As we move into a New Year, you’re inevitably thinking about the challenges your business is likely to face in the next twelve months. You have a plan in place for the major strategic issues you expect to see, but have you faced up to the fulfillment challenges that 2016 will bring?
In tough times people often look to the wisdom of leaders – whether political or cultural – to guide their decisions.
We thought it would be fun to run some classic quotes through the lens of the logistics professional… it turns out there are plenty of lessons to be learned about the supply chain from these wise voices from the past!
Here are six classic quotes that also hold value for supply chain management:
“Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.”
Worrying solves nothing, of course, but we take this British bulldog’s words in terms of recognizing potential kinks in the supply chain before they occur. As a logistics professional it’s important to run “what if” scenarios and dig into any areas that give you pause for thought. That’s where you’ll find those advance worries turn into advance planning!
“Planning is everything. The plan is nothing.”
~Dwight D. Eisenhower
With rigorous military planning running through his veins, Eisenhower still understood that the majority of plans become useless not long after they’re rolled out. The value of planning is high, however, as defining objectives drives long term strategy. Don’t stray too far from your overall supply chain strategy, but be flexible enough to change the logistics tactics you use to get there.
“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.”
This prominent Scottish politician also saw the important distinction between tactics and strategy. Logistics involves successfully piecing together any number of moving parts into one working supply chain. Although it may look like one long process, supply chain managers need the patience to think in terms of both the end-to-end system and its constituent parts.
“Geeks are people who love something so much that all the details matter.”
Yahoo’s CEO continues to drive relentless change at the company as she seeks to reinvigorate its name, but that doesn’t mean that she’s not laser-focused on the little things. In a supply chain, the geeks are the managers who still need to poke and prod every idea to understand how it will work to improve their supply chain. Of course micro-management is usually something to avoid, but seeing the supply chain from both a birds eye view and in its minute details is an ability that’s worth its weight in gold.
“Innovation is saying no to a thousand things.“
Apple’s main man always said that he was as proud of the things his company didn’t do as those that it did. Strange words for a man who drove so many innovative products from concept to reality? Not really. It’s easy to get attracted to every new idea that comes our way under the justification of “innovation,” but that word is used to describe almost any process different to what is already being done. A truly innovative logistics mind understands the difference between an oversold suggestion and a game-changing idea.
“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”
Few would argue with the world’s foremost physicist and a man who can write a book entitled “A Brief History of Time,” and his nuanced take on intelligence. Your business can employ the smartest logistics graduates and theoretically-inclined minds, but experience in the industry is the most important skill when it comes to adapting to unexpected supply chain challenges. Knowing where to look and how to adjust is often a more critical skill than getting a great plan down on paper and expecting it to run without surprises.
Take some time to think about the quotes that inspire you. Can they also be turned into lessons in logistics?
Share your favorites with us in the comments or over on Facebook and Twitter!