Supply Chain Integration Video: It Had Me At Hello!

Posted on September 8, 2010

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Okay, so I chose to use a cheesy line from a mildly entertaining movie.  I hang my head in shame not because it isn’t an applicable reference to a recent video I witnessed on supply chain integration, but because I saw the movie in the first place.  (For those of you who may not be familiar with the line, it is from Jerry McGuire . . . further shame.)

That being said when I heard statements such as “what works for one company may not work for another,” and “what works for one company today, may not work for them tomorrow” I definitely did sit up and take notice!

But, when I heard “modern companies can’t thrive by copying other companies, or “live according to checklists,” I was hooked!

While these statements are not in and of themselves compelling revelations nor for that matter necessarily original, they are nonetheless powerful in that they speak to the heart of what ails the majority of supply chain initiatives . . . especially within the public sector.  You know the old line, “I want to be leading edge, now tell me who else is doing this.”

Based on the have your cake and eat it at the same time axiom, one might rightfully image that “risk management” has little to do with an organization’s supply chain and more to do with its mindset.

In short, never mind about copying the guy taking a test at the other desk, or relying on reference accounts as an accurate indicator of your success.

You will have to remind me to tell you about the Kings County SAP story one day.

It is a telling tale about SAP championing the Kings County implementation with a prospective client in early December 2007 as a means of upgrading the account.  Suddenly, and by the middle of December they stopped using Kings County as a reference.

After putting on my cub reporter hat and making a few inquiries, I received a message in mid-January 2008 from the County’s head of procurement telling me that they had scrapped SAP as a failed project after 3 years and millions of dollars going down the proverbial drain.  I wonder how many government contracts SAP won based on references from Kings County prior to December 2007?  I guess that I do not have to tell you the story now, because I already did.

For this reason, end-user clients have to follow the edict of doctors heal thyself versus abdicating responsibility to a third party.

When you take ownership of your supply chain program and related initiatives, it is amazing what you can and will accomplish.  Just ask the Commonwealth of Virginia whose eVA initiative while not perfect (what is?) continues to be that shining beacon of what a successful eProcurement program should be!

In the meantime, enjoy the video . . . the popcorn – at least virtually, is on me.

Note: This is the 6th installment in Arizona State University’s twelve-part introduction to supply chain management video series developed by Eddie Davila, Jeff Hough, Randy Cates, Dawn Feldman, Dan Ichikawa, Ian Schmoel, and Matt Hardy. ASU, the W. P. Carey School of Business, and the Supply Chain Management Department are proud and happy to share this video series with supply chain management departments, supply chain instructors, career specialists in high schools and universities, as well as industry leaders in an effort to inspire a new generation of supply chain management professionals across the country and around the world.

For more information, visit W. P. Carey’s SCM Web site at http://wpcarey.asu.edu/scm or send an e-mail to wpcarey.scm@asu.edu.

IBX Capgemini Purchasing Executive Summit, October 7th & 8th, 2010

Stockholm, Sweden

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