Treat Your Supply Chain Like a Laboratory

Experiment.  Often.  This is an important distinction that should be in the fine print anytime someone gives the advice to “fail fast and fail often.”  Fail small as well.  That’s what drives change, innovation and ultimate success.  If you’re starting a company, set up the initial framework to involve keeping room for evolution and pivoting down the road.  How much time, money and emotional capital is spent and lost as a result of long, time consuming projects with specific logos, branding, investments, people and business plans being constructed only to close down 12 months later.  Rather – keep the tent pitched, but change out the furniture.

The modern supply chain leader should constantly be looking for the next experiment to run and beta test to conduct.  Do these things while there is a smaller cost to the failure if and when it comes.  Now if that idea takes off — great.  Move to the next one.  Take the same attitude with your company’s processes.  Figure out your end result and work backwards.  If idea #1 is a flop, move to #2.  Write your flow chart in pencil, and keep a big eraser handy.


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