by Steven Crooke
Why I believe optimizing your supply chain may be harder than climbing Mount Everest: Firstly, a disclaimer: I have not climbed Mount Everest myself; I have only read many accounts of people who have successfully achieved this incredible challenge. Their accounts are awe-inspiring. I am a supply chain guy and an SAP guy – I’ve made supply chains that run SAP better, and I know first-hand a lot of the challenges involved in doing so. I am also surrounded by super-talented people who do the same thing. Together, we help companies achieve the at times seemingly insurmountable task of getting their unwieldy supply chains functioning optimally – saving money, optimizing inventory, improving service levels and all of the good things that go with that.
But here’s the thing about performing this kind of service: Almost without fail, our clients bring us in, expecting that we will make a few SAP changes and tweak a few processes, and then things will be great – supply chain optimization complete! But, as with preparing for and succeeding at mounting Everest, no supply chain optimization effort is ever easy. No climber will walk into an REI, grab some equipment and climb Mount Everest the next day. They prepare for years and work on every aspect that will make climbing Everest a success: physical conditioning, the right equipment, timing the weather, altitude practice and conditioning, nutrition and a good Sherpa. A supply chain optimization effort is the same – it has many requirements that all should be met before success is achieved. Supply chain optimization is not a gentle stroll up a small hill; it is a serious ascent up some of the toughest terrain you will ever experience where you always are at risk of failing.
In both worlds, whether climbing Everest or scaling your supply chain, it is crucial to choose the right Sherpa to guide the effort. Optimizing your supply chain will not be your garden-variety, quick config. change to get everything working; it will consume your organization and take everyone along on an exciting journey that leads to the summit. Make sure you pick the right company to get you there safely.optimizing supply chains, Supply Chain Optimization