A few years ago, I discussed my personal journey of laying down my super hero cape. I spoke about transitioning from donning my cape to single-handedly tackle supply chain issues, to something else entirely. My new commitment was to pick up a conductor’s baton and focus on connection, harmony and flow to leverage crisis prevention and crisis management. It was a beautiful notion and it’s not wrong. Thriving people, empowered with relevant information to make good decisions, supported by reasonable, realistic and actionable plans- that’s how we build thriving supply chains.
That Feeling of Harmony
The magic of the moments- especially the quiet ones where things are just flowing. We are in sync – and even though there are bound to be crisis of the day, they no longer take up the entire day…every day. When it’s all flowing, we distinguish normal conditions from abnormal conditions, and we have time to focus and respond with an agile mindset. I spoke about people coming together- each of us having our own parts to play with an understanding of how, when and where we fit in. When that happens, we have the right cues to get things done. And I spoke about putting the super hero cape away in favor of a focus on stability in execution and flow and enablement across functions.
Over the past three years, super heroes have emerged from every corner of the world, from every profession, in every family. We’ve been asked to rise up and meet all matter of reality-bending challenges, forced to meet the demons of sudden solitude, learn to play many unexpected roles in our personal lives that whenever trained for, and all while do our part in keeping the supply chain humming. Many of us are tired, lonely (even when we’re surrounded by people in close quarters) and frustrated. When will this end? When will things be normal again? When will I feel like myself again? When will I find my place again? Is THIS the new normal?
We’ve adapted. Crisis and disruption are the bearers of inspiration for innovation. We’ve discovered new passions, new ways of working, new ways of connecting with people. Many of us have new pets, partners and expanded families. The world may have stopped for a moment or three, but it has in fact kept turning. And….we are still in a global supply chain crisis.
More Than Tech
If we imagine for a moment that our supply chains were impacted in similar ways with similar challenges, we end up with an interesting study on technology enablement for humans. The tech is but a small piece of making our way through the last few years. The human ingenuity, resiliency and grit certainly is where success lies. However, those of us who have a recognized path to decision making, a single source of truth that exists as our touchstone, and a focus on cross functional integration, have found the path to adaptation, response and even agility far more easily. We didn’t have to rely on one or two superheroes who were the only folks who knew things. Instead we had many superheroes who banded together to make it through.
People Succeed Together
I deeply love super heroes. I love the lesson that we learn time and time again: Super heroes come from anywhere and everywhere and they get by with a little help from their friends. As we rise from the rubble of whatever this time is, and we look around, we can see that as crazy alone as this has felt, we are all in this together.
The tech enables us to do that. A single source of truth is a pre-requisite to being able to keep us all on the same page. In combination with process and frameworks for decision making, we can take on these challenges. It’s not easy; however, we’ve got a solid place to start that lets everyone play their part. It enables our people to be a part of the solution by applying common sense and communicating intentions. It allows us to continue to refine and align our plans, schedule and actual execution. We can make the unexpected Zoom call and be closer than ever to our customer, supplier or even competitor to figure out how to weather this storm because we’re armed with the information we need to approach the problem.
SAP supports us in being able to do these things, and between SAP ECC or S/4HANA and IBP, we have the ability to present the right information at the right time to make decisions on what we could or should do, keep everyone on the same page, proactively address constraints and bottlenecks and have a clear vision of the forest through the trees.
As we rise together and we work together, we are stronger together. We will get this supply chain humming again. If you would like to talk more about how Reveal is seeing organizations navigate in this new world and rise to meet challenges.