A tip of the hat to Benjamin Benulis at Silicon Laboratories in Austin, TX for alerting me to two funny supply chain videos. Well, they would be even funnier if it weren’t so painfully true. Here are the links:
What strikes me about these two videos is how little things have changed since I worked in supply chain in manufacturing (then called materials management), years ago in another time and another galaxy. I remember when I played catcher on the AMAPS Allstars, the company softball team. AMAPS was a mainframe-based MRP system that my company used and that I had to help implement. And when I put on my catcher’s protective gear, everyone said it was perfect for working in supply chain, as I was ready to take a beating. Since then, ERP has been greatly enhanced. There are all kinds of tools for supply chain planning, visibility and whatnot. But the daily life of supply chain managers in some companies remains essentially the same — fequently driven to the brink of insanity by chasing parts. And somehow the cast of characters hasn’t changed, either. Remember the signs hung around the office that said “Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part”? Everything is an emergency. Or at least that’s what it seems to some of the adrenaline jockeys who call supply chain their natural habitat. What can make the different ? Good IT can certainly help. But having capable and smart people can make all the difference between living in a constant state of emergency or have a more orderly, well-run supply chain organization.