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What is Supply Chain Concept Confusion and what causes it?

Supply Chain Confusion

What is Supply Chain Concept Confusion and what causes it?

1. Supply Chain Confusion created by service providers:

In my previous article I mentioned the examples of trucking companies (or warehousing companies) who have painted over their old trucks from XYZ Trucking/Transport to XYZ Logistics to XYZ Supply Chain Concept Solutions without any material change in their capabilities or service offerings.

While this kind of ‘branding’ exercise seems harmless enough, and most customers are not ‘fooled’ by such over-representation of the capabilities – it does have several deleterious effects.

S/he was disappointed when s/he found that most of the work was rather mundane execution level work in transportation and warehousing. To exacerbate the situation they did not see any prospects of getting even remotely involved in the ‘sexier stuff’ such as supply chain modelling or business transformation.

Evidently, then, this type is hurting careers, reputations and perhaps even the entire industry when these companies represent that what they do is all there is to SCM!

2. Supply Chain Concept Confusion created by those who mistake the a small part for the whole (of supply chain)

Their antics remind of the ancient Hindu tale of 6 blind men which was so well captured by the American John Godfrey Saxe in the The Blind Men and the Elephant (Source: Wikipedia):

i. It was six men of Indostan To learning much inclined, Who went to see the Elephant (Though all of them were blind), That each by observation Might satisfy his mind.

ii. The First approached the Elephant, And happening to fall Against his broad and sturdy side, At once began to bawl: “God bless me!—but the Elephant Is very like a wall!”

iii. The Second, feeling of the tusk, Cried:”Ho!—what have we here So very round and smooth and sharp? To me ‘t is mighty clear This wonder of an Elephant Is very like a spear!”

iv. The Third approached the animal, And happening to take The squirming trunk within his hands, Thus boldly up and spake: “I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant Is very like a snake!”

v. The Fourth reached out his eager hand, And felt about the knee. “What most this wondrous beast is like Is mighty plain,” quoth he; “‘T is clear enough the Elephant Is very like a tree!”

vi. The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear, Said: “E’en the blindest man Can tell what this resembles most; Deny the fact who can, This marvel of an Elephant Is very like a fan!”

vii. The Sixth no sooner had begun About the beast to grope, Than, seizing on the swinging tail That fell within his scope, “I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant Is very like a rope!”

viii. And so these men of Indostan Disputed loud and long, Each in his own opinion Exceeding stiff and strong, Though each was partly in the right, And all were in the wrong! moral

So, oft in theological wars The disputants, I ween, Rail on in utter ignorance Of what each other mean, And prate about an Elephant Not one of them has seen!

Amusingly, the confusion in supply chain management also involves 6 different streams of thoughts.

There Are No Natives in This Land on Supply Chain Concept

Supply chain concept is a relatively new field. Especially at a higher level, there are no people who ‘grew up in supply chain management’.

Traditionally, supply chain concept professionals have come from one of the three or four streams in businesses.

There Are Six Field on Supply Chain Concept

I have worked closely with all 6 type of pedigree – and each of them have distinct foibles, strengths, weaknesses and biases.

One bias they all have in common is that they tend to have a soft corner for their own pedigree. For example, I spent my own formative years in shipping, logistics and transportation, and for some reason I am still a shipping person at heart. As they say once you spend time at sea – the salt water starts running through your veins.

However, all 6 type of pedigrees also have a great majority of people who are happy to represent their own specialisation as the entirety of supply chain concept management. That is what causes the confusion.

I could probably write an entire chapter of each of these 6 type of people, and their biases – including the impact of the confusion they cause to damage the profitability and ‘brand supply chain management’. But if you are from within the folds of supply chain concept management – you will easily recognise most of what I have to say here.

And, if you are not from with the folds of supply chain concept management then more explaination is no use to you – because you are better off reading my other articles on use of supply chain management for business transformation – just search for those keywords in the search bar next to the tool bar on top.
This article covered Supply Chain Concept and Confusions Regarding it

Related Reading on Supply Chain Concept:

I will cover the rest of the cause of confusions and concept of supply chain in my next post. These are rather esoteric models and we will raise the level of conceptual thinking a few notches in that article.

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Supply Chain Concept

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Outsourcing 3.0: Outperform - Outsource - Outprofit

In my previous article I mentioned the examples of trucking companies (or warehousing companies) who have painted over their old trucks from XYZ Trucking/Transport to XYZ Logistics to XYZ Supply Chain Concept Solutions without any material change in their capabilities or service offerings.

URL: https://outsourcing3.com/

Author: vivek sood

Editor's Rating:
5
Outsourcing 3.0: Outperform - Outsource - Outprofit

In my previous article I mentioned the examples of trucking companies (or warehousing companies) who have painted over their old trucks from XYZ Trucking/Transport to XYZ Logistics to XYZ Supply Chain Concept Solutions without any material change in their capabilities or service offerings.

URL: https://outsourcing3.com/

Author: vivek sood

Editor's Rating:
5

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About the Principal Author of Outsourcing 3.0 - Vivek Sood

Vivek Sood - Author Outsourcing 3.0

Today, Vivek and his partners are among 20-30 people on Earth who have this deep understanding of supply chain systems, practices and tools. CEOs, COOs, executives and Boards call them in the most challenging situations once they know the full potential of supply chain based transformations. Following are key milestones in Vivek’s journey:Started in 1983 as a merchant navy cadet at 18 years age, and worked his way to qualify as a Captain – qualified to take command of any merchant ship, worldwide.

  • Earned a top tier MBA from UNSW at the top of his class.
  • Joined highly regarded strategy consulting firm Booz Allen & Hamilton, consulting to the CEOs, Boards and senior management of global corporations within Australia.
  • To learn and specialise in the supply chain – against all odds, sought out the co-inventor of the supply chain in Germany and convinced him to be a partner in his firm, GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN GROUP, launched in January 2000.
  • More than 500 successful blue-chip projects with high impact business transformations in large corporations using the full power of SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT.
  • 4 Seminal and path-breaking business books IN SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT – these are available in bookstores and universities, and libraries worldwide.

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