I interviewed Glenn Rosenholmer who discussed Complexity in the Supply Chain.
Today we're speaking with Glenn Rosenholmer who is a senior management consultant who is highly experienced, and he has practiced doing senior consulting doing many complex projects in the supply chain. Today's topic is also regarding complexity in the supply chain. So, Glenn, it's nice to speak with you today.
Thank you for being online with you again. I think it was more than a year, we had another of these sessions or catch ups about struggling with the challenges concerning supply chains. Thank you.
Sure. My first question is regarding training. How can you do training effectively when dealing with complexity in the supply chain?
First of all, it's been several years since we've became much more aware and used to techniques in terms of ERP systems and so on. At the time when we installed them, we spent not enough time for training and helping the people who are actually going to run the systems. So that's a bad start from the beginning, so to say. Also, it continues. So my tips to people who really want to make sure that they solve problems and not actually just for the time being, actually do it for the long term, should spend much, much more on live demos with real numbers and the people that are supposed to run the system later on and allow yourself to have a proper installation in terms of actually live training, I call it.
Thanks. What about agreements? What do you do when suppliers don't follow the agreements?
This is also something that crops up. You have to have your lessons learned. This is also a trick or tips or whatever, is to actually assign a contract manager that is in the organization from the start and not only concerning the legal notice and the legal rights. When you've done the contracts, I've seen too much of leaving it, being proud about it. But if you look at the numbers and compare it to what we actually agreed in the lawyer document, so to say, very often you will see there are reasons not okay, that it slipped away cost-wise.
Follow up and do it systematically, and be aware that the contracts need to be waterproof. And never back down, as I call it.
What about pricing and KPIs? How do you measure the right things and get the right prices?
When you have a complex situation, and you're very ambitious, there is a tendency that you pinpoint 50, 60, 70 KPIs to follow what's going on. But my experience is that it's not questioned during the lifecycle of a company or, so to say, the operation we run. That could be a big mistake, that you continue to measure something that is not actually reflecting the business you're doing, the business, from the start in the business case, actually set, is going to be the result of whatever you do.
Sometimes those KPIs is never questioned, and I would question almost all of the KPIs that are chosen at least on a quarterly basis. Of course, except the ones that have a reason to be measureable and be measureable over time so you can compare. But certainly there is room for improvements to change your KPIs to cover the right situation and what you actually want to measure.
My last question is about processes. How do you follow what you actually decided to do in the previous steps?
As we discussed now, let's make sure that we understand that we're now talking about a very complex situation where the supply chain is not easy to illustrate or visualize. And then my tips and tricks is to make sure that the process that you illustrate and share together, so we understand the holistic view, they need to be also spent much more time and not be produced by an engineer or a person that is very detailed in wordings and so on. That needs to be illustrated by photos, pictures, and being very, very pragmatic so the people that work in the flow can actually recognize where am I in this process. What is my function and what is my responsibility?And then you can use big A1s and actually look at them every time there is a review meeting, go back to the process, and actually find out, together with the people in the flow, employees working in the flow, reasons for variances and reasons why we have a problem in a certain area. Do not produce a very nice Power Point with all the process and, yes, live it. Let it live. So that's a very powerful way of making it happen.
Thanks, Glenn, for sharing together, and I'm hoping to stay in touch and do future topics in the near future.
About Glenn Rosenholmer
Senior Management Consultant