@ Supply Chain Management


What’s the best practice with “Best Practices”?

I’ve always been suspicious of “Best Practices” but that probably is because of my background in R&D and the irrelevant pride that often goes with – the NIH (Not Invented Here) syndrome. Atleast, I recognize it in myself. However, “Best Practices” is the “lazy” approach to execution in the Supply Chain space as opposed to the “hard” approach which is to knock yourself against the immutable laws of business success, fail and try again until you get it right. Sure, you save money and time using the “lazy” or well-trodden and tested path but the trade-off is in learning especially organizational learning in the supply chain space.
I’ve got to make a confession here too – I’ve got a soft corner for gaining competitive advantage through supply chain design and execution which is why I’ve a preference for the latter “hard” approach of doing things. Adopting the “Best Practices” approach implies that you’re adopting what works and your competitive advantage w.r.t to others in the industry is marginal at best. Ofcourse, there is nothing that stops the firm from adopting cross-industry best practices or innovating up from the best practices floor that is adopted.

With regards to best practises in Supply chain execution, here are some pointers from the consultants at Tompkins Associates. Here are the 7 best practices for supply chain execution implementation:

1. Realistic objectives and expectations – Defining business requirements
2. Right Systems – Meeting business objectives
3. Right Team
4. Right Processes
5. Right Plan
6. Right Training
7. Right Timing and Support – Minimizing impact to customers

Category: Supply Chain Management


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June 2006