If it's news, it's generally bad news. Even when it comes to supply chain matters, the reasons we make the headlines are rarely positive. But we are doing lots of thinks right in the supply chain space as we'll see here. Our recent survey focuses on the current state of the food industry supply chain. Although we've got some preliminary results which I'll discuss here- the survey is still open and if you're a participant in that space, you can take it through this link.
One of the most interesting questions in the survey to me focused on how people would describe their current supply chain versus their "ideal" in 2015. And I'm happy to say, while there is (and always will be) room for improvement, we're not that far away. See below for a neat way to summarize the responses.
Current descriptors are charted on the y axis and the ideal on the x axis. This creates a neat quadrant orientation with higher importance and lower performance variables in the bottom right. That is what we should be highly focused on improving to move our current closer to our ideal. The upper right corner on the other hand shows variables with high levels of current and ideal performance. Most respondents believe we are doing relatively well on being "aligned," "agile," "controlled" and "proactive."
Perhaps most importantly, this sort of graphic representation enables us to see what doesn't really matter- those quadrants on the left side represent the lower importance variables. Most respondents classified adjectives such as "risk-taking," "strategic" and "outside-in" as the lowest performing and least important qualities of their supply chain today and in 2015. This is surprising as these are some of the most popular adjectives I hear when discussing the future of supply chains. However, my guess is that we are not there yet in practice even if the research and advisory firms are ready.
Of course, the ideal supply chain should be both strategic and outside-in but most respondents are still worried about creating a modern and fast supply chain first. The loftier goals are still important, but not to the same degree as more basic requirements such as "modern" and "well working."
Do these results surprise you? What would you choose as high importance and low performance on your ideal scale? It seems to me that should be our focus in order to keep supply chain out of those negative news headlines. What do you think?