoubtedly be beneficial.

But there will be times the incorrect or sub-optimal solutions will happen. There seems to be a word this type of issues, “hallucinations.”

My experience with supply chain software is it always had it biases. I discovered what those biases is through using the software. These biases are more pronounced when there is an unanticipated change in the market.

Right now, AI is mostly a black box. How does it make decisions?

Would it be useful to have the software be transparent on how it made the calls or decisions on a given topic? The chosen response by the AI software may have one piece of information heavier than another piece of information. For example, if recommended storing product X at a further warehouse, why did the software make that recommendation.

Software sellers love to sell the magical black box, a software that is always gives the best outcome. To make your best business decisions, there needs to be some transparency in the software recommendations came about.

Like good robotics, the best products enhance the employees of the company to be more efficient and increase productivity and safety. The organization and its employees really cannot do the best job if they do not understand what the software is telling them to do.

Posted in Logistics Software, Supply Chain Software, Transparent software, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
May 17

ChatGPT, AI and the Supply Chain

I am sure leaders of organizational supply chains just let out a sigh as yet a new wave of Logistics/Supply Chain software is coming down the pike. The main brand is known as ChatGPT, and will have other names as well as from other suppliers. I am going to call it DMT for Data Management Tool. I am going to recommend supply chain leaders look at this tool on two different levels. One for smaller applications and one for larger application

Supply Chain departments are typically organized with top people and lower-level people who has a primary responsibility of assembling data for organization understanding of what is going on and initiatives. Additionally, the lower-level people typically also handled day to day supply chain issues and are the main communication leak to others inside and outside the organization, particularly lower levels.

A smaller application DMT will make these lower level people more efficient as it minds basic data internally to the organization and externally on the web. Will these lower levels positions become unnecessary with DMT? No, because, providing context to the information, both from internal and external perspective, will still be needed. If data leads to process changes, change management will be needed and the lower level positions will need to carry this out. Supply chain processes ultimately are people management position.

This small application DMT should not be outlandishly expensive. You can some these tools for free on the web, but I believe a system working primarily on company databases and focused web sites, is worth a relatively inexpensive expense.

There are some large organizations with highly complex software and data needs. DMT, as an add on software, may have significant benefits which will make a higher cost worthwhile to spend. A large organization such as Kroger, will have different and more complex needs and software than successful mid-size firm let’s call it Joe’s Manufacturer. Both of them will benefit from a low cost DMT but Kroger would probably benefit from the larger application.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

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Jan 22

My 50 Year Supply Chain Career

By Julian Blumenthal

To help digest my nearly 50-year career in Transportation/Logistics/Supply Chain, it will be easier if I break it down into topics: 30,000 Feet View, Basic Job Details, Education, Technology, and I will end about the most important few months in the middle of my career, which I will entitle The Valley.

30,000 Feet View

In 1973, terms used to describe this field were transportation and physical distribution. It was a cost center. In 2023, the words used to describe the field is supply chain. Done correctly, it can significantly increase the success, marketing and sustainability of the organization. The Supply Chain field developed a lot of intellectual energy. as it became apparent there were tremendous opportunities to enhance the field. The period saw deregulation of transportation industry. After 9-11-2001, security became a major part of processes. Toyota and Wal-Mart were the early drivers of change in the field. Later part of my career, Amazon and global trade became important drivers of change.

Basic Job Details

There were just 3 employers in my 50-year work history. I will list them then briefly here with more details below. I worked at Eastern Express from 1973 to 1976, Morton Salt from 1978 to 2010, and Signode summer 2015 and June 2016 to the end of December 2022.

Eastern Express was an LTL truck line serving the East and Midwest. My Professors at Indiana University got me this job by recommending me. I was a management trainee in their Terre Haute, IN headquarters, a dispatcher at the Philadelphia, PA terminal. and lastly an assistant customer service manager back in Terre Haute. Most interesting job fuel analysis during the fuel cut off crisis of the 1970’s when fuel was rationed. When I was transferred to Philadelphia for my only midnight shift work in my career, the first thing the terminal manager said to me was I needed to change my name. That job did not work out. In 1976 there was layoff in April which included me. By then, the company which had been family oriented was sold to new owners. The new owner management was not successful as within 3 years the company was bankrupt and ceased to exist. Contributing to this, the company did not a good handle of its operating costs.

Morton Salt was the best-known salt company in America. It is reputable company with many good people as long-term employees. I was hired in part because the new manager of the department so antagonized the work force, they all quit. That manager was fired before I started. For most part in the 31 years, my realistic title was transportation analyst. There was a brief period I was manager of the department which did not work out (see The Valley portion at the end of this essay.) My best move at Morton Salt was to volunteer for the all the jobs nobody else wanted such, DOT safety coordinator of the small private truck fleet, which I managed the equipment issues also. Nobody wanted to do international freight, so I volunteered for that too. After 9-11, it led me to be the transportation security coordinator for both domestic and international shipments. In 2009, a new director of the department was hired who was not comfortable with my proactive style and I started to get bad reviews (after years of good reviews). I knew that I needed to move on, so I resigned in 2010. I do have fond memories of many special people I worked with at Morton Salt.

Between 2010 and 2015 I was in job search and here again, I meant with many people who were really talented and good people. I was interviewed by various televisions networks including a Chinese tv network about my job search. Again, I volunteered to do these, when others did not want to.

In the summer of 2015, three people in the Procurement department of Signode which handled transportation for the firm, simultaneously went on long term sick leave (all with different issues). Because one of the missing persons was head of department, a person from accounting was temporarily placed in that position. He used to work for Morton Salt and knew me, and 15 minutes into the job interview, I was offered the temporary part time position. They needed somebody who would be proactive in dealing with issues. Signode had been sold by previous owner, Illinois Tool Works, (ITW) which had a decentralized management philosophy. So, with the loss of personnel and the imperative to manage the company, there was quite a bit of work just figuring out what was going on. Between my boss and I, we begun to build a structure to manage the transportation end of the supply chain.

My work ended when people started to come back from sick leave in September 2015. But I was so thrilled to be allowed to be creative and proactive, I sent the Vice President a thank you note for hiring me. As the plan to organize the department became clearer, the company needed somebody who could be a change agent and even though I was in my sixties in age at that time, I was open to change and knew how it could be done. I restarted working for Signode in June of 2016 as a part-time employee and that job lasted to until the end of 2022.

The two major things I did were: be main field contact for work needing or being orchestrated by the corporate office and second, overview a third-party firm which did the company dispatching and freight bill payments. My management philosophy of empowering people the freedom to do their job, allow the third-party employees people to grow into their job, learn the people and issues and perform well for Signode. In due course, it was time for me to leave as the company had transferred its operations from Glenview, IL to Tampa, FL. The company was most generous spending money to allow me to train my replacement, my last three weeks on the job. Signode is a quality company with integrity and good values, and I will miss the many quality people inside and outside the company I dealt with


I majored in Transportation at Indiana University from 1969 to 1973. At the time it was series of courses primarily on government regulation of transportation modes. That regulation ended at the end of 1970’s and beginning of the 1980’s. I gained a MBA majoring in Logistics at Penn State from 1976-9178. More advanced than my Indiana courses, it was time wise before a lot of the new stuff on logistics/supply chain became common knowledge. In the early 1980’s, I took a course that allowed me to practice law before the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC). While I was a witness in some regulatory hearings, I never practiced. In 1995 the ICC was replaced by the Surface Transportation Board. In 1986, I took a personal computer course on the top business software at the time, soon all to mostly replaced by Microsoft Office. I did gain important knowledge about the software process on computers.

So was my education a waste, as it was focused on items that would soon be completely outdated? No, it gave concepts and ways to think about supply chain issues which lasted throughout my 50-year career. I made it a point to read industry magazines and belong to a couple of professional groups that allowed me to keep current in the field.

The one major miss I see in the educational process is training its students on change management. I find that throughout all business courses. Change is just the nature of the business game these days.


At Eastern Express, while there was a main frame computer during my stay there, it was mostly used fro accounting issues. We kept track of trucks, by moving paper on clips from one hole on the dispatch board to another. At Morton Salt I started with the telephone being the only technology on my desk. Personal computers on my desk did not show up until the late 1980’s although we did have access to the main frame computer by the early 1980’s. At Signode, I started using email and ended Microsoft Teams as my main technology from my laptop.

Every organization I worked for knew there was attractive cost benefitable software out there. Except for Eastern Express, the organizations were profitable, but it was always a question where to put their capital dollars. So top management had to balance all the needs of the firm with limited dollars to spend. There were times when Supply Chain received does dollars and times when it did not.

There is lot of interesting and useful software coming out. Just remember, it is all programmed by humans, who have limited capabilities to forecast the future. The best software enhances the human worker efficient and operational success. I can foresee trucking terminals using automated, driverless trucks to move trailers in the yard. However, a firm lose a lot of flexibility and marketing capability if you replace local drivers by machines. People and technology will need to be balanced.

The Valley

I write this hoping someone will learn from this. A valley features a drop off on one side and a rise on the other. In 1993 I was manager of the truck transport section of Morton Salt. Managment was justifiably not satisfied with my performance. They were correctly felt I was not getting the good performance needed by others in the department. One day, I found out I was demoted. Since my work was my life, I was so upset I could not sleep for months thereafter. Please, never make the mental destination of your life a place of misery for a job setback. I got very sick. At that point, several good things happened. I said being sick was nuts. I knew I would shorten my life greatly if this continued. Unbeknownst to me, my brain, had been recording memories of good people doing good things. I discovered I could value myself by doing good things for people and importantly, respecting others. I realized in my past; I had let the people put me down and I internalized their comments. For me to be success, I needed to avoid that and be a positive person in other people’s lives. I brought that to my management style. So, I what I thought was the worst day of my life, was really an unparcelled opportunity to led to a better self. Job setbacks will occur, learn from them, and use that as opportunity to enhance your life and career. Don’t let job setbacks dominate your life.

Final Words

If you have this read this far, I hope this story led to some good career thinking. I am so fortunate and grateful to have the career I had. Supply Chain is constant change and reinvention. It requires not only operation skills but people skills, because it is not software or machines driving it, but it is proactive people. I wish you all a constructive future in your career.

Posted in Learning from failure, Logistics, Logistics IT Security, Management, Process Management, Supply Chain, Supply Chain / Logistics career, Supply Chain Education, Sustainability, Transportation, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Jan 12

Supply Chain the Importance of Others

Supply Chain is team sport. On your team are not only your organization’s managers and operational employees, but also managers and employees of your customers, suppliers and 3rd party providers Just for fun, add constant change into the mix, that adds importance of everyone is in the mix.

It is strong passion of mine, to respect and empower everyone on the team.

Last week my essay was on the Supply Chain the Importance of You. Now add to this list the importance of everyone else. In this essay, I will go from the negative to positive as a way to working in this team environment.

The worst word in supply chain is the word “stupid”. If people are acting in a dysfunctional matter, making the supply chain more costly and dysfunctional, calling them lazy and stupid, while might give a moment of superiority, does not really get to the underlying causes of the problem. Most time when people are dysfunctional, it is because the process is also dysfunctional leading people to sub-optimize the process and sometimes worst. In working with others, a healthy curiosity on why they are doing what they are doing is a key to bringing about positive change to the situation or issue. My experience is that when you approach the issue from understanding and curiosity viewpoint, positive change can be accomplished.

In the real world, even obvious positive change sometimes runs into rigid roadblocks that prevent positive change. Because you cannot make change in one such situation, should not prevent one for changing the next one. Do not let one failure prevent you for having successes debugging situations in future issues.

“Change” is constant in supply chain. Processes which once work will need to be changed. To make change work two-way communication is always needed. In my career I saw many times top management imposing changes that field tried to ignore or sabotage because two-way communication was not done. Many times, no matter where you are the organization chart, you will need to instigate the communication. Communication to the field is why is this changed being proposed, and the return information needs to be heard and responded. Many times, relatively minor procedural changes can address these field issues. Sometimes these issues cannot be addressed. Nevertheless, if the communication is there, it is more likely the process change will go through.

Everybody on your supply chain team wants to be a success. One should always be concerned about one’s own success, but your success in the supply chain will also be dependent on how others perform and be successful. One needs to be aware of what makes others in the supply chain successful. To state the obvious, one can understand other people’s performance when you know what is driving their actions.

In some situation, delegating authority and empowering others in the supply chain will be a successful strategy. There is a little secret about delegating, that is not intuitively obvious. I did not figure out this until late in my career. Delegating is way to demand for the supply chain to perform better. It is way of being demanding “boss” in a positive way. Almost all of us have had a demanding boss who micromanaged everything you did. Nobody likes working in that stress filled environment. With active feedback and constructive comments empowering and delegating will work.

One of your jobs is to help your supervisors perform at a higher level. Your supervisor will appropriately ask you to meet organization goals and processes. Obviously, these have to be responded to for you to be successful in your job. Not so obvious, is your supervisor needs direction and information from you so she/he can be successful in their assignment. Communicating on the tasks and assignments the supervisor assigns you needs to be done. But the communication should not be limited by that. There will be issues, problems and opportunities you will see, which your supervisor might not that. By communicating these to your supervisor it increases that person’s success. Everybody benefits when others in the organization improve their processes.

It takes a great bit of operational and, people skill to make a supply chain work. By valuing people in your supply chain, both inside and outside the organization, it will make the job much easier to be successful in.

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Jan 06

Supply Chain the Importance of You

If you were working on AI (Artificial Intelligence) program in 2019, would you have programed, it for the Covid pandemic crisis. Of course, not, it was something which could not be visualized. Supply Chain is full of bumps, curves, panic events and surprises. Lucky you are there to deal with them. That is why the company or organization are investing in live people like yourself to handle the unexpected and yes, much of the expected too.

There is the blocking and tackling aspect of the job. There is the tactical and strategic aspect of the job. This will be discussed in my next essay entitled: Supply Chain the Importance of Others coming next week. But here I want to reenforce the importance of you. Let’s first look at the intangible presence you provide.

Just being in the job gives you presence, but its value is how you use. There arestatements of from top management about company ideals which should include integrity and safety as well as business objectives. The top people put out these ideals and business goals, but it is you that implements them. I had several experiences with a company where there was a significant turnover of personnel. As a holdover, I found I was informally teaching how the company operates, and reenforcing the ideals and goals of the company. The other holdovers did the same thing. Because of that with top management support, the companies were able to reasonably get through a potential rocky period. In short, you matter. Your actions are important. How you do actions is important.

Sustainability is a word uses to describe environmental and sometimes it is used to describe business continuation. Let’s look at this a personal level of you. Meeting the ideals and goals of the company is a way to keep yourself sustainable in a company.

There is another side to personal sustainability. If the company managers and company culture see you as a machine, continually abusing you with words, putting you down, and belittling you on a regular basis, you should move on. I certainly seen organizations where the best choice for your personal sustainability is to move on to a better place. I have seen lives destroyed and ended prematurely by the stress of a bad work situation. It is difficult to make career changes, but if you care about yourself, you will move away from those toxic situations.

Every person has the chance to contribute to the cultural and work life of the firm in positive way. Your actions are the organization’s culture. Supply chain by its nature is in the process of constant change effecting many in the organization. How the change is communicated and how feedback is heard is many times up to you. Remember you are both implementing and sometimes creating company current, even in activities which may seem mundane.

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Jun 14

Marketing and the Supply Chain

Supply chain professionals have had their hands full of issues since March 2020 when Covid hit full force. Supply chain has dealt with among other things: market and transportation variability, shortage of capacity in both transportation and warehousing, unexpectedly high-rate variability. and just for fun some spectacular cost increases. Just some of the major issues Supply Chain has dealt with.

But feel empathy for the Marketing and pricing people in your organization who have the conflicting priorities of increasing business for the firm while making an increasing profit. Supply Chain issues have thrown a number of curve balls to their work. Periodicals focusing on the supply chain have been focused on the supply chain issues but I am not seeing much written on how this is affecting the rest of the organization, besides busting the CEO and CFO budgets for the year. But the supply chain bumpy ride also needs to be viewed holistically. Here we will look at one aspect of this, the marketing process dealing with the supply chain.

Customers want stable and low-cost pricing. While Supply Chain is not the only thing making this impossible it is a major contributing component to making prices are not stable nor low.

Marketing and pricing personnel incentives are to grow the business and increase the margin. So what options are open to them in a chirpy environment. What maybe “right” for one set of suppliers and customers may not work in a different situation. Some options:

  1. Ignore the issue and hope for the best. Drawback: This does not help either the organization or its customers. Plus side: Way too easy to implement.
  2. Have variable pricing on every order to reflect the market. Drawback: Organizational complex and information being input may not be perfect. Plus side: Helps to preserve margins.
  3. Have set pricing but for short periods of time. Drawback: Will not perfectly reflect costs. Plus side: Organizationally simpler, preserves some margins and easier on the customer
  4. End providing supply chain services to the customer. See the next paragraph for detail. Drawback; The transportation and supply chain service may a selling point to the customer. Plus: Less variability in costs to worry about, helping to maintain margins

Maybe your “A” customers may have sophisticated supply chain capabilities and may be better cost wise to arrange their own freight. Maybe your B and C customers are not so capable dealing with the supply chain. There are situations where B and C customers contribute significant profit to the firm, and making easy and not to costly to buy from your organization may make marketing sense.

The role of the supply chain people here is to provide Marketing people with a realistic view of the supply chain landscape as its effects the organization and its customers. It is fair and useful, to ask what do their customers want from the organization to understand the market and maybe provide some productive thinking the Marketing people may appreciate.

Ultimately the supply chain’s role is to make the marketing area of the firm successful. Many times, asking the right questions may be the most efficient way to deal with issues.

Posted in Logistics, Management, Process Management, Supply Chain, Sustainability, Transportation, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment
Nov 15

Clouded Crystal Balls

Ask any person on the street about the supply chain and they are likely to say it is messed up. Was that hard in middle 2020 to see the strain the supply chain would have when Covid pandemic let up some? It is certainly obvious in retrospect, as seen from 2021. What are the lessons from this series of events?

Let’s look at why the future was so misty in 2020 and then look at the lessons that could be learned from this.

What was logistic and supply chain professionals looking at in later spring and early summer 2020. One word I think can characterize this period of time: survival. Business suddenly dropped 30% to near 100% for many organizations. To say this was a challenging time would be a gross understatement. To survive many organizations laid off or fired personnel. Then in 2021 found them unavailable to return when the market changed and they were needed.

It was hard for manufacturers or distributors to predict when demand would return. Even hard to know if their suppliers would be in production again and if so how much production.

Many of the elected government officials’ philosophy was that government had little or no role in planning the economy other providing some temporary financial help for businesses. Proactive thinking about the future was discouraged in many federal, state and local governments.

In retrospect, when the demand faucet was turned on, could the following been predicted?

  1. Port congestion would occur once the buying binge occurred, reflective of a simmering demand awaiting the moment to occur.
  2. Truck drivers were scarce and in short supply before Covid hit, and predictively it would be worst after business returned
  3. Warehouse workers would be in short supply once business started to return.
  4. Computer chip demand would skyrocket once production began in earnest.

So what can we learn from all this?

Always plan for the next market shift even when you are trying to deal with the current market. Now is the time to think about when supply starts getting larger than demand, even as you are planning to deal with the immediate problems.

Government leaders, academics and professional organizations need to start planning for next market shift also. I do not recall one Zoom program in middle 2020 asking about what happens when the market starts to return. Many people think of government as only rules and regulations and slowness. But government is also in a position to plan and coordinate industry leaders to work together. Imagine if government leaders hosted management-union meeting-draymen teams-railroad at the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach in the spring of 202 to plan for the upcoming surge in business?

What if businesses planned their resurgence in the fall of 2020. It many have helped if they kept so sort of contact with laid off employees indicated they would rehire them as soon at they could. It might of helped the labor shortage. Maybe working with schools for training programs might of helped.

I do believe that academics and others will study this period from what we can learn. I think we all must realize that sudden changes in demand and supply can and do occur.

Even in crisis periods, at least some time should be spent planning what is ahead. There is a major advantage just to be able to ask that question. It would even provide guidance to handling the immediate crisis.

Posted in Inventory planning, Management, Process Management, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Education, Sustainability, Transportation, Trucking, Warehousing | Leave a comment
Jun 02

Supply Chain from Both Sides

It is June 2021 and there appears to be a shortage of everything, semi-conductors, steel, and paperboard just to name a few key products. There is a Joni Mitchell song, famously covered with Judy Collins entitled: Both Sides Now. I will just substitute the words “supply chain” in place of “love”:

“I looked at the supply chain from both sides now /From up and down / I really don’t know supply chain at all”

When the pandemic came people talked about a demand in terms of a “V” a “W”, a “U” and recovery in the form of “K” with demand going for some up and others going down. It appears that is where the discussion ended. What we could not predict was when demand would go sharply up but it was almost inevitable that would happen sometime and it is doing that now.

We all get caught in the moment, and spend too little time planning for future, even it can predicted, particularly when it is different from anything we know. In retrospect, planning should have began for probable sharp up side when we were near bottom in April 2020. What was unknown at that time was how long we would be at bottom or the next cliff up, but a sharp upturn was inevitable looking at this in retrospect.

Part of that is we really don’t know supply chain at all, when it verves from the normal. What are the key industries to form the basis of support of the economy? Some of this may indirect to our organization, such as automobile supplier having lower business due the auto makers not having enough computer chips.

I think there is a silo issue of viewing the supply chain as only your company, its suppliers and customers. This future question on the sharp upturn was beyond anything experienced. It could not be programmed in advance. The question is how to view this from an entire economy level. What are the key industries needed? How have these industries reacted to the market falling off the cliff? Will these adjustments that were to deal with bottom of the economy inhibit a response when a sharp rise occurs.

The first step in this is just knowing to ask the questions. The second step would be need to have a realization that organizations need support for this transformation beyond their walls. Government, Universities, and Professional Organizations need to be encouraged to explore these type of new transformative issues. While ultimately it will be individual organizations will need to spend their own capital to accomplish their needs, there should be a realization that the issues are bigger than any one organization or company. It needs to be viewed as a supply chain community to deal with such big issues.

Consensus is not needed in this community process. Rather the energy expended will provide the light for individual organizations to plan. In some cases community support will be needed where there is a long planning lead time such as semi-conductor plants which takes year or more to build. The ride will be last bumpy if we plan for it.

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Apr 18

The Importance of You interviewing for Supply Chain Positions

Last month, a non-profit not related to my company or involved in the supply chain, was hiring in a senior position. I was privileged to watch final job interviews with for this position in that organization. Of the two finalists, one became nearly unanimous pick to be hired. I asked myself why? Both were talented people and both could have done the job. Was there anything that could be learned about this interview that might help people interviewing for supply chain jobs that would help candidates find the right job and the company to have a good hire? Spoiler alert, the winning candidate did a thorough self evaluation of herself to find out why she was successful in her career and clearly communicated that.

My career has been decades long and there were periods of unemployment. I have learned watching these interviews that in retrospect I spent too little time thinking about myself. But in part that was caused companies doing poor jobs of understanding what they needed in their future employee, so I will write about that aspect first.

In thinking about the job positions I applied in the past, I realized they were more focused on the transactions of the business, needing this skill and that skill, which yes needed to be done, but the skills alone would not lead to employee of high value to the company. I found myself focused on the words of the job description and not what was needed above and beyond that which leads to a valued employee. In those interviews, I did not distinguish myself.

Here is an example of what I mean by focusing too much on the job description and not what makes a successful employee. Many people are skilled programmers. But programming skills mean the employee has the tools to do the job, but that alone will not create a valuable employee. But the programmer value as employee goes way up if that person can understand what the business does and needs to be successful in the marketplace. They need to be able to formulate the right questions to learn what really needs to be done. The other part of this the programmer has to know the limitations of the software they worked on and be able to communicate that.

With an opening caused by a retirement, the non profit formed a committee to plan how the process for the job fulfillment process, and how it would be presented. Importantly they went out to the organization’s field to solicit what was necessary for the new employee’s job position. The result was seven major skills or attributes which were critical for success in that position. That led to questions about how could a person achieve success in these diverse seven fields. Some of the seven were skills, others were the attributes would lead to the candidates success in the job. That in turn led the committee to look for candidates who could meet this criteria.

The successful candidate needs to have more than the necessary skills for the job. They need to know why they were successful in the past. The successful candidate used her career choices to show why she would be successful for the position. As the interview went on, she used the road blocks in her career to show how she responded by the organizational challenges. These were excellent vignettes about challenges of this position and how she would fair in her position and her ability to move forward. A key points about her participatory nature were spelled out often in the interview.

This candidate almost perfectly fit the position offered. But I think just as important she would have ruled herself out from a position were her skills and performance would have clashed with the organization.

So yes, in a job interview document you have the basic skills for the job. Realize that does not set you apart from others. Look at your successes and realize that it was not the basic skill but how use this base to move forward and make the organization successful.

Posted in Management, Supply Chain Career, Supply Chain hires, Supply Chain Hiring, Supply chain interviewing | 1 Comment
Jan 10

Supply Chain Hype in a Post Covid World

So the vaccines have started to show up. What will the post Covid world look like. There will be a lot of hype on a post Covid world. But focus on your markets characteristics before going with the flow.

You probably heard or read that big cities will die because there workers will continue to work remotely in post Covid world. If your market graphic are on high end income workers maybe the hype has some validity. But if your market are lower income people they will not have the resources to move. They will stay in the cities.

Another hype will be e-commerce will virtually destroy retail in actual structural stores. E-commerce will be one of the hardest to predict, because somewhere there is ceiling and when people can back into brick and mortar stories it will slow the rapid growth of e-commerce. Look at clothes bought on e-commerce which have a very high return rate. There is incentive to retailers to get people into their stores because it is more cost efficient and likely more profitable. Again, take the hype of e-commerce and look at your markets to see what they are doing.

The hype is everybody will want e-commerce goods instantly, like in 2 hours or same day at least. If you are Amazon that is your market. Maybe your customers will wait a few days if the product is unique enough or less costly to buy, Know your market.

The hype is everything in the supply chain will be digital and blockchain technology. Yes there are good uses and processes using digital technology and blockchain. Just be aware, there will be markets which will more sophisticated in technology than others, and maybe the low technology markets are your specialty. Even among big companies where they spend their capital dollars may not be on superior technology but other market needs. Of course technology can fail due to hackers or just plain bad programming. Your playbook should have a plan in place should that happen and yes, there is very, very high probability it will.

So enjoy the hype, but from your business or organization prospective pit a critical eye to it.

Posted in Management, Process Management, Sales in the supply chain, Sustainability, Training, Transportation, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment