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I interviewed Neil Thall who discussed Serialization and The Benefits for Brand Protection, Anti-counterfeiting, Anti-diversion and  Consumer Protection.





Hello, Neil. I look forward to hearing your views today on the topic of serialization and the benefits for brand protection, anticounterfeiting, antidiversion, and consumer protection. Can you start by providing a brief background of yourself?

Yes, my name is Neil Thall. I’m CEO of Acsis Technology in Marlton, New Jersey. We provide serialization software for consumer goods and pharmaceuticals. My own personal background is that I’ve been in software and supply chain for many years; been in and run several companies in this arena; and my background is basically retail, custom-goods manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals.

Thank you. Can you talk about what is serialization?

Serialization, from a very neural perspective, is a manner of putting serial numbers on individual items. For example, in pharmaceuticals it would be putting serial numbers on bottles or on packaging. Then it can be at an aggregate level in terms of serializing at the carton level. For other products, it would be serialization on unique items or on their packaging for purposes of unique identification of the item. There are governmental mandates in the United States and around the world, in various countries, that require serialization individual product marking. Now there are new restriction that are for universal devices: Category 1, 2, and 3 in medical devices. That’s a very limited version of what serialization is. The broader version might be called enterprise serialization; so then we’re able to track and trace those individual items through the entire supply chain for many purposes, and I guess that we’re going to be talking about those. The purpose of serialization is not just marking; it’s what you do with those marks that’s really significant.

And what are the benefits?

Benefits of serialization are being able to track and trace items from raw material through to the, eventually, it’s to the consumer; for purposes of brand protection; anticounterfeiting; antidiversion; and just being able to know, for a manufacturer, for example, to be able to know where there products are at any time. It’s very significant in many countries in terms of the ability to actually track and trace those items.

How can companies realize these benefits?

Many companies right now are so focused on just putting serial numbers on items that they’re not looking at the broader benefits of serialization. They really need an overall plan together with their partners of how they’re going to use and what they’re going to do with those serial numbers. There are several companies that just put serial numbers on bottles, for example, in pharmaceuticals, and that allows them to meet governmental mandates both in the United States and in various European and Asian countries. However, they need to look at the broader aspects of what do they do with those serial numbers, how do they track them. They need to, when they install systems, look for systems that have the more broad capabilities to actually track those items through distribution and out to their trading partners. That is why they need that overall strategy: to make sure they’ve got that. Otherwise, they install systems that are of limited use; they will need to replace or significantly augment those. In the pharmaceutical arena, you may be aware that there’s something called validation and validation is very stringent and meets, in many cases, governmental requirements. If they make changes to that software for eventual use of the serial numbers for e-pedigree Track and Trace. They then would potentially need to do more expensive validation. They should be looking at all of that right now in terms of what they install so they can do it once and do it properly and do it with systems that are capable of being expanded. Specifically, I’m talking about systems that will handle warehousing and distribution and tracking those serialized items through a distribution center.

Returns are another significant benefit when serializing because returned items are frequently sold at various different prices depending upon where they are sold, to whom they’re sold, quantity, discounts, and those kinds of things. Many times when there are returns, there’s no way for a company to know exactly what was charged for any particular item. A lot of money’s lost in those returns by giving the customer a credit at an average cost, for example. With serialization, the manufacturer can find out exactly what was charged for any particular item and then give whatever return is appropriate based upon that original price.

Thanks, Neil. Did we cover all the points you wanted to make?

I think we did. I’m glad to speak with anyone. My information is; glad to speak with anyone about that. I now that it can bet confusing because of the governmental mandates, because of the overall strategy that’s needed. We have a lot of experience here in doing this, and I’m glad to either speak with people directly or put them in touch with the right people in our company.

Thank you.

Thank you; it was a pleasure.



About Neil Thall




Neil Thall



CEO at Acsis, Inc.

LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed George Favaloro who discussed Sustainable Supply Chain Programs: Benefits and Effective Approaches, and Why Companies are Prioritizing this Now.







I’m George Favaloro. I’m a managing director in PwC’s Boston office. I’m in the Sustainable Business Solutions group, and we help clients think through their critical sustainability-related business issues and help them address risk issues, creating value and efficiency and returns through sustainability programs, and then ultimately capitalizing on opportunities to innovate and grow.


What is a sustainable supply chain and why is it relevant for supply chain professionals?


Sustainable supply chain is thinking about your total value chain with the goal of reducing any reputational risks or to improve your core performance or cost effectiveness by working on your operational supply chain issues, risk, and supply chain transformation. And you want to think about those things in an integrative fashion so that you can reduce the risks, find opportunities to improve the reliability of your suppliers, and then help make your suppliers more cost effective, and that can be shared with you and reducing your overall cost as well.


The thing that’s often missed that sustainability brings to the table is thinking through nontraditional business risks, and these can be highly disruptive and a major factor in the world economy today. Working through them explicitly through a sustainable lens is how you uncover the opportunities to improve reliability, reduce risk, improve cost effectiveness.


What’s the best way to engage suppliers to reap the benefits from sustainable supply chain initiatives? Carrot, stick, or both?


Working with your suppliers on sustainability is potentially very productive in that it’s an opportunity to collaborate and work together to eliminate sources of disruption to improve their effectiveness and, at the same time, improve the level of business effectiveness they can provide to you.


We really encourage our clients to think through sustainable supply chain in a holistic fashion that has, at its core, this type of collaboration and problem-solving. To get started, though, to really engage a supplier to get at the benefits, you need some basic building blocks. Usually, it starts with a code of conduct and a statement saying the kinds of things that you want suppliers to do. That’s sort of the initial structure that, then, the program starts to build upon. You can move from there to thinking about how your suppliers are operating from an environmental perspective, how your suppliers are operating from a social or labor perspective, and how your suppliers are operating from an economic perspective. Think through where are the potential risk areas, where are the things that could be disruptive to the business, where are there inefficiencies that have to do with waste or inefficient processes and bringing that in to a program where you're collaborating on identifying where there are wastes or issues, where there are risks, and then working to remediate those over time.


In terms of the carrot or stick, we find that the best programs incorporate both. If you’ve got a code of conduct and you're working with your suppliers and helping assess where there are issues that need to be addressed, there need to be some consequences to not addressing that, especially over time, and then there need to be rewards for suppliers that do collaborate and that do work on their issues. Those consequences or rewards can simply be increased business for the suppliers that are more effective at dealing with their issues or potentially decreased business for suppliers that are not as effective, with the overarching thought being suppliers that don’t have the ability to address these critical issues are not suppliers you're going to want to base your business on over time anyway. It’s a good way to engage the conversation and get specific issues addressed.


How can a sustainability lens allow companies to make strategic decisions on their supply chain (e.g., decide what to source and where to source from)?


This is an interesting one. What we’ve seen are companies that have mapped and know which of their suppliers are at risk, have issues going on in their plants, or perhaps are, because of the way they operate, they’d be more vulnerable to a weather event—let’s say it’s a typhoon—or they’re more vulnerable to a labor action. Companies that have thought about that issue set and understand which of their suppliers are not as prepared or are vulnerable to issues like that, they can react much quicker when something happens. Usually, they’re better at heading off a problem to begin with, and if an issue comes up, they can move quickly to respond.


Using a sustainability lens can help you understand where your vulnerabilities are and react very quickly when an issue comes about.


What are the best approaches to communicating and engaging with suppliers, setting goals and incentives, defining metrics, and monitoring performance?


Here, again, we really encourage a collaborative approach to the maximum extent possible. The best approach to communicating and engaging is, first, really laying out how you define sustainability and what your expectations are for your suppliers. But then setting goals and defining metrics is key to anything in business, and it applies here as well. What we often see is that suppliers are at different points of maturity. There needs to be, often, steps along the way where some of your suppliers are going to be a little bit less mature in terms of the sustainability issues, some of your suppliers are going to be more mature. You want to define levels and then move them along.


Have an incentive structure and goals that work at multiple levels so that over the course of a number of years, a supplier can move from a Level 1 to a Level 2 and so on and become more effective. And with each step, you want metrics that make clear they’re making progress.


One thing that we encourage is: You want both metrics at a supplier level, and those can be metrics like: Where do they stand in terms of their environmental audit? Where do they stand in terms of their social performance? It’s possible to score-card them and then, in subsequent years, encourage them to make progress and have clear goals that they need to make progress against their own score. That’s progressing them through the overall steps that I described earlier.


And then the other area where you want to have metrics is, you want to keep track of how many of your suppliers have you assessed and how many suppliers do you know where they have vulnerabilities? How many of your suppliers are at a given level of maturity in terms of their sustainability performance? And are you improving that over time? Those kinds of metrics can help as you source and help as, for example, your product-management organization works with the suppliers. It’s very helpful for them to be able to know where is a given supplier in terms of its sustainability performance. And should I feel confident in giving that supplier business? Can I feel confident growing my business with that supplier?

About George Favaloro



George Favaloro


Managing Director at PwC,

Sustainable Business Solutions

LinkedIn Profile


I interviewed George Muha who discussed U.S. Domestic Transportation Market, as well as 3PL Logistics.





It’s good to speak with you, George, and I look forward to hearing your views on the U.S. domestic transportation market, as well as 3PL logistics. Can you first provide a brief background of yourself?


Sure, Dustin. Hey, thanks again; I really appreciate the opportunity to speak to you. I’m an 18- or 19-year veteran in the U.S. domestic logistics market. For my whole career I’ve worked more in the consulting role for companies to help shippers—either manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, even retailers—to improve or find more gross profits by uncovering inefficiencies in their logistics side of their supply chain. That’s what I’ve been doing the last couple decades. And I also post my own blog, called, where I offer, I try to provide a portal so the shippers can find some of the basic ways that they can reduce cost and improve their bottom line and find deficiencies.


Thank you. My first question is: Why would a shipper use an outside provider to help them?


Well, that’s a good question. If you think about the lifecycle of a company, a lot of companies start out with an idea, or maybe somebody was a salesperson in a certain industry, so they start developing some suppliers who they’re going to sell for, or maybe they have something that they’re manufacturing. They start very small and basic, and they start with selling and getting, selling their product more than what they’re buying for, what they’re making it for and making a profit. As they start developing and they hire an employee or two and they start growing and maybe they outgrow their simple accounting system and they need a more elaborate ERP system, they get more employees, eventually, their needs or their supply chain starts to grow.


A lot of times companies, it comes from, it goes from being a simple way of doing business to things get a little bit more complex, maybe a little more complicated than what their expertise can handle. People don’t really want to be experts in logistics; they really want to focus on their core offering, whatever it is, bringing value to their customers through their product. Eventually, people come to the realization that they need outside expertise, so they can either hire somebody or hire a group of people to handle things internally. Sometimes that could be cost-prohibitive, especially for the medium, midmarket company, even before you start getting to Fortune 500, even companies that have a couple hundred million in sales, even a billion in sales. It may be cost-prohibitive to get a whole department of logistics experts, so it’s much more cost-friendly to hire an outside firm to handle logistics, maybe do negotiations. There are a lot of great companies out there that will provide the expertise and the technology and the analytics and the processes to help maybe midmarket and smaller large companies to run more efficient companies. That’s why, maybe too long of an answer why a company would use an outside firm: basically because it can be cost-prohibitive to just hire a group of people to do it versus just outsourcing it to a firm so they can do it much more cost-effectively than they can do it on their own.


Can you talk a little bit more about who needs to think about outsourcing or letting an outside provider help them?


I would say, really, any company. Once you start getting in to…it used to be the big companies are the kinds of companies we need to outsource, but we’re finding out there in the U.S.—that’s where I’m based—that smaller and smaller companies are finding it cost-beneficial to outsource as well. Once you get in to maybe ten million in sales, it might make sense to just have a conversation with an outside logistics firm or 3PL firm or even a consultant to see what kind of cost benefits might be available. A lot of times there’s low-hanging fruit that companies don’t even realize is out there. It could be an easy six figures of easy money for the taking, and you just, a 3PL can identify that and help you scoop that right in to your pockets.


Can you talk about the how? How would a company start the process or work with an outside provider?


That’s a good question. One way is that you can look into some of these business journals and just find out who are some of the players out there. This has been a huge, widely growing industry, this outsourced-logistics market, so a lot of companies have popped up all over the place. There’re a lot of people working out of their basements; there’re also firms that have a little more teeth to them. I would just, you can check the journals and search through the Internet. It could be a little bit of the Wild West, so ensuring that you have some kind of reference. A lot of companies are outsourcing, so if a company knows from other companies that have had some success with a certain 3PL, that’s not a bad idea if you have a good reference point, someone who has a good track record in the industry. There are some gypsy kinda guys out there; not saying anything bad. Some of these one-man shops can actually do a really good job, but you just want to be careful. Just kind of word of mouth and just trying to find a good, reputable company. They’re out there; you just want to make sure you find one.


And what about U.S. domestic transportation? Do you have any advice for outsourcing? 


That’s one of the reasons why companies are starting to reach out to the outsourced 3PLs, because a lot of the U.S. transportation companies, a smaller company may not be able to get as good of a price to move their goods, where a 3PL who has some volume behind them can negotiate better rates because they have the buying power. For a shipper trying to get very competitive rates, going only the 3PL route can be very lucrative for the shipper, because they can get much more aggressive rates than they can on their own.


And thank you, George, for sharing your views on U.S. domestic transportation and 3PL logistics. 


Yeah, absolutely. Thanks so much for having me, Dustin. I very much appreciate it.


About George Muha




George Muha


Supply Chain Consultant at

KDL Freight Management


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Taylor Wilkerson who discussed Supply Chain Risk and Sustainability Expert?






Hi, Dustin, this is Taylor Wilkerson. I want to thank you for offering to include me in your blog and offering to do this interview. I appreciate it and look forward to it.


First, I want to give a little background bout myself. As I said, my name is Taylor Wilkerson. I’m program manager at the supply chain management group with LMI. LMI is a 50-year-old strategic consulting firm focused on serving public sector and commercial clients. I’ve been with LMI and our supply chain group for about 12 years.


My expertise includes supply chain strategy, sustainability, and risk management. I’m an active member of CSCMP, the Supply Chain Council, and also cochair of the Supply Chain Risk Leadership Council. I’m also an adjunct professor and senior fellow with the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. Prior to joining LMI, I was an environmental and air-quality engineer; I did that for about six years. I’ve got a background in sustainability, as well as a focus on supply chain management.


I’d like to talk a little bit about using risk management and risk-based approaches to help companies manage sustainability. A lot of organizations have trouble justifying sustainability programs, in a large part because sustainability’s often viewed as doing better things for the environment and society, which is difficult to put in to business terms. While there is some clear value in reducing energy use—improving brand image, and things like that—many sustainability efforts don’t have a very clear business-value proposition. However, many sustainability issues can not only tarnish a brand, they can interrupt the flow of goods through the supply chain, leading to real revenue and profit losses.


I’m going to take a few examples of that. The first one is in 2007, Mattel had to recall almost a million toys that were contaminated by lead paint. This contamination came from a third-tier supplier in their supply chain. Another good example is the factory collapse in Bangladesh earlier this year, where both Primark and Loblaw, and others, were contracting production of low-cost apparel. Where that was not only an interruption of the product flow due to the disaster, but also was a blemish on their brand names to be found to be producing their products in such unsafe working conditions.


Another example is from 2008, where Coca-Cola came under criticism for their water use at an Indian facility located in a water-scarce region, which led them to rethink the way they’re producing their product in that region and implement significant water-use improvements. And, finally, in 2001 Sony had a disruption getting their PlayStations into the Netherlands, when Dutch officials confiscated over $160 million worth of PlayStations and accessories due to high cadmium content in wiring and cables in the product itself. Again, an example where a second- or third-tier supplier provided a noncompliant product that violated environmental standards and impacted the supply chain.


These example illustrate a wide range of sustainability incidents, but they have one thing in common, and that is: The root cause is a sustainability issue. Risk management is based on an approach of taking steps to understand your supply chain and, where you have risk exposure, taking action to assess the nature of the risk and to mitigate or treat it and monitoring potential sources of risk for early detection and treatment of the events. By using a risk-based approach, companies can understand where sustainability can become a business issue, as shown by the examples above. This can lead to a better discussion of not only how to protect the company, but also where the return on investment is for sustainability actions. It takes it out of the realm of “we’re doing for good for the world” and into the realm of “here are actions we can take that not only help us be a more sustainable company, but protect our business from disruption.”


One additional benefit is that both risk management and sustainability have some similarities in that they’re both based on improving visibility of the supply chain, understanding where products are made, how they are made, where you have either sustainability exposure or risk exposure. By gaining visibility, what a lot of companies have found is, they can also understand where their opportunities to improve efficiency and quality for better business performance just by getting a better understanding of what happens within their supply chain. It really is a very valuable method.


There’s sort of one final issue. As we look at a changing climate and the impacts of climate change, it’s important to recognize that they represent a new set of risk for supply chains. One of the interesting things about climate change, one of the things that actually produces many arguments is the significant amount of uncertainty around what the actual impacts of climate change will be and what regions that will affect.


A risk-based approach will help companies prepare and monitor our changing climate to minimize the potential that a supply chain will be disrupted by climate change, by viewing them as a potential and viewing it that way and how they can disrupt the business versus just saying, “We want to be aware of them from a sustainability standpoint.” It’s a lot of value even going forward, looking at new sustainability issues and how they can present a risk to the supply chain.


One other area where risk management is a valuable approach is in dealing with slow-moving or highly variable inventory. Just about every company has inventory where it’s highly variable or sporadic demand patterns. These are the items that don’t fit to a nice, clean typical forecast. The problem with this inventory is that it is impossible to forecast using traditional statistical methods because there’s simply not sufficient data to product a reliable forecast.


Using a risk-based approach recognizes that statistics are ineffective in this case, and a risk-based approach looks at the historic patterns of demand for this product to evaluate where you run the risk of being out of stock or being unable to serve a customer at the level you want to. With that information, you can then start making decisions about how to trade off your investment and inventory against the level of service you want to provide to your customers.


At LMI we recently developed an inventory-optimization tool called PNG that uses this approach and actually was a finalist in the CSCMP Innovation Award for this year. PNG uses a risk-based analysis together with a simulation engine to evaluate historical demand and recommend inventory levels based on the tradeoff between investment and customer service. Rather than using a statistical projection, it uses this simulation to look at where, at what level do you start running a risk of not being able to serve your customers with a fast-enough response.


We’ve implemented this tool with clients, and what our clients have seen is, just using that risk-based approach and getting rid of the statistical forecast, they see a significant increase in their customer service levels while, at the same time, reducing their inventory investment. Just by taking this different approach and recognizing that it’s impossible to forecast these * (8:23—unclear); the physical methods don’t work. There’s an advantage to use using this different approach, and as you go forward, there’s the ability to continually improve the way you serve customers at a lower investment level.


I talk about why companies should take risk-based approaches to solving these problems. In both these cases a company is dealing with exceptions to their supply chain operations whether it’s noncompliant supplier, an unforeseen sustainability event, or an unforecastable spike in demand, these are things that go outside the normal operations or normal expected responses within the supply chain. Since they are exceptions, they cannot be solved through traditional supply chain methods based on data analysis or process improvement. You can’t predict these based on historical trends, and you can’t change your processes to eliminate these.


They require an approach that is designed to manage operational exceptions, and that is a risk-management approach. This change in perception leads to a better process for managing sustainability and the slow or highly variable inventory while, at the same time, putting the results from these in terms understood by the business. In other words, you're taking a different perception on what sustainability or what slow-moving or highly variable inventory means to the business.


It is no longer something that’s just difficult to manage; it’s now a risk where you need to mitigate or protect yourself against the potential disruptions they can cause. By doing that, you take it out of somebody trying to manage the unmanageable and into the realm of “How do we protect our business? How do we protect our supply chain? How do we protect our brand? How do we protect our operations and our customers from these disruptions?” It’s a very valuable approach and a very useful approach to some very unique problems that we face in the supply chain.


Again, Dustin, I want to thank you again for the opportunity to talk with you about these. If you have any other questions, please let me know, and I’d be happy to talk further. Again, thank you very much for including me, and I appreciate your time. Thank you.



About Taylor Wilkerson




Taylor Wilkerson



Supply Chain Risk and Sustainability Expert


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Dr. Janice Presser who discussed Strengthen the Human Links in Your Supply Chain.





You're an expert in teamwork and team performance, and that’s extremely important in supply chain activity. Has your work involved direct experience with supply chains?


Well, I’m a behavioral scientist. I did have direct experience with supply chain issues during the time I was president of a sheet metal manufacturing company.


You know, if your steel shipment is a day late, everything moves up more than a day, sometimes much more, because all the other points in the chains just don’t adapt automatically. If there’s pressure to make up lost time earlier in the chain, rushing the process can produce problems that are even worse than being late. One example would be the time one of our people nearly ruined an entire shipment by loading product before the coating had cured completely.


The problems in supply chains frequently occur at the handoff points. Is there something managers can do about that?


Yes, there is. Even though supply chain automation has changed things a great deal, it’s still true that many connections in the chain rely on the actions of two or more human beings. These can be points of vulnerability because people don’t always behave as they should or think they should or even as they’ve told as they must.


Perhaps the organization or manager is unwittingly motivating people to see their colleagues as competition for raises, promotion, or praise. Managers first need to make it clear that everyone on the team must be pulling in the same direction. However, in order to make that point effectively, managers need to understand that different people have a different orientation to serving the needs of their team, and the different people experience respect and appreciation differently. New information on team management is now becoming available in a branch of management science that addresses the collaborative structure of teams.


What would be the first advice you’d give on getting a team to work better together?


You need to learn some of the management insights and methods that explain the different modes of team contribution and these role-based differences that guide the use of respect and appreciation to the line with a person’s desire to contribute.


We did a lot of research on the effects of respect, and we were amazed by the effectiveness of what we came to call role respect. By role, I’m not talking about the normal uses, interchangeable with job title or job function, but rather a capital R role that equates to a person doing something that’s intrinsically meaningful, even to the point of feeling like it’s their mission in life. When you tap in to that, you can become much, much more effective in raising team productivity and quality.


Your new book is called @DrJanice: Thoughts & Tweets on Leadership, Teamwork, & Teamability. Why did you write it?


Well, I started blogging in 2007 and tweeting in 2008. Having done five books for major publishers and written a slew of articles over the years—and not to mention a dissertation—it wasn’t much of a challenge to come up with the words. The challenge was to explain in plain English some very complex elements of team interaction.


I really wanted to be able to reach out to people who were stuck in outmoded ideas of what it means to be a leader or a team player, and I wanted to just say to them, “It doesn’t have to be that way. You can fix it. And you aren’t alone.” During the Industrial Revolution and for years after, most workers were considered an interchangeable link in a chain or a bullet list of skills and intelligence and experience. Unfortunately, a lot of people still view themselves and others that way even though we’re living in an increasingly complex and interdependent world of globalization, virtual teams, generational differences, and cultural change.


Today we have the opportunity to understand how each team member operates as a contributor and how to develop, manage, and motivate each person appropriately. With these new operating instructions, people can become less stressed, more productive, and a whole lot nicer to be around in the workplace. Who knows, they might even take that feeling home with them and start making the world a more peaceful place to live.


How can we learn more?


Well, I’m always happy to communicate with anyone who takes an interest in our technology, but the word about teamability seems to be spreading very rapidly now, so I’m not as readily available as I’d like to be.


But, of course, we have a Web site at, and we have some wonderful people who can answer your questions and send out information. And, also, there’s my new book, @DrJanice: Thoughts & Tweets on Leadership, Teamwork, & Teamability, and it’s now available on,, and from just about any bookstore. It’s meant to be both informative and fun, and it covers a lot of different aspects of team collaboration in the workplace.


About Dr. Janice Presser



Dr. Janice Presser


CEO, The Gabriel Institute -

Creator of technology that

measures Teamability®

LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Karen Jahnke who discussed How is Cultural Change Related to Leadership?






1. Please provide a brief background of yourself


Hello Dustin. First, thank you for the opportunity to start a conversation with the Supply Chain Expert Community around a topic about which I am passionate. I have been a management consultant for 15 plus years with a primary focus on information technology and in various verticals. I deliver project management, program management, business transformation and business development solutions to mid-market and Fortune 500 companies. I am the Principal Management Consultant and Chief Listening Officer at Triumvirate Consulting Group LLC, a business that I started in 2009 to deliver management consulting as well as professional development programs. I am also honored to be an at large Board Member with the Wisconsin Veterans Foundation.


I am excited to talk with you today about cultural change as it relates to cross-cultural leadership and operational excellence. I’d like to take a sharpened focus on project managers and how I view the transformation of that role as leader in the newly globalized market.


2. How is cultural change related to leadership?


Perhaps the simplest way to explain how cultural change relates to leadership is to share a statement from “The Best of the Best” Report (2003), First Light PMV Inc.,Toronto, ON. The report states that; “Inspired culture drives prosperity… Inspired leaders drive inspired cultures.”


Yet the volume of articles written recently about leadership and more specifically about the lack of leadership as a global problem lends itself to critical challenges that corporations and mid-market cultures are feeling every day. Challenges such as the inability to innovate, lack of agility, too slow to market with products and services as well as challenges with hiring and retaining the right talent at the right time.


Historically culture has been considered a soft measure and I feel not enough attention and value given to how culture affects the bottom line.It is easy to understand why culture has not been given the weight because it is difficult to measure and to quantify the value of employee focus in your company’s culture. Yet employee attention, engagement and focus are, in my opinion, the most valuable commodity that a business has in terms of culture. Inspired leaders at all levels of an organization must create the desire for these assets within the culture and design an organizational strategy that sustains cultural change.



3. Can you talk about operational excellence in terms of cultural change and leadership?


Cross-cultural leadership has been defined as having two components; organizational leadership and culture. In order to move the needle and reach its strategic and operational goals leaders need to be passionate about affecting cultural change.


Dustin, I’d like to digress briefly to discuss my experience and observations regarding the newly globalized market and the globalized supply chain. I’ve spent significant time during the past year considering this shift in terms of project management. I believe one role that will continue to transform and evolve in the new normal is the role of the project manager.


I’m bringing this forward today because I feel that those who have been traditional project management practioners for ten plus years,and especially those in the field of information technology, are experiencing a real paradigm shift as projects today look more like products and services often delivered via incremental activities and pushed through a global supply chain. With the evolution of the newly globalized market the traditional project manager role seems to be transforming to supply chain manager or another role within the supply chain.


Project Management as a discipline concerns itself primarily with managing the triple constraint; Time, Cost and Scope. Supply Chain Management draws heavily on operations management, logistics, procurement and information technology to strive for an integrated approach. As leaders, project managers must start viewing challenges and finding solutions for business problems by looking at them through the lens of supply chain management. This is a systemic change and a shift in the mental model for most traditional project managers. However, if systems thinking is not applied my observations are that the project manager attempts to solve SCM problems by applying project management ideas and disciplines. In the globalized market those solutions can be ineffective. Further, the businesses ability to be agile and innovate quickly is negatively impacted.


I will take my thoughts one leap further to suggest that given the speed of innovations and with integration deepening as machines are connecting to each other,Supply Chain Management will also experience a transformation.


Today we are about mid-point on the Technology Roadmap for The Internet Of Things. Big Data and predictive analytics are still in their infancy. So much so that Universities are challenged with finding instructors qualified to teach Big Data. And organizations are hard-pressed to find technology professionals who can model and develop for Big Data. In India, developers are investing in educating themselves to get in front of the demand for these skills.


I’m curious about how The Internet Of Things and Big Data has and will alter supply chain management.  In terms of operational excellence, I believe that leaders need to be passionate about asking these types of questions and developing a culture that is also focused on asking the questions and passionate about designing and developing new innovations ahead of market demand.


4. What are your recommendations?


It is important to remember that leaders exist at all levels of an organization and identifying those leaders and investing in their ability to affect change is key to driving cultural change and operational excellence. To thrive in the newly globalized marketplace, now more than ever business needs to invest in culture to drive operational excellence and generate revenue.


I follow Richard Branson as an Influencer. He is, in my opinion, the model for leadership when it comes to understanding the value of investing in culture. In addition to living and breathing the culture he has the three key core competencies of leadership identified by Susan Marshall in her book How to Grow a Backbone: 10 Strategies for Gaining Power and Influence at Work. They are; competence, confidence and risk taking. I definitely recommend Susan’s book. I can give you a few scenario’s to describe what these leadership competencies look like in a culture.


In a culture that develops leaders and followers to be competent, confident, risk takers leadership places a value on always learning from challenges and opportunities. They grow a culture with a tolerance for failing and failing fast. The culture cannot be conservative and slow to change. If it wants to innovate it embraces a certain level of risk because it simply cannot be innovative and nimble if it is unwilling to take risks. Finally, it is a culture that is transparent and one in which leadership communicates often to engage and capture the very valuable commodities of focus and attention.


About Karen Jahnke



Karen Jahnke Chief Listening Officer.jpg

Karen Jahnke


Owner and Chief Listening Officer

at Triumvirate Consulting Group LLC

LinkedIn Profile


Karen Jahnke is owner and Chief Listening Officer at Triumvirate Consulting Group LLC. As a management consultant and business development professional her passion is to make an immediate positive impact and to deliver a measurable return on investment.


Contact Karen at +1.262.751.2619 or at



I interviewed Edward Brown who discussed Supply Chain Talent and Raising Profile of Logistics Careers.





It’s great to speak with you today, Edward. I look forward to hearing your views on the topic of supply-chain talent. Can you start by providing a brief background of yourself?

I’m from Manchester U.K. have a logistics management background in third-party, direct and next-day express logistics. I made the transition into global executive-search, more especially within the supply-chain sector, thirteen years ago last month.

Can you talk about what is the status of the supply-chain talent today?

I think some particular operational techniques, which are used the world over, ie S&OP (sales inventory order processing, as a means of developing agility within the supply-chain) are creating clear talent issues. I think the most important thing is the industry as a whole, whether it's in Shanghai or Manchester U.K…doesn't engage with future talent. Potential candidates don't view physical logistics or wider supply-chain as an exciting career, alongiside digital technology or multi-media.

How can the supply-chain industry profile be raised?

I think the opportunities and the avenues that logistics opens up to people is a very exciting one. I think it can go in so many different directions, and that’s more especially based around the elements of manufacturing, retail, end-to-end and multi-channel elements of whatever the organisation actually does. I think it can provide a basis, a really strong opportunity to allow people to develop significant management skills, to actually deliver significant change across the business, and also to understand intimately how that business operates, to understand the forensic nature of cost removal, of making the very best use of resources available, but equally to maximise both the top and hopefully the bottom line within an organisation.

Why do you believe that the supply-chain is often an overlooked area of business?

I think it’s seen as, to be frank, not particularly sexy. Trucks, sheds, warehouses, forklifts, how product gets from point of manufacture to point of store. If it’s with a global dynamic, if it’s containers, it ships, it’s ports, it’s airports, and it doesn’t really appeal. I think the organisations as a whole, particularly where there are degree courses, they understand it, but it comes as a surprise to me that here in the U.K, one of the globe’s foremost supply-chain courses - a dramatically high proportion of the students who actually take the course are not from the U.K. I find it somewhat of a head-scratcher, particularly when the fact that if you look at the Internet as a whole, several tens of thousands of supply-chain, cross-category, cross-functional, varying managerial level appointments remain vacant for lengthy periods of time.

Do you have any recommendations for professionals considering developing themselves in the industry?

I think one of the best platforms to consider is physical distribution - the ability to manage a million-square-foot warehouse with twelve hundred staff, a hundred million pound annual budget is a complex, critical and rewarding role. I think this really provides a manager with such a strong platform to understand the dynamic of the business and possibly to specialise and understand how product gets from A to B. I think people need to seek out bigger, better, engaged opportunities that are more closely defined. I think there is an ongoing need  post-graduation, for people to consider vocational training within the supply-chain sector. I think a logistics professional needs to be in a company where the culture is one very much focused on continuous improvement, change, increased agility and on developing talent, rather than, as unfortunately it tends to within some businesses, of just pigeonholing them, saying, “Logistics is why we employed you. Logistics is what we want to do,” rather than allowing people to develop their talent and looking at the wider supply-chain.

Did I cover all the points you wanted to make?

Dustin, I think increasingly companies are looking for more and more agility within their supply-chain, I think some struggle to maximise this area of their business through lack of talent engagement, succession planning and connecting effectively with graduates etc. In certain key disciplines - Distribution Centre General, Operations and Transport Managers for example, these key issues remain unadressed - the larger the role, is invertly proportionate to the number of fully qualified candidates, and connecting with potential talent via database, rarely attracts those most suited to a new role.



About Edward Brown




Edward Brown


Director, Global Executive

Search in Supply-Chain and HR

LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed John Brandt who discussed Transformational Leadership and Creation of Value in Supply Chains.

Can you start by providing a brief background of yourself?


Yeah, absolutely. My name is John Brandt. I’m CEO of the MPI Group; we’re a global-research firm. Before founding this firm about ten years ago, I was the president and publisher of Chief Executive magazine and before that, the publisher and editor-in-chief of IndustryWeek magazine. A long experience working with executives in manufacturing, supply chain, and a variety of other disciplines.


Can you talk about what is transformational leadership and who benefits?


Transformational leadership is sort of an umbrella under which we are organizing a lot of our research right now. One of the things we do is we look at companies that outperform others, and we look at an industry and we try to figure out who are the top performers, how are they different from everybody else, and what is it they do differently as firms and what are the different things that the executives do there. What we’ve found is that there are a series of things that seem to be common among the executives in different industries, different sectors that they seem to do differently around innovation, around talent, and around process that allow them to outperform others.


Can you talk about why is this important?


This is incredibly important right now because I think leadership is more difficult than it has been ever before. It’s cliché we deal with global economy, et cetera. I think more importantly are the stressors that we’ve seen after the recent global economic recession and what we’ve seen with what’s going on with employees in terms of distractions electronically and otherwise. It is a more difficult time to manage than ever before. What we see is that the leaders who are succeeding are fundamentally rethinking how they manage, how they lead, and how they think about the way they deliver value to their customers. That extends in a lot of different areas in terms of product development, marketing, supply chain, et cetera. They’re trying to think through differently what is customer value? What is value that you provide someone?


We used to think it resided in the product itself—it was the quality of the product, what it did, the features and benefits—or in a service, the same thing. Increasingly, though, what we’re finding in industry after industry is that customers are telling us, “The quality revolution is over. Quality came, quality won, quality went home. We believe the product you're selling us or the service you're providing is going to do what it says. What we want to know is what you're going to provide beyond that.” What we see in industry after industry is that the smartest leaders are the ones who are thinking, Okay, what is it that our customers are really worried about that what we’re selling is maybe part of the solution? What I mean by that is that we’re seeing in industry after industry where people who are providing an integrated solution where they’re providing service, product, and then, even beyond that, doing some integration between their products, they’re services, and those of some of their competitors are the ones who seem to be growing fastest and generating the most profits, because, really and truly, what customers want is not to buy something for you; what they want to do is, they want to cross three or four things off their to-do list and they want to sleep better at night. To the extent that you can think that through and what you’re offering means, that changes things dramatically. Now, that has huge implications in terms of how do we innovate. Do we focus on creating a marginal improvement in technology of the product? It has huge implications in who are the types of people that we hire. It has huge implications in terms of what do we think about process. In terms of when we talk about process with a supply chain or with a manufacturing firm, for example, we typically think of a value map where we’re just looking at how value is created instead of thinking through it from the customers’ point of view and what are the things that are truly important to them.


How is this done?


I wish I could tell you that there was a scientific map to it. Where we see it done by great leaders at great companies, there is a process to it, there’s a plan around it, but that tends to be going back to basics. Thinking, What is it that our customers want? What is it that they’re buying from us? It typically starts with a lot of market research going out and figuring out what does the brand mean, does it stand for. For example, a number of years ago, there was a great story out about Guinness beer, where they started seeing declining sales in their Irish market, and they were wondering why. When they went out what they found is that their market research told them that the Guinness brand did not stand for beer, it stood for community; it stood for bringing people together. If that’s the case, then the way you promote it, the way you build relationships with customers has to be vastly different. It starts with research. Once it goes beyond that, then you have to get the right people in place. What we’re seeing increasingly is that people are putting together very detailed talent plans, because we all sort of nod toward the fact that the talent we have is the most important differentiator in the marketplace, and yet when you look at most firms large and small, they do not have detailed plans for: “These are the types of people we want. These are the skill sets that we need at every level. This is how we attract these people. This is how we bring them on. This is how we onboard them,” because one of the key differentiators we see in industry after industry is how much training, how many hours of training per year do you do per employee.


Quality measures, profitably measures, almost all measures seem to move in lockstep with more training hours per year. It’s not just training; it’s also on-boarding. When you get one of these great people on board, what do you do to make sure they’re going to be successful over the first 18 months or so? It’s also making sure that they stay with you. One of the things that we’re seeing in the economy right now that’s heating up in a number of places around the world is that people are feeling some sense of security, freedom, mobility that they didn’t have during the downturn, and I’m telling most of the executives that we talk to, work with that they are at risk for losing their best people right now if they aren’t doing creative things to make sure that they are still happy. It doesn’t necessarily mean just making sure they’re paid well. Are they challenged? Do they have the support they need? One of the great things that we’ve seen among a number of companies is that so many firms do an exit interview when somebody leaves. What we’re seeing is a number of firms now starting to do what they call stay interviews, where they interview the employees they’ve got right now, especially the really good ones, and say, “How are you? What do you feel like? What can we do better?” And it extends right then, as I mentioned, into process. How do your customers want to deal with you? One of the things that we see so much effort going into right now in terms of marketing and branding and social media, I see less effort going in to companies thinking, How do we deal with our customers, how do we deal with our employees, and what are some creative ways for us to use social media in that?


Thank you. And did we cover all the points you wanted to make about transformation leadership?


I think so. I know since you cover supply chain, I think there’re a couple points we could make specifically about supply chain if you’d like to.


Yes, that’d be great.


Okay. Dustin, I know you do quite a bit with supply chain. One of the key things that we see going forward here is we see increasing concern, anxiety among executives at a lot of firms about the risk they face from their supply chains. We’re seeing increasing regulatory issues around traceability, around visibility in the supply chain. We see that’s not just by legal jurisdictions, but also sort of de facto regulations from customers who are insisting on certain things. And people are concerned about their financial risk, their product-liability risk, their, frankly, reputational risk, their moral risk if they’ve got a supplier who is not treating workers or a surrounding community in the right way. People want to do the right thing; they’re getting worried about it. We’re actually seeing, in the United States, for example, it’s almost becoming a little bit like Sarbanes-Oxley, where supply chain managers or senior supply chain officials are feeling like they have to sign off on the integrity of their supply chain.


This is an area where, yes, because there’s so much anxiety here, I see an opportunity in terms of transformational leadership, transformational creation of value, for companies to get out ahead and say, “Look, we can help you with the supply chain.” By being leaders in that, whether it’s in sustainability or human rights, et cetera, by doing that and being able to sign off on their own supply chains as they work with others and to actually add those best practices to the people that they are working with, there’s a huge opportunity to be transformationalists and to get out ahead. I think this is going to be one of the signature issues over the next four to five years for executives at the world’s, frankly, largest firms and moving on down to even the midsize and even smaller firms as world trade increases. I think this is a huge anxiety, a huge risk, but a huge opportunity for people to be transformational if they can get ahead of it and make sure they’re doing the right things.


And thanks again, John, for sharing these important points and insights regarding transformational leadership.


Sure. Dustin, thank you so much, and it’s been a pleasure being with you.


Thank you.

About John Brandt




John Brandt



CEO, The MPI Group

LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Ron Mudgett who discussed Supply Chain Integration.







Ron, it’s great to speak with you today, and I look forward to hearing your views on the topic of supply chain integration. Can you start by providing a brief background of yourself?


Sure, Dustin. I have a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management. I’m currently the director of education for the LA chapter of APICS, the organization for operations managers. I’m about halfway through my master’s cohort for the MSSCM program at Michigan State University. I’ve been a business owner and in the supply chain industry for about 30 years.


What is supply chain integration?


Supply chain integration is what I believe to be the next frontier in business transformation in the United States. Manufacturing facilities and manufacturing companies have put lean to work and Six Sigma and TQM and those types of things to gut out any waste in their programs. Integrating the supply chain is the next big thing I think because what we’re going to do is we’re going to allow faster information, more information between not only our customers and then ultimately the end user, but also in tier one and tier two suppliers. If you look at supply chain being on a vertical plane, it’s a matter of the entire chain starting from tier one, tier two and, in some cases, tier three suppliers all the way to the end consumer or retailer using point of sale data and things of that nature. Getting that information flowing both ways as quickly as possible and the information then for both supply and demand.


Where do you see business heading in the future?


Let’s just talk about integration as it begins to get more and more popular. There are some companies out there that are doing an excellent job at it. Obviously, you can look those up. Look those companies up and you're going to see is that what they’re doing is they’re building that vertical supply chain. And we’re seeing supply chains compete against supply chain. No longer is it just a manufacturing company or just the retailer competing against other manufacturers and retailers. As this integration begins to take place, these companies become more and more partners, for lack of a better word, partners in the actual moving a product and getting the product the end customer wants when they want it and doing it at the best price. Those types of things, as that happens, we’re gonna see, then, supply chains compete against supply chains. When that happens then we’re gonna see some much stronger, I think, manufacturing in supply and distribution, but we’re gonna see a lot better higher-quality, lower-priced products for the end consumer and having those available when they need them. That’s really what supply chains in business for: to provide a product for the end customer.


How should supply chain professionals respond to this trend?


I think the big thing is, again, would be to understand how integration works and how it can make you more competitive. I have seen or been in a lot of different companies both in consulting and in my work history where I have seen different levels of integration. Some companies are willing to share more information, some less. As they start to understand the integration and what it can do in the overall process and to what it can benefit, what value it can add to the end user or the consumer, they’ll start to get more information on how to become integrated. That information’s out there. There are a lot of professional organizations that you can get certifications on integration. I’m CSCP-certified through APICS, which is a certification that really, the integration portion of the supply chain is really heavy in that training, where many out there other than that, those types of things in that training is going to be something that manufacturing and supply chain individuals throughout all companies should be getting involved in, finding that training and making use of it.


Thank you, Ron, for sharing these views on supply chain integration.


No problem, Dustin, any time.




About Ron Mudgett




Ron Mudgett

Executive Consultant

at RPM Global SCM

LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Timothy Raven who discussed The Key to Operational Excellence.






It’s great to speak with you today, Tim, and I look forward to hearing your views on the key to operational excellence. The background is that you have an article on the Supply Chain Management Review about the key to operational excellence, and I’d be interested to hear your views and maybe some new insights on this topic. Can you start by providing a brief background of yourself?


Sure. I have been with Profit Velocity Solutions for a couple of years. My responsibility is to lead the North American practice, which our channel is focused on, working with consulting firms and with private equity firms. My background is very much from the finance side of the business. I spent a number of years working in corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions on Wall Street and understood that, really, the way to drive value in business is not necessarily just through leverage, as many private equity firms have done for a number of years, but it’s understanding how to increase cash throughput from the assets which businesses own. When I was introduced to Michael Rothschild, I understood right away where Profit Velocity would work best, and as we have found with some of our early adopter customers, it is very much in the private equity community.

Can you talk a little bit about what is operational excellence?


I think that’s a good question. There are many people who have all kinds of different definitions for operational excellence. There’s actually a big LinkedIn group that’s has over 40,000 members, and they have a definition for operational excellence. I’ll pull a definition that Aberdeen Group uses and it says: “Operational excellence goes beyond a cost-containment strategy. This critical process helps companies realign priorities to actions and simplify decision-making, accelerate positive results, and regain competitive advantage. For leading manufacturers, it is a company wide framework to renew corporate strategy.” Maybe if we work with that definition of operational excellence I can expand on to where I see Profit Velocity fitting in to that definition.


Yes, can you talk more about that?


Yes, I think operational excellence, historically, has been viewed by  a lot of people  as driving operating efficiency. Operating efficiency, to us involves, tried and tested methods around lean Six Sigma, supply chain initiatives, OEE initiatives, and it’s about increasing the productivity of the assets on the shop floor. People have been doing this for years. It’s a  great way to increase the value of a business. But there are really two components of operational excellence. There’s operational effectiveness and operational efficiency. Operational effectiveness involves the front of the house. It’s taking a lot of the principles of lean Six Sigma and applying it to the front of the house. By that, I mean: How do you lean out the supply of orders that is coming over your transom so that you really pick the ones that are making you the most money from your assets. Today everybody in manufacturing uses the method of unit margin to guide their decision-making. It’s not wrong; it’s the best they’ve got. But unit margin, if you break it down, is return on material cost. The return on material cost is great if you're in the business of buying and selling inventory, but if you are an asset-intensive manufacturer and you use unit margin to guide your decision-making around sales, production, and planning, you're really missing the ball, because what you need to be looking at is return on assets as that’s what you’ve invested your capital in. And more importantly, that’s what the shareholders value. They want to see how quickly you’re making money from your machines, and that’s what we do. That’s a key metric that we measure: cash contribution per minute or hours of machine time by SKU. Very different from unit margin.


And who needs to focus on operational excellence? Who should pay attention to or care about operational excellence?


As I said, there are 40,000 members of a LinkedIn society looking at operational excellence, so there are a lot of people out there. You go to any big manufacturing company and you're going to find that there’s a leader for operational excellence in that business. If you go to DuPont, look at their Web site; it’s all about operational excellence. You go to Koch Industries, same sort of thing. These are businesses that are looking to drive superior return on equity, and they understand that they can get there by integrating what has historically been disparate parts of the organization: sales, operations, and finance. Historically, these three silos in a business  have not worked well together, and if you can get those three silos to integrate and work together cohesively, you will improve profitability of the business and drive superior shareholder returns.


Do you have any recommendations for how companies can get started?


We’re looking at the front of the house, not the back of the house. There are plenty of consultants who can work with you to help drive improvements at the back of the house, but the front of the house is basically new territory.  If you get in touch with us we can recommend one of our consulting partners that will be best suited to your needs.  The reason why is it’s a big data issue is  to be able to gather this information, compute it and send results back to management teams on this instantaneously. Is a  very big programming issue. What we have is not a fancy Excel spreadsheet. Some people might say, “Well, I can just do this in Excel.” We say, “Best of luck to you. Go ahead.” Quite often, after six months they come back to us and say, “You know what, it’s not quite as easy as we thought it was.” We say, “No, it’s not. It’s a very, very complicated, confusing task.” We have a very nice packaged SaaS application that is quick to turn on, can be up and running in two to three weeks, and will drive tremendous value. We typically look at a six- to ten-X return on investment in the first year of using our application. If you're an investor and I came to you and said, “If you give me ten thousand dollars, I’ll give you seventy thousand back,” is that a good return to you?


Did we cover everything you wanted to discuss about the topic?


I think I’ve pretty much covered off everything, but  let’s just come back to S&OP and the supply chain article. S&OP historically has been about trying to match supply with demand without very much of an insight into how profitable that activity is going to be.


A lot of companies today are introducing what’s called integrated business planning, which is introducing this finance component. It’s a major step forward. If you're in retail or distribution, you're probably doing just fine, but I come back to if you're in an, asset-intensive, SKU-rich manufacturing environment, you don’t want to be using unit margin to guide your decisions; you need to be using the metric of Profit Velocity. And when you do so, we find time and time again there’s an opportunity to increase EBITDA by 3-plus points of revenue over an 8- to 16-month period. That’s real value.


We say  the money is hiding there in the seat cushions. You’ve just got to understand how you can drive, and capture that value through a more effective S&OP process. From an industry standpoint, we look for, as I said, the asset-intensive, high-SKU manufacturing businesses, and those would include businesses like specialty chemicals, steel mills, contract pharmaceuticals, electronic-component part manufacturing, packaging businesses, auto parts. It’s a fairly broad universe of businesses, and it’s obviously global too.


We have offices in Singapore, and we have offices throughout North America now. Why in Singapore? Because it’s the center for electronic-component manufacturing. We work with semiconductor manufacturing companies there. There’s huge opportunity globally for this approach. Our model, as I said earlier, is: we work with consulting firms who use our application to drive value for their clients. We don’t want to be in the consulting business. We don’t want to scale up to compete with them; we want to enhance their capabilities to drive value for their clients.


Thank you, Tim, for sharing your views about the article that you had on key to operational excellence and the additional insights that you provided.


It was my pleasure and I look forward to speaking with you again, Dustin.


Thank you.


Related Links:


Driving Operational Excellence


Supply Chain Management Review Effective S&OP:  An overlooked component of Operational Excellence


Ventana Research

Profit Velocity’s New Dimension Profitability






About Timothy Raven


Tim Raven.jpg

Timothy Raven

Managing Director

at Profit Velocity Solutions

LinkedIn Profile

Timothy Raven is the Managing Director of Profit Velocity Solutions, a San Francisco-based software company that has pioneered a unique integrated profit platform called PV Accelerator™.   Available only through its global network of consulting firm alliance partners, PV Accelerator reveals new insights to drive continuous profit improvement.  By supplementing traditional profit-per-product-unit margin analysis with the previously unavailable “missing metric” of profit-per-machine-hour, high-product-variety manufacturers can tap previously hidden opportunities to accelerate cash flow and achieve major gains in annual profit and ROA. Learn more at