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I interviewed Carlos Rivero Bianchi who discussed What does LinkedIn Represent Today for the Supply Chain Management Professionals.







It's good to speak with you today, Carlos. Looking forward to hearing your views today on software for supply chain, the Latin American supply chain status. My first question is can you provide a brief background of yourself?



I am an entrepreneur in the supply chain field. I have worked in this area for more than 20 years. I started my career at IBM Argentina. For around five years, I was in the role of project leader for the IT supply chain software solution implementation in South America in countries like Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, and others. And this was my first approach to the IT for logistic scenario. And I really got very involved with this because after moving from IMB, I started working on a big, big 3 PL companies with persons in all of South America and Central America. There I was working as an IT manager and by 2004, I decided to open my own business. I founded Globaltech were we create a software suite with [inaudible 00:01:03] and TMS capabilities and actually running in more than 800 customers across all America.


I used to speak in different universities and colleges regarding logistics and IT and logistic environment. And we used to be a member of different companies dedicated to providing software solution for different industries.


Can you talk about the state of software for supply chain in Latin America? What is currently happening?


Supply chains in South America could not be considered as a single scenario. I mean, more than 10 countries are part of South America, which is not a big deal. However, all of them have difference in the supply chain need, mainly because of the market maturity and especially because of the topography, different geographical situations, different kinds of cities. They look similar, but they are very different. For example, there are some small countries such as Uruguay where logistics would be considered really easy for the short distance, usually served by truck.


But other countries like Colombia has to use air freight to move almost any cargo due to the lack of good roads. So this difference with be reflected in the solutions provided by local vendors. The software solution provided by local vendors, making the local solution the strength or weakness, depending on where they were developed and the kind of market they are trying to serve.


Creating very good TMS solutions and cargo solution, but it's very difficult to find a complete software suite who serves your warehouse, the distribution,your cargo, and for custom clearance needs.


On the other hand, you have a weak economy. So the world class solutions are usually unaffordable. And even when big companies could afford them, a lot of customization is needed. And this customization is usually very difficult for those who don't know the local needs.


So in summary, this situation created a great opportunity for a regional software vendor who knows across country needs and creates software considering they need an affordable price for this market.


Where do you see the opportunities and the threats?


Usually, a growing market will always present a lot of opportunities. And in South America, there are plenty of them for a new software company who really understands their local needs and can offer a software with world-class functionalities but at an affordable price for this market.


But you have to keep in mind that the local market is gaining maturity in this field, in the supply chains, and they are looking, always, for new ways to do the logistics better with an aspiration to implement a new concept in hardware and software for the industry, trying to imitate leading companies worldwide.


So I think that the big opportunity here is to be the first mover in this scenario, trying to get into the market with a novel solution, with world-class solutions, and to get their market needs satisfied.


What are your recommendations for moving forward?


Well, my recommendation for these companies who are trying to get into South America is first of all, you have to clearly understand the market. This is, as I mentioned before, there are different needs, different countries, different people. Even when the companies look similar, you will find regional company who work at a single one, they are different. They are forced to do the thing different ways. Sometimes for local government regulation they have to do it in a different way.


So this company who is trying to get into the market, they have to do it with the local needs in mind and try to avoid a one-size-fits-all concept and move to this market with a scalable and customizable software solution.



About Carlos Rivero Bianchi






Carlos Rivero Bianchi





LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Julio Franca who discussed A view on the Differentiating Factors of the TOP 5 SC ranked by Gartner.








Julio, thanks for making the time available for one more interview. Can you please firstly explain to us what is Gartner Top 25 rank and how it works?


Of course Dustin. Since many years now, Gartner has been deeply involved with the Supply Chain Developments. Annually, they publish a rank of the top 25 Supply Chain performers. They consider tangible and intangible variables to get into this ranking. Tangible variables are typically financially driven such as ROA (Return on Assets, Growth Ratio, Inventory Turns, etc). Intangible Variables are typically collected through Gartner’s wide network of Senior Supply Chain Executives, Faculties, Subject Matter Experts, etc. Recently, in 2016, Gartner added a new dimension into this mix: Sustainability.


Can you please briefly describe the reasoning why analyzing the Gartner SC Research could help?


Sure. In my view, Gartner ranking selects yearly the top Supply Chain performers and provide insights on what they are doing, how, why, with whom, etc. This for a vast range of industries, typically consumer goods, retail, consumer durables, auto, electronics, you name it. Looking in details at their studies over the years had significantly helped me to gain deep expertise on how a top SC performers should look like in terms of supply chain best practices, business partnering, external and internal collaboration, process improvement, technology usage, etc


Can you maybe summarize your thoughts around the key strengths of the TOP 5 Gartner performers, according to your viewpoint?


Of course. Firstly, it is worth mentioned which are the top SC performers according to Gartner’s 2016 rank. These are Unilever, McDonalds, Amazon, Intel and H&M, in that order. In addition to that, Apple and P&G continue to qualify for the Masters Category, which Gartner introduced in 2015 to recognize sustained supply chain leadership over the last 10 years.


The first observation is that these companies have a wide range of industry background such as consumer goods, retail, food, electronics, garments, etc. Having said that, there are still common areas that they continue to work on, perhaps in slightly different ways, however driving continuously supply chain in the direction of delivering Cost, Service, Safety, Quality, Speed, Flexibility, Innovation, Sustainability, among others.


I won't go into the specific of the strengths areas of each of these companies, which by the way can be found at Gartner, however, my intention here is to try to summaries, from my perspective, what are these common areas, perhaps with a view to providing the ones listening to this interview with some food for thought for further improving their supply chains.


In my view, those are the top 10 observations of what these high performers are doing:


1)    offering differentiated supply chain solutions to meet customers' needs

2)    delivering better, stronger and faster innovations

3)    running end-to-end synchronization programmes

4)    Increased Adoption of Advanced Analytics and Big Data to support the decision making process

5)    Emphasis on Corporate Social Responsibility

6)    Enabling Multi-Channel businesses (including Digital)

7)    Sustainability: achieving zero waste through its “four R approach” - reducing, reusing, recovering or recycling

8)    Supply Chain professionals becoming real Business Partners (instead of only providing the functional SC expertise)

9)    Moving away from the Minimum Possible Cost of the Optimum Cost vs Value balance

10)    In-house customized capabilities and skills development


Well, that is quite a lot to digest, but it would be in my view a fair summary of where the SC leaders are heading to.


Finally, can you please briefly introduce yourself and Spin.


Sure. I am a Naval Engineer with a Master in Finance and a MBA at Rotterdam School of Management (top 5 in Europe). I have over 20 years of experience in Supply Chain, having spent ½ of my time as a Supply Chain executive in a FMCG manufacturer, running operations, and the other ½ of my careers as a Supply Chain consultant.


Currently I am one of the founding partners of Spin Consulting (, a specialized SC boutique who differentiates by delivering fast, tangible and sustainable results to our clients.


About Julio Franca







Julio Franca


Director at Spin Consulting


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Mildren Susana Mercedes who discussed What does LinkedIn Represent Today for the Supply Chain Management Professionals.







What does LinkedIn represent today for the supply chain management professionals?


LinkedIn has become a very powerful tool for everyone involved in the world of supply chain. From the physical facilities to the entities itself, as a means to promote their capabilities and services, but even more so to the actual workforce that managed the supply chain of the very same entities.


One will say, “In what ways has LinkedIn become this important?”


In my opinion, because LinkedIn has allowed professional supply chain managers and experienced individuals from all corners of the world to get together and form network groups and forums -- some specifically targeted key topics such as procurements, logistics, production, and so on. This exchange of innovative ideas, knowledge, industry experience, as well as practice, flowing freely is through such interaction where individuals come to expose questions related to problems or situations that otherwise one would need to obtain training or school in order possibly solve such problems.


To these very same points, here a scholar may offer a possible answer with a positive solution. It is my belief that LinkedIn, today, has created a powerful source of interactive learning. I'm inclined to say that this interaction is at best an exchange of educational learning, just like the one obtained in the classroom but even better with a much more worldwide perspective.


In this era of network competition and exposure, I will say that LinkedIn has helped to create a virtual environment that gives everyone a sense of learning in unity.



About Mildren Susana Mercedes






Mildren Susana Mercedes


Supply Chain and Procurement Manager- BA, Intl. Trade & Marketing & Master in Supply Chain and Production


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Alison Tringale who discussed How can Hiring Managers Attract the Best Talent.







Can you provide a brief background of yourself?


Thanks, Dustin. So, as Dustin said, my name is Alison Tringale. I run Kenna Group. We're a recruiting firm that specializes in procurement and supply chain. My background is in procurement and supply chain, actually, rather than recruiting. I started my career with Quaker Oats and Pepsi and in their global procurement group buying commodities, ingredients, and then from there, I spent six or seven years in supply chain and procurement consulting with Accenture. And then about seven years ago, I started this firm. Like I said, we specialize exclusively in supply chain and procurement. We do a little bit of engineering as well. And that's me in a nutshell.


How can hiring managers attract the best talent?


That's a really good question. I get that probably on a weekly basis, Dustin. And really, I think most people agree that hiring good people is extremely difficult, regardless of the industry you're in, regardless of the sector or function. But it's especially difficult for those in the procurement and supply chain space. I've actually read through several of your interviews, Dustin, and you've interviewed others that have said the talent pool, there's definitely a shortage of good, strong procurement and supply chain talent out there. So it definitely is something that's top of mind for people.


And what I usually say is, most candidates that work with, once they decide to leave a job, they have multiple offers. So it is a competitive marketplace out there. The short answer is pay more money, because that's the number one reason people leave or make decisions to take a job is money. But that's not always feasible. Hiring managers have a structure that they have to work within, their HR policies. So if you can't offer that rock star salary or amazing perks like Google, and all the technology companies do, then you have to find other ways to stand out from the crowd.


One of the most simple, inexpensive things that I always tell people is just run a really solid recruiting process. I think what people need to remember is that this is a candidate's first experience with your company and its culture. So it needs to be positive. It needs to run smoothly. Timing and feedback are key.


When I say timing and feedback, what I mean by timing is candidates seems to move through the process at a reasonable pace. You'd be surprised how many companies take, I'm not kidding when I say six, seven months to get through a process. And unless you're interviewing a C-suite candidate, that's really too long. When I talk about timing, I think I'm talking to the manager, director type level. But it needs to move at a reasonable pace. And you need to get feedback. And by feedback, I'm not saying that it needs to be as specific as, "Oh, you nailed that question from Nancy in the last interview about leadership." It's more about feedback on the process.


So more along the lines of, "You did well in that last interview.We'd like to have you move to the next step. That will be an interview with Joe Smith. But Joe's out of town for the next two weeks. So we'll get you set up." Just give them feedback on what to expect next and how the process is going to move along. And that really goes a long way. And even if the process is going to take a little bit longer, if they know and if candidates are informed, it just makes for a much better process.


So one of the things I should probably hit — I glanced over it —is how long it should take. And I get this question all the time. It really depends, of course, on the level. But, like I said, for a manager, director level, it really probably shouldn't take more than 30 or 45 days. Having said that, it's my experience that candidates in the supply chain and procurement space aren't risk takers. So they generally take the first solid offer they get. By solid, I mean solid salary and benefits. So speed can be critical. So if you can move faster, you have an advantage over other companies.


So I guess that speed or timing and feedback are critical to that process. One of the things I get to this is, "Yes, but I'm just a hiring manager. HR, they run the process. They have control over it." I think that's kind of a cop-out, to be honest with you, because a lot of hiring managers do take that hands-off approach, and they just let HR run it. But HR has oftentimes dozens and dozens of requisitions that they're handling. So they're doing the best they can, and your requisition doesn't mean any more to them than the next one. So I think you have to take the bull by the horns and help them keep things moving. Again, just remember that this process, this interview process, is a candidate's first experience with what it's like to work for your company, and most importantly, you as a hiring manager. So you don't want the interview process to be painful, unless, of course, you're painful to work for, if that makes sense.


Do you have any examples of success you can share?


I have a lot of examples of companies. Of course, I can't be specific in the names. But I would tell there are even very large Fortune 100 companies that will move through an interview process in a matter of three weeks. And those are the companies that I find once they can nail in on a candidate that they like, and they just move, they get the best talent, because they're not afraid to just pull the trigger, so to speak. I'd love to give you names, because I think you'd be surprised at how large some of these companies are that can move as quick as they can. But every single one of them has a very engaged hiring manager that runs the process. I shouldn't say runs the process, that owns the process. They own the hiring process, and they don't let little things get in the way. Once they find a candidate they like, they follow that candidate through the process and make sure they get through it. So that's what I would... Those are the types of examples that, when I look back on my clients and say, "Which ones get the best talent?" it's the hiring managers that are the most engaged.


Thank you. Do you have any final recommendations?


There are other things. I guess I focused on that hiring process, which is so important. But of course, there are other things that candidates look for in addition to a core salary. Salaries are always going to be one, culture is two, which the hiring process does reflect on the culture of a company.


But I think there's other little things that you can do, a flexible work environment is becoming increasingly important, particularly to the younger generation, or the millennials. Any flexible work environment or virtual, that will give you a leg up on getting talent. Any kind of other small perks that you can offer as far as time off or flexible time off. It doesn't necessarily have to be more vacation. It's just about allowing people to work when it's flexible for them. I find that that's a really important thing for, like I said, particularly younger or the millennial generation.


Other than that, again, it's really putting on a good... It's really showing them what's it's like to work for you as a hiring manager. Because your company is going to have a reputation, regardless. If you work for a big company, they have a reputation. Those candidates are going to go on Glass door. They're going to read a bunch of reviews about what it's like to work for company XYZ, but at the end of the day, a candidate is choosing to work for you as a hiring manager. So I think it's really important to take ownership of that and show them and give them an idea of what it's like to work for you versus this massive company.


Thanks for sharing today.


No problem, Dustin. Thanks for having me.



About Alison Tringale







Alison Tringale


President & CEO at Kenna Group


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Felipe Araujo who discussed Business Process Management.







Please provide a brief background of yourself

I am from Brazil. I am a production engineer with MBA. I have over 20 years experience in consumer packaged goods companies, 5 of those in international assignments in the USA and Venezuela. I worked in companies like Price Waterhouse Coopers, British American Tobacco, Anheuser-Bush Inbev, Kraft/Mondelez and lately at Calvo Group.


I have experience mostly in the Supply Chain area, my strongest discipline in Supply Chain is Procurement, which ranges from strategic sourcing and negotiation to overall organization and process design. I have managed spends up to US$ 1,0 Bn, organizations with 100 people and stakeholders in all regions across the globe.


What is business process management?

Is a field that focus on improving corporate performance via standardizing, managing and optimizing its processes.

It shifts from traditional functional silo organizations to process oriented end-to-end approach.


What are the challenges involved with its design and implementation?

Not having top management engaged and proper decision rights. Regional involvement doesn´t necessarily mean resources prioritization.

The power of the countries/regions to resist the “standard way” and focusing their efforts in building/keeping local solutions


How is it done effectively?

• Benchmark early on in the process.
• Benchmark leading companies to help gauge where we should focus and gain some learnings on what they said worked and didn’t.
• Don´t forget to look inside
• Establish a goal of global solution early on. Establish that regions had to provide a solution that would work for everyone and variations by any region needed to be justified with the global team.
• Get all the regions involved with the build of the solutions from the start. It built ownership early on in what was being developed and regional reps became champions of the solution.
• Always solve for the process flow, metrics and control issues first and then technology – “there is no point putting lipstick on a pig”
• Identify scope and capitalize on quick wins quickly. That will bring momentum and more support later on the process.



About Felipe Araujo






Felipe Araujo


Strategic Procurement Director Americas at Gomes da Costa (Calvo Group)


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Jeannie Pumphry who discussed Third Party Risk Management.







Thank you, Jeannie, for spending your time today to discuss Third Party Risk Management.  Can you start by providing a brief background of yourself?


Thank you for having me Dustin.  I have been with A&M four years this coming January and I am but one of many very talented Senior Directors at A&M specializing in Strategic Sourcing and Third Party Risk Management. I have been in Supply Chain Management for about 25 years.  I started my career with 8 years in the US Army Quartermaster Corp.  I have performed primarily in industry in global organizations such as GE, Bank of America, Wachovia/Wells Fargo and NBCUniversal.  My functional experience in Supply Chain Management includes indirect goods and services, manufacturing, Supply Chain Training, Organizational Development and Third Party Risk Management.  I am certified as a Six Sigma Lean Black Belt and a Third Party Risk Program Manager.


Thank you. My first question is: Why are you so passionate about Third Party Risk Management, and can you talk about what it is and who does it impacts?


Third party risk management is about managing the risk inherently introduced through utilizing the services of a third party or outsourcing to a third party.For a point of reference, a third party,as defined by the OCC, is any business arrangement between a bank and another entity, by contract or otherwise and is mostly identified as a Vendor, Supplier, Counter Party, Joint Venture or even a  Parent or Subsidiary to name a few.   This also includes management of the risk introduced by a third parties third parties (sometime referred to subcontractors or fourth parties).  As the practice of utilizing third parties for core business practices have grown over the years so have the risk of failed performance, data and information breaches and bad business practices.  While businesses can outsource services to a third party, they cannot outsource the risk.  Not only is the management of third parties a regulatory mandate it is also a business imperative.Third party risk management impacts not only the company contracting for the goods and services but also its employees, stakeholders, suppliers and customers.My passion around Third Party Risk Management is due to its close alignment and integration with Supply Management and Supply Chain Management.  Due to the evolving threat landscape regulators and companies are struggling to keep current, let alone get ahead. I have been leading third-party risk management program design and operations since early 2000 with the issuance of GL BA. And have been privileged to help both companies and suppliers identify and mitigate risk within their supply chain. I think one of the toughest challenges both face is the ability to build a program nimble enough to withstand the constant change necessary to meet their business requirements as well as the regulatory guidelines for which they are accountable.


What do you see as the future of Third Party Risk Management?


Continuous change more regulatory influence - more stringent management on those third parties that are critically important to organizations; More internal and external audits of both businesses and third parties. Better understanding of the supply chain internally and better management and hopefully a program that scales based on the services provided and the risk involved with the delivery of those services.


Who needs to pay more attention to Third Party Risk Management?


What we are seeing in the industry varies based on the level of maturity. Financial services, based on their history with third-party risk management regulatory oversight, show, broadly, the greatest level of maturity in the industry. However, where they seem to be lacking is in the ability for quick change; moving from a one-size-fits-all program to a risk-based approach taking into consideration the services being provided by their third parties. An exception to the financial services maturity is in the community and mid-tier banking sectors. Prior to the OCC guidance issued in December 2013 community banks were not necessarily called out as participants to third-party risk management guidance and therefore it was not necessarily a priority within their business model. The Retail and Insurance Industry are currently feeling the impact of a less than optimum Third Party Risk Management Programs and these industries have the opportunity to learn from the financial services industry and reduce their learning curve by looking at the lessons learned from previous failed programs and by seeking guidance from those that have been there and done that to keep from experiencing the same results. So from the perspective of who needs to pay more attention, it is the market as a whole.  The threat landscape is continuously evolving and businesses cannot afford to take their eyes off the prize of protecting their interest.  As the threat landscape evolves, the market and the programs that they implement must evolve as well.


Well thank you, Jeannie, for sharing today.


Thank you for having me Dustin.


About Jeannie Pumphry






Jeannie Pumphrey


Integrity, Excellence and Execution - Enabling Client Success


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Richard Sherman who discussed Supply Chain and Technology Trends for 2017.







Today we're speaking with Richard Sherman about Supply Chain and Technology Trends for 2017. Richard, can you first provide a brief background of yourself?


Sure, Dustin.First of all, it's always a pleasure to speak with you. I think you're bringing some very valuable information to the supply chain community. I've been around for about 35 years, largely in supply chain technology and helping companies apply technology to improve their operations in their overall performance. I'm currently a senior fellow in the Tata Consultancy Services Global Supply Chain and Center of Excellence. So I work with our principals and our different business units at best practices, research and technology trends and kind of what's going on in the business that can impact their clients and how can we develop services around helping our clients meet those challenges.


What changes or trends do you see happening in 2017?


That's a great question. Everybody likes to look at the crystal ball, but we certainly have kind of a base of change, which has been occurring over the last few years. So I think today everyone realizes that e-commerce is here to stay. I think that people realize the internet is clearly becoming more pervasive. The computing power is becoming more and more affordable and available. The basis is cloud deployments. So companies are very rapidly deploying new technology and solution in a hybrid cloud environment where they're using a combination of new cloud-based applications to extend and enhance their on-premise and traditional proprietary positions. So clearly, we've got the internet of things — more and more sensors, monitors, devices that are collecting data across the supply chain and in real time. And of course, from a social perspective, you've got the social media where more and more people are connected to the internet almost 24/7.


I think I saw a research report not too long ago that said that something like 85-90% of all adults have their smartphone within reach 24/7. Increasingly connected, which is presenting a lot of challenges in the supply chain. How do we compete with bricks and mortars in the e-commerce world? So omnichannel fulfillment and omnichannel marketing are becoming very, very important because we really can't transmit everything electronically. So we've got last mile delivery issues. We've got volume and scale issue. All of that data out there is becoming a risk.


So security and cyber security is extremely critical, and certainly here in the US, the prime example of that is the hacking that went on during the election. However, at that same time, we've got to look at all of this data that is becoming available that help us predict consumer behavior.


So more and more data is being collected about you personally than ever has been before. And so with that, there are issues beginning to emerge around privacy and data ownership. Companies are monetizing and benefiting from having all of this personal data about you. Shouldn't they share in that revenue?So personal data may come at a cost in the future.So we'll probably see some legislation around security, privacy, and data ownership coming up.


There's a lot of conversation and a lot of testing going on relative to autonomous vehicles. And so the driverless commercial vehicles, the autonomous personal vehicles change, for example, the entire automotive ecosystem. So it's not just the transportation equation that changes, it'scar ownership that changes. It's Uber-like commercialized ride sharing. There are all types of changes to the ecosystem. Insurance changes, revenue for municipalities change.


So the entire ecosystem changes, and the learning from that is that companies can no longer just look at their customer’s suppliers for what's happening in their marketplace. They have to look at the entire ecosystem and see what kind of repercussions these different changes can have to their overall market ecosystem that they play in.


So I think we're seeing a lot of changes. Robotics are here and growing in popularity. With all of that data, obviously companies have to engage in more sophisticated analytics for demand forecasting, demand shaping, demand response. And with all of those analytics, there is a maturity cycle. And companies have to be aware of the fact that a lot of the more sophisticated analytics, such as predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics, it takes time to build a history of behavior upon which those predictive and prescriptive analytics systems can be built.


So companies can fall behind very, very rapidly. So my advice to companies going into 2017 is that you really have to take a look at number one, what's happening within your market ecosystem and what potential changes can have a disruptive effect. I think companies have to anticipate disruptive change to their market ecosystems with all of this change. We've evolved into this service type of an economy and more of a sharing economy. Democratized commerce follows connected commerce, and so that has a lot of changes to how companies buy and sell products. So it's going to be critical that companies create a vision for their future, that they lay out a digital strategy, and they develop a road map for how they are going to architect their enterprise in this future digital age.


Thank you, Rich, for sharing today.


Thank you, Dustin. Always a pleasure speaking with you.



About Richard Sherman






Richard Sherman


Senior Fellow, Supply Chain Centre of Excellence at Tata Consultancy Services


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Edwin Tuyn who discussed What are the Essential Skills that Supply Chain Professionals Need which are Outside of their Skills.







Could you first provide a brief background of yourself?


Thank you. And good day, good afternoon, or good evening to everybody that's listening. My name is Edwin Tuyn. I'm one of the managing directors of Inspired Search. It's a global, operating executive search company, a small one, but we are quite active in the supply chain industry.


My background traditionally is in supply chain, so I know, roughly, what I'm talking about when I talk to supply chain professionals. We are based in The Netherlands, but we operate throughout Europe, Asia, and Latin America.


What are the Essential Skills that Supply Chain Professionals Need which are Outside of their Hard Skills?


One of the things that we have been pushing for the last year since we started up exactly 10 years ago is that supply chain more and more is a job that is linking various activities in the organization. So besides the hard skills that is required in the understanding of supply chain planning and logistics, more and more, supply chain professionals that really want to go to the top have to have good communication skills and be able to link various groups of people into global activities.


So I've been writing about that for some time, and some of the activities we described in a model that we published several years ago which is called the T-Shaped Supply Chain Manager, where activities like change management and people skills are stressed.


So we select not only on the hard skills but also on the social skills more and more and on the cultural fit.


Can you talk a little bit more about why these are important?


Like I said already, some of them, the way you are a senior supply chain professional, you deal with your peers in marketing, you deal with your peers in sales, in finance. And they don't... I don't say they don't care so much, but they're interest in hard supply chain activities is not that big. So while supply chain often is focused on cost reduction on the finance side, or differently, on the sales side, they're not so much interested in reducing cost but more in increasing sales or increasing margin. So it's just a different set of verbs and language that you need to use to come across with your ideas. And therefore you need to be, as a supply chain professional, more adaptable to that kind of activities. So an open mind and a good understanding of different activities in the organization and keeping people on board and bringing them on board for supply chain ideas is quite important.


Sales, generally, is still a more important activity in an organization than supply chain, although supply chain link all those activities together to make it a success. So that's one of the things that we have been looking for in supply chain professionals is how easy they are communicating, how easy they can communicate with different people in the organization and how easy they can understand the different activities in the organization and also outside the organize because often supply chain is also liked to your client and to your provider of product or services.


So being a hard-core supply chain profession, knowing all the ins and outs of supply chain planning is interesting and very necessary, but more important is that you can liaise all different entities in the organization, and it requires, like I said already, skills like people skills, openness, change management, being aware of what happens around the world, more or less. The good ones have those abilities.


How are these skills developed?


Sometimes it's a certain attitude that you have to have. Let's say you developed it probably around from... That's a good question. I'm thinking about it straight away. But I think some people have it; some people don't. And the people that have that kind of ability, they're able to develop it over years. And one way to develop that more professionally is to be curious about what happens around your organization.


And the other thing that is very important to develop it also is to know who you are as a person.So being aware of where your strengths are or where your weaknesses are, that way you can add value to the organization. It's a key essential attitude to be able to fulfill this role. So if you don't know the effects of your own actions, you also cannot not react corporately on the activities of other people.


So you have to be fairly like the [inaudible 00:05:40] model, which I wrote about some time ago, says you have to very [inaudible 00:05:45] aware of what you're actions are, not only to your peers or to clients or customers but also to people in your organization that would for you. So if you know how to deal with them in a proper way, that's the way to go forward. So to develop them, it's a continuous process, I think, and continuously taking a step back from where you are and reflect on the activities that you did and listen to other people to see, okay, if I go this way, what should I do. If I go another way, what should be the effect of that one?


So it's not, let's say, the university of whatever kind of subject that teaches you that, but it's a continuous process of developing yourself.


Do you have any recommendations for if someone doesn't have these skills, what should they do?


I think one of the best recommendations is to hire a coach or a mentor. So if you see a management to any programs, the high potential, they get a mentor, or they get an external coach.And those people can help you develop the skills better, besides having certain trainings that are available on leadership. But the coach that you can [inaudible 00:07:09] with on a regular basis, that definitely will help. And the coach does not necessarily have to be a supply chain professional. It can be somebody from a completely other department.


Another way to develop that further is to not stick within the supply chain column in the industry. So move outside. The really good guys, sometimes you see that they have been working for several years in the marketing environment, or even sometimes in the finance environment, and then they move back into supply chain. So they've broadened their scope by doing different activities in the organization. And also, traveling internationally, so you don't stay working within, for instance, The Netherlands or Germany or the US, but also go abroad to other countries and other cultures which open your mind as well and see how your actions affect other people.


So it's a combination of several factors, and that probably is the work that we do is we try to evaluate all those kind of activities in an assessment, talking to people to see, this might be a good fit because he did several things or she did several things that add value to the company that we're looking for.


How can people contact you if they want to ask you questions?


The easiest one is to go to our website where it's more information [inaudible 00:08:56] like yourself, but on [inaudible 00:08:58] with supply chain professionals —, or send me an email, which is the same url with



About Edwin Tuyn






Edwin Tuyn


Executive Search Supply Chain Logistics Manufacturing - Heart & Head Hunter - Founder of Inspired-Search


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Alfred den Besten who discussed Customer Centric Supply Chain For a More Agile Supply Chain.







Can you provide a brief background of yourself?


I have been working in IT marketing for almost 30 years now. And the last ten years, I've worked a lot of years in supply chain optimization and Advanced Planning and Scheduling. One of the biggest achievements, I think, is doing the marketing for a software vendor, making them from good to great.


What is a customer-centric supply chain?


A customer-centric supply chain, in my opinion is a supply chain where you can directly interact in your supply chain with your customers in the sense that your customers always are the priority of one in your total supply chain. The customer is receiving it, not the delivering but the receiving model.


How does this help you have a more agile supply chain?


To achieve that, to be really customer-centric, you need to be agile, because you need to be able to change your supply chain and change supply chain any time customer demands are changing, but also, for example, in the case like, let's say a big automotive company has a problem with their airbags. And they need to take a million cars back. It has a huge amount in the supply chain. What normally happens is that you send out a letter to your resellers. They send out a letter to the customers. That already takes a month. And the next phase is you probably get a call or you can make your own bookings within the next three months to replace your airbag, which is a totally non-customer-center thing. It is we have a problem, we need to fix it, and you need to help us.


In a more customer-centric supply chain, you can develop, change it, and your supply chain is in direct contact with your customer relationship departments your supply chain.


And any customer can say, where can I go within in a 20-mile radius? And the whole supply chain will interact and says, "Okay. Within a 20-mile radius, you can get to Milwaukee. Can you make it?"


The supply chain immediately docks the operation, and you have a continuous interaction with your customers, interact which your customers and to continuously innovate and improve the supply chain.


Can you share with us a little bit of how it's done?


It's still very hard to be done because the first step is what are you using for your supply chain solution. Because the big question is if you have supply chain solution which is kind of built over your organization, it means that you have demand planning, which is explaining you have different supply chain environments. And it's very hard to do that, because then you basically drive your supply chains based on simple optimization and try to do one scenario over dynamic environments. It's kind of impossible, especially when it needs to be on a real-time basis.


So the first thing is to look at your whole supply chain at how really agile is it. Is it really [inaudible 00:04:12] scenarios, one environment? It's very [inaudible 00:04:15]...


Ten you need to interact your customer environment, which is normally in a CRM system or something. It might be an only channel environment, and so you connect your [00:04:34]  channel environment directly doing supply chain. And basically it might even be that directly from that environment, customers can [inaudible 00:04:43] so you can confuse change with scenarios based on custom [inaudible 00:04:50] instantly.


Something that we might reach in a couple of years. I don't think there's really a company who has [inaudible 00:04:59].


That's interesting. Thanks for sharing. Do you have any other recommendation?


The most important recommendation is that companies who are not aware of the fact that you need to be in constant feedback environment with your customers, and that your supply chain strategy and your customer interaction strategy should be one strategy. If you don't have understand it, you have a lot of homework to do.


Thank you for sharing today.


Okay.You're welcome. this. They are all impatient. So if your supply chain cannot handle impatience, you have an issue. And the other thing is, if they are not satisfied, the [inaudible 00:00:11] industry is that we like to share everything we don't like especially. So impatience and ultimate sharing, that's something about how the new industry will work.


So I'm impatient, and if I don't get what I want, I will share it, and it will hurt you. That's why you need a direct strategy combined on supply chain and customer actions. That why you need it.




About Alfred den Besten






Alfred den Besten


Marketing Director / CMO at Xebia Group B.V.



LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Riad Ardahji who discussed Demystifying the JIDOKA: Transforming Machines to be Autonomous, to Operate without Human Intervention.







Today we're speaking with Riad Ardahji. We're going to talk about Demystifying Jidoka, Transforming Machines to be Autonomous, and to Operate without Human Intervention. So, Riad, before we start, can you provide a brief background of yourself?


Hi Dustin, My name is Riad Ardahji. I have been in manufacturing for over 25 years (over half in Japanese companies) maximizing ROI, leading cultural change, developing engineering talents, mitigating risks, managing assets up to $60M, driving advanced technologies, and continuously challenging the status quo. Some of my former employers include: Zimmer Biomet, Toyota Boshoku, Leggett & Platt, Borg-Warner, Denso Corporation and General Motors/ Saturn plant.I am also an adjunct professor in Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Department at Indiana Institute of Technology. Courses include: Simulation modeling, mfg. processes, and safety engineering.  Simply, my role as a change agent is to transform the company and leverage all resources to optimize and bring value to the organization — whether that's people, processes, materials, or methods.


Thank you. My first question is what is Jidoka?


Great question.Jidoka is one of the two pillars of the Toyota Production System (TPS/ Lean house). Unfortunately, this 2nd pillar of TPS is the least understood in the West. When discussed, there is a lot of confusion and misunderstanding.  A lot of people, even some Japanese folks struggle with that, as a matter of fact. Its translation is simply “automation” in English, automation with a human touch. The “ji”, if we break it up into three portions, JI-DO-KA, is referring to the worker, to the output, “do” is the motion and the work done, and the “ka” is actually the action.


There is no one word for it. It's a combination, but it simply breaks down into“automation with a human touch.”

One of the most captivating aspects of TPS is Jidoka or also known as (autonomous control). It leverages people's capabilities, using their wisdom, and developing mechanisms to accomplish these things. In other words, a fundamental principle of TPS is to develop mechanisms to eliminate waste and at the same time enhance people's capabilities. Jidoka is a crucial element and is absolutely necessary to make Lean work.

Can you talk about why it's important?


Toyota started with Jidoka before they started with either SPC (Statistical Process Control) or DOE (Designs of Experiments). Having said that, many companies are still playing catch-up.


Both pillars of TPS (JIT and Jidoka) are key concepts for a highly efficient system of production. Jidoka concept transforms machines to become smarter by preventing defects from being passed on to next process. In addition, defects are detected and prevented automatically.  The Jidoka concept leverages the human intelligence by transferring the know-how to the automated machinery. Machines will then detect every single defective part and shut the line. This means there is no need for visual inspectors.  As multi-machine handling increases, the operators have more time to continuously improve their processes and solve problems.  By allowing one operator to operate several machines, the product cost is reduced as well.


The first Jidoka was integrated in the Type-G Toyoda Automatic Loom equipped with a new automatic stopping device. It was the first automatic loom with a non-stop shuttle-change motion. It was invented by Sakichi Toyoda in 1924 and was the start of Toyota we know today.Mr. Toyoda was successful in improving both productivity and work efficiency.Lean Transformation is incomplete without Jidoka. Many companies have implemented or are implementing LEAN. Their model is typically, the TPS Lean House. I believe many companies have done a good job implementing the foundation of TPS, the first steps of lean such as: Standard work, production leveling, visual management, stability of the production processes, the Toyota way philosophy, treating people with respect, and making problems visible. They also did a good job with the flow, which typically when people mention LEAN, the first thing that comes to their mind is continuous flow, Takt time, right product, right place, right time.


However, few companies were able to crossover to the second pillar and leverage the Jidoka concept, which is about building quality within the process and never passing on a defective product to the next process.It's about empowering the operator to pull the cord and shut the production line down. It's about the decoupling of the process between the machine and the people—removing people from the machine and making them autonomous, automated. It's about putting error-proofing devices (poka-yoke) in the process, to never pass a defect to next customer.


TPS is truly a thinking people system, not Toyota production system. That's the most appropriate definition. It's about people and creating the most robust system to satisfy the customer and provide value.


How can it be implemented effectively?


To implement Jidoka effectively, you need the following:

  1. Get Upper management buy-in and support
  2. Establish a cross-functional steering team in place
  3. Make sure Jidoka is embedded in your G&O and strategic plan
  4. Align teams with projects and goals.
  5. Have a team problem solving in place in each production area
  6. Promote a positive culture, employee empowerment and respect for people
  7. A quality system to collect defects and provide feedback to management to prioritize issues.
  8. Follow PDCA


You need SMEs that know the process and understand todays’ technological advances to rectify these problems and mitigate the risks. Engineers should keep asking "why," not just learning "how."  They need to solve the root causes of problems and put countermeasures. It’s important to solve these problems and figure out the most effective countermeasures so that operators don't have to deal with them every day like a whack-a-mole.

For example, if your process includes bottle filling and fluid level consistency is critical requirement, you have 2 options: 1) Do visual checks which is poor and inconsistent or use some type of technology (sensors).  One of the technologies is using beam sensors (few hundred dollars) that to detect the fluid levels and provide outputs to accept or reject products.


Jidoka is way beyond this solution. Jidoka goes beyond detection to address the root cause of the problem and to prevent re-occurrence. You can start with the 5-Why? Some of questions may include: Is this a measurement issue? Is the line clogged? Is this special or common cause? Is the dispensing unit functioning ok? Is it the viscosity of the fluid? There are a lot of solutions for this type of problem; however, we are looking for the simple, effective and inexpensive solutions.


I have another visible Jidoka example in CNC machining. Typically, people manually load and unload products while waiting on parts being machined. In addition, some companies use 1:1 ratio whereas one employee per machine. This leads to poor labor efficiency. In this situation, the operator is captive to one machine and does not have the time to solve problems or work on continuous improvement projects. This captive operator who has a ton of knowledge but only doing manual work, by loading and unloading parts. With Jidoka concept in place, you will have the opportunity to decouple the operator from the machine. You can do that by having a 6-axis robot to load and unload the product. Now you can remove the operator from the machine where he can oversee several machines or have more time to work on problems on the production floor. It is a smart investment with good ROI.


Did we cover all the points you wanted to make?


Yes, but I would like to add few points about Jidoka. It is one of the most challenging lean concepts and not a quick fix. It takes time and some effort. It's a great tool if done correctly by leveraging people and technology.


Finally, TaiichiOhno, who helped establish TPS and built the foundation for the Toyota spirit of “making things,” had some specific goals of Jidoka including:


  • Effective utilization of manpower
  • Top quality products
  • Reduction in equipment failure rate
  • High level of customer satisfaction
  • Lower costs (Internal, External, and Appraisal cost etc.)




Jidoka Google Hits 12-28-2016.JPGVisible Jidoka.JPG


About Riad (Ray) Ardahji






Riad (Ray) Ardahji


People | Product | Process | Innovating Cultures, leadership, and organizations to transform from Good to Great.


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Alan Braithwaite who discussed Business Operations Models, Becoming a Disruptive Competitor.







It's great to speak with you today, Alan. Before we start to interview about business operations models and becoming a disruptive competitor, can you provide a brief background of yourself?


Surely.I'm the chairman and founder of a specialist supply chain logistics and operations management consultancy in the UK, but we work internationally. We're a team of about 35 people. We're called LCB Consulting, and we're arguably the leading specialist independent in the UK and Europe. So that's been my life's work. But I'm also a visiting professor at Cranfield School of Management, which is the premier supply chain logistics operations institute in Europe and has a great reputation. I've been going there since 1987, and in 2006, they kindly gave me a visiting professor status, which was very nice. So I'm part-time academic, business consultant,and then as of 2015, an author with a book.


Can you talk about the book? What is the book about? And the title of it?


The book is called Business Operations Models, and the subtitle is Becoming a Disruptive Competitor. I took it as an opportunity to unpack and explore my obsession, which is what makes businesses super-performers. What makes them really tick? And the finding from 40 years of experience that very often, operations, just how you do things, is significantly underplayed as a strategic advantage.


So I've tried to unpack, with my coauthor Martin Christopher, and present a framework through which managers and academics can look at super performance in business...


First for its customers is giving them compelling value, and then secondly and equally important, financially makes a great return on revenue and investment. And that's basically the definition of a super performer. And if the company is then listed or valued, it will generate a superior value for the shareholder at the same time. So magic for customers, superior financial performance, super value for shareholders is the sort of maxim. And we just tried to unpack that and describe the role of operations in achieving that sort of magic cocktail, if that's the right way of putting it.


Is there any more that you can say about why did you write the book?


Constantly being asked when teaching and consulting, "What does ‘good’ look like?" "What is a super performer? How do they get there?" And trying to explain what good does look like and the subtleties around it, that's been our life's work, so we've to encapsulate it in the book and provide a framework for people to think through how they could generate a superior value for customers and for the business.


One of the discoveries through the cases studies that are in the book is that competitive advantage is actually very slender. So you don't need to be dramatically better to be a super performer. You need to be a little bit better probably in several places. And we've called that the power of 1%, and if you exercise the power of 1% across the operations of the business, then you can do better things for customers, and you can do them cheaper.


And so we've tried to make that point and then unpack what we've called four scenarios for disruptive competition. So the four dimension that we've picked and unpacked are obviously technological development and there, the digital revolution looms large, and we've described how, really, technology is not a disrupter in its own right, it's how the technologies enables companies to disrupt. That's the first one.


The second one is channels to markets, so how you select your channel to market to reach your customers and how both service and cost benefits, and that can be a disruptor. Clearly with [inaudible 00:03:11] of existing channels and reformatting channels of distribution.


The third one is excelling at the basics, doing the basics brilliantly. And it's amazing how many companies don't do the basics as well as they could. Frequently, there's two, three, four points of margin hanging around in how you do the basics.So there's quite a big opportunity.


And then, finally, slightly tongue in cheek, we talked about optimizing the business model because in the book we actually talk against classic optimization theory. And we're saying, actually optimizing is about finding new paradigms. So not about riding a particular mathematical curve.It's about changing the shape of the curve.


So those are the four scenarios. And we unpack those and provide a case study on each, or two or three cases on each. And then we close the book off by talking about how difficult organizational change can be, particularly in larger corporations and trying to provide some signposting as to how executives could address change.


So that's a short summary of the book. It was exciting to write. People tell us they like it. They find it interesting. It's full of practical maxims for being a disruptive competitor, achieving super performance.


This summer I was fortunate enough to be invited to South America to do a lecture tour on it. So it's been fun, as I've moved towards retirement, to do it.


My last question, in the book, do you mention at all about how to implement some of the ideas?


Clearly, each case study is written from the experience of implementing and achieving success. So each case provides insights into what the executive team did that was particularly different. And then the final two chapters really talk about the challenges of implementing and bringing a team together and making the changes that are necessary.


But the discovery was, and is in the book, the implementation is very often very dependent on one or two people want the top of the firm that have the new vision. It's dependent on their persistence, because it can take years to become an overnight success. So you can spend a lot of time digging away at the coal face and not getting the returns before suddenly, the last brick in the wall falls into place, and then the whole thing goes forward at huge speed.


The importance of understanding just where your operations, structures, organizations, capabilities will make a difference, because another big learning from the book is that most brilliant companies are not brilliant at everything, and actually, they don't need to be. They need to be brilliant at things that really make a difference for their customers. And over time, they made need to add skills. But in the framework, when you diagnose how companies have become super performers, what you find is that in a framework of nine different modules, companies will typically have been really good at three or four, no more than that. But they'll have pieced that capability together. So there's some quite practical guidance, we hope, on how to implement.


Thank you for sharing today. And where can people get your book?


Online at Amazon.


Great. Thank you.


If you want to hang on, I'll just give you the... I don't remember the ISBN number, but I must be able to find it here. It's published by Kogan Page, well-known, global educational publisher.


Oh, great. And I'll put the link also later in the blog post.


ISBN is 9780749473310.



About Alan Braithwaite






Alan Braithwaite


Business Operations & Supply Chain Expert | Consultant | Visiting Professor, Cranfield | Author, Speaker, Researcher


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed David Rogers who discussed Building Strategic Business Alliances.

David is currently running his own boutique consulting business called Insync Supply Chain Management providing an extensive range of supply chain consulting services with the main target of improving customer satisfaction levels, reducing costs, increasing profitability and providing a competitive advantage to clients.

Prior to starting his own business, David worked in the corporate environment in various senior supply chain management positions with blue chip companies

David has a Masters Business Degree in Logistics and a Diploma of Transport and Distribution (RMIT), Diploma of Project Management. David also holds Certificates in Business, Finance Management, Change Management, Materials Handling Management, Distribution Management, Training and Assessment and is a Certified Logistics and Supply Professional Asia Pacific (CLSP-AP), Certified Professional Logistician Australia (CPL).


David is the Chairman Asian Pacific Logistics Federation (APLF), Immediate Past Chairman of the Supply Chain Logistics Australia Association (SCLAA) and currently an Independent National Director, Australian Round table President of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), National Councillor for GS1 Board in Australia.


David is also a member of the Logistics Advisory group – Transport and Logistics Skills Council and member of the International Trade and Advisory committee - RMIT


David has also lectured on Supply Chain Management at RMIT and Victorian University.


In your opinion what must be in place for Alliances to form?


The orchestration and facilitation of conversations between entities to establish a mutual benefit. – needs independent objective facilitation.


This involves mapping, analyzing and understanding the connections across the value chain to identify the key preferred connections.


Identify a need, problem, opportunity that is of mutual benefit to the select businesses and other entities involved in forming the alliance relationship


Agree on a shared purpose – vision, mission and values

Understand different business drivers and value propositions

Establish threshold conditions (Capability elements)


Build Trust between each other by determining:


  • Alliance preparedness (Alliance cultural alignment internally as well as externally)
  • Alliance readiness
  • Alliance Feasibility
  • Alliance Compatibility
  • Alliance Leadership
  • Alliance Governance


Structure that trust – Terms of Agreement


Monitor and Measure performance


Everyone is held accountable and responsible for the execution and the results


What are the barriers to such relationships?


Lack of trust

Different business drivers


Inability to grasp that we live in a networked society and a highly interconnected world (Systems thinking)


Myopic mindsets – moving from what’s in it for me to what is in in it for us


‘What does not benefit the hive does not benefit the bee’ – Marcus Aurelius (150 AD) he also said we are all parts of a whole


Competition based in industrial mind-sets


Reductionist mindsets rather than value creation mindsets working toward creating and capturing new shared and mutually beneficial value across the system in terms of solution value, financial value and incremental market values


Lack of investment in the futuretend to think in terms of the short term product scope rather than the long-term and envisaging the exponential and rapid growth opportunities that exist across a whole system through preferred attachment models for finding the hidden assets in a systemthat create and capture new value for all players.


What is happening outside ofindustrysectors that are influencing the industry sectors that you think needs to be addressed?


Look at CSIRO – Megatrends (Suggested reading)

The Network Imperative (Book)

Network business models (Orchestration)

Design Thinking methodologies


  1. Rate of technological change
  2. Shelf life of current products and services
  3. Lead time to develop new products
  4. Consumer trends – customer demographics and expectations
  5. Skills base – how long it takes to develop new skills
  6. Competitors initiatives
  7. Capital flexibility
  8. Political factors
  9. Economic factors
  10. Social factors


What are the other variables in the system?

What else can you think of that influences the industry, whether internal or external to your organization



Lack of seeing the problems we face as cross-disciplinary both internally and externally

Gets back to world views and mind sets

We are all in this together


What is the relationship between these forces?

Continuous and rapid Disruption




About David Rogers






David Rogers


Chairman at Asia Pacific Logistics Federation


LinkedIn Profile