A thought experiment

Imagine that you are a person who has grown up your entire life in a cave. You have never, ever seen the sun, nor do you know anything about the sun.sunrise001.jpg


However, one day, you walk out of your cave and experience your very first sunrise.


What you would not know is whether this is a one-time event, or something that happens more than once.


About 24 hours later, you would experience your second sunrise, and you might be pleasantly surprised after your falling into darkness at the end of the preceding day.


By the third sunrise, you would probably begin to recognize a pattern—sunrise and sunset. You might be delighted and hope that this pattern continues.


As the days turn into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years, you would become virtually certain that sunset today will be followed by sunrise tomorrow morning.


Now, ask yourself this

Chances are, if you are like 99.44 percent [1] of supply chain executives and managers you have experienced—literally, day-after-day—the repeated cycles of failure in your supply chain.

  • All our forecasts are going to be wrong (you know it and I know it—we just don’t know by how much or in which direction)
  • Wrong forecasts cause our supply chains to waste resources buying, making and shipping the wrong stuff
  • Even the right stuff gets shipped to wrong places
  • Some of the right stuff gets shipped to the right places, but at the wrong times
  • Our inventories become unbalanced—too much of the wrong stuff and too little of the right stuff
  • Customer service levels are threatened
  • Expediting cause us to interrupt schedules and break setups
  • Disruptions consume otherwise valuable capacities
  • Lead times must be extended
  • Virtually all our management attentions are drained away in firefighting—there’s no time, energy or money left to think about improvement


So, ask yourself this:

Why aren’t we as smart as the caveman?

Why don’t we learn from cycles that repeat themselves again and again and again and again?

Next, watch this

I think you will benefit from setting aside less than ten minutes to watch this YouTube video about Bayes theorem.


"If we internalize that something is true, and maybe we're 100 percent sure that it's true, and that there's nothing we can do to change it; well, then we're going to keep on doing the same thing, and we're going to keep on getting the same result. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy…. A really good understanding of Bayes' theorem implies that experimentation is essential. [Emphases added.]


"If you've been doing the same thing for a long time, and getting the same result that you're not necessarily happy with, maybe it's time to change."


Now, think about it


If you’ve been doing the same thing for a long time, and getting the same result that you’re not necessarily happy with, maybe it’s time to change. Maybe it’s time to at least “experiment.”


Begin by reading this great new book: Demand-Driven Supply Chain Management: Transformational Performance Improvement by Simon Eagle. [2]


Start an experiment that might just rescue your company and your supply chain into a huge transformational improvement. Perhaps something more than you have can imagine.


We can help. Contact us to talk about it. Or, just leave your comments below.




[1] I made that number up! But you and I both know it’s not far from accurate!

[2] Eagle, Simon. Demand-Driven Supply Chain Management: Transformational Performance Improvement. New York: Kogan Page, 2017.



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