Supply chain is a very difficult business to work in. It’s not for the faint of heart. But the fact that it’s such a challenging field that promises both risks and rewards is one of the things that makes it an exciting career path. You can be on the naughty list or the nice list at any time.
These are tough jobs. I’ve often heard that staying afloat in the supply chain is success because there are so many things that could drown you in one day.
And while the supply chain is absolutely vital to virtually every business, the supply chain team doesn’t always get the credit it deserves for keeping the business afloat.
So we thought it was time to sit back and reflect on what a year you’ve had and reflect on what you’ve done, what you’ve overcome and what you’ve achieved.
What do you think? Are you on the naughty list or the nice list?
Part of the supply chain challenge is dealing with issues and issues that we may or may not cause ourselves.
However, customers with forecast demand still want their increased volumes tomorrow. Politics and government measures disrupt the continuity of supply. There is not enough money to run the business. Someone in your supplier’s organization is embezzling funds or screwing up product quality. A carrier does not submit their documentation on time or correctly and you cannot get your goods out of customs. A data entry error somewhere along the way overstates your inventory on a part, which you realize when you pull the part off a storage shelf and it’s not there.
It doesn’t matter where the problem came from or if it was your fault or not. What matters is how aggressively and intelligently you deal with these unforeseen problems and bring them to resolution.
In addition, it is important what actions you then take to improve processes, controls, structure and your supply chain network to prevent, if not eliminate, these problems from reoccurring in the future.
That Cheeky and kind lists
Depending on your job, the lists may differ from what we have created here. If your job is different, the concept is still applicable. Just make two lists, one with the things that have gone well for you over the past year (the nice list) and the other with the things that haven’t gone well (the naughty list) or rather didn’t start well to have.
For the naughty list, it could be that a problem was caused by yourself or a problem that originated elsewhere ended up on your desk for solution. If you were able to solve the problem, the problem should appear on the naughty list and the solution to the problem should appear on the nice list.
The Nice List should be a great summary of achievements, both planned and unplanned. I expect it will involve a combination of tactical and more strategic actions, proactive and reactive activities, and expected and unexpected outcomes.
The naughty list should also be a great summary of issues (again, not necessarily your own creation), problems, and unforeseen situations. There may be some personal items, customer problems and supplier problems. Some of these items may still be issues, but others I assume have been fixed or are in the process of being worked on.
It is extremely important to study the naughty list while making your plans and setting your goals and goals for the year ahead. The Naughty List should provide insight into failed processes, kinks in your supply chain, organizational issues and more.
With this experience, you should be able to take steps and implement actions to create an even larger and more resilient supply chain for the future.
The Naughty List or the Nice List
I would bet almost everyone in the supply chain would be on both the naughty list and the nice list. Unless your job is so easy that there is no room for error, every supply chain job is bound to encounter some type of problem throughout the year.
But supply chain professionals know that problems can always arise. What matters is how they deal with these issues. Being professional, smart, hardworking, proactive, preventative and decent are defining qualities that put every supply chain leader on the Nice list overall!