The (Connected) World Is Not Enough

Competitive Advantage Requires More Than Just Visibility

18 February 2021 // One of our favorite blogs shared an excerpt from five-time Crossfit champion Mat Fraser’s recent interview with the “TB12 Keep Going” podcast. Reading the story, we found our own supply chain lesson in the exchange.

Fraser says his performance breakthrough came when a coach sat him down and “basically said, ‘You’re not special. Like, everybody is training as hard as you. Everybody is doing squat cycles, everybody is doing rowing intervals, everybody is pushing themselves as hard as you in the gym.’  

“I was kind of taken aback by that. ‘Well, no, this is why I’m better, because I go harder in the gym.’ And he said, ‘No, everybody does. Where you can gain the benefit is outside of the gym. Dialing in your sleep schedule, your diet, your mobility, your recovery, all these other things where you can get one percent better.’  

"At first, I was shrugging my shoulders, like, I’ll do the song and dance, I don’t believe in it but I’ll do it. Then I go to one competition and I think, oh, I got lucky. Wow. Because I was doing this, I was a little more prepared.… 

“Well, after five years and competing multiple times a year, am I getting lucky all of this time?  Or is this because I’m doing all of these little extra things?”

Believe it or not, this anecdote reminded us of supply chain visibility. These days, it’s not very useful merely working harder to digitize your supply chain. That’s because all your top competitors are also doing that. No doubt, some manufacturers still have huge visibility gaps—offline suppliers, status updates that lag real conditions. Those guys have to get in the gym.

For the rest of us, the extra ‘one percent’ that Fraser talks about comes down to what we do with all of our digital data. Visibility by itself has no value. Transformation comes only when we’re able to turn our information into insights—using artificial intelligence to manage by exception, identify opportunities for efficiency and automate entire operations processes.

At Morgan, we have built our supply chain transformation practices around that kind of transformational thinking. We also created ChronosCloud to digitize and automate efficiency, partnering with Intel to turn continuous, real-time shipment data into competitive advantage.

The results of our effort help drive the performance for two of Gartner’s Top 10 Global Supply Chains. Maybe we’re just getting lucky. Or is it those extra things?

Wanna get lucky, yourself? We’d be glad to set up a demo and a free, 90-day no-code-required pilot of the ChronosCloud system in your enterprise.

 


 

Heard On The Dock

After five years [of winning], am I getting lucky all this time? Or is it those extra things?


-- Five-time Crossfit champion Mat Fraser

 


 

While You Were Shipping…

More Recent Stories You May Have Missed That Caught Our Eye

The New (Ab)Normal. (Forbes) Supply chain resilience expert and MIT professor Yossi Sheffi writes in his new book about surviving 2020—and how to thrive in 2021. Last year, Sheffi says, “was supply chain’s finest hour, with people who did heroic things.” So, where do the winners go from here? “There is going to be a big economic expansion,” Sheffi predicts. “Although COVID-19 may have exposed the fragile links lurking in the global economy, it also accelerated the adoption of a great many technologies and practices that will make the global economy more robust over time.”

 

Closer To Fine. (Sourcing Journal; limited free access) According to new research, near-shoring was one of the first steps manufacturers took to improve reliability as supply chains spun out of control. In the study, 65 percent of retailer respondents said they intended to establish or expand domestic operations and just 17 percent reported making no changes to their manufacturing and sourcing strategies. But, is the best “right now” answer also the right one for the long term? 

 

With the new Biden administration continuing to advocate for “Made In America” policies, the shift may continue. Add in China tensions and social / environmental concerns, says Coresight Research CEO Deborah Weinswig, and “this trend will accelerate as we see consumers increasingly vote on the broader issues of the day with their spending.”

 

How The Chips Fell. (RiskMethods) A shortage of semiconductor chips is causing havoc in countless supply chains—from smart phones to Ford trucks. But COVID isn’t the only cause for all that mayhem. According to RiskMethods research, the current shortfall comes from a perfect storm of supply chain continuity failures including: Under-investment in production at Asian factories, bulk purchases of the limited by Huawei prior to the pandemic, US-China trade tension, spiking electronics demand in 2020 from homebound consumers—even a fire and explosion at chip plants in Japan and Taiwan. Riskmethods’ takeaway for manufacturers is a heightened need to see and monitor sub-tier suppliers, as well as platforms that can correlate seemingly unrelated data across geographies and partners.

 

The Plague That Drove Ol’ Dixie Down (The Morning Call) Call it the beer pong bust and file it under pandemic irony. Dixie cups were born in the aftermath of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic as a way to create a sterile and sanitary cup, untouched by human hands. Now, the company’s Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania factory has been shuttered as a result of the latest COVID-19 pandemic. “We’ve seen a decrease in consumption as we have all transitioned to how we’re living in the last few months,” said Tom Strother, a spokesperson for parent company Georgia-Pacific.