Decision Making for Supply Chain Leaders

As leaders, there comes a point in the progression of our careers where our value is inherent in our ability to make effective business decisions. And with today’s disruptions, making decisions that are informed, connected, and effective is the key to survival. Yet, the irony is that few leaders have had any formal training or education in this area. Consequently, leaders often make decisions based on values and biases developed through personal experience in the form of successes and failures. This means decisions made by senior leaders can vary based on the individual – vs senior leaders having a unified approach based on an extended value stream perspective.

Replay the webinar where CSCMP Europe and LeanCor Supply Chain Group discuss the evolution of leadership-level decision making in today’s disruptive business environment. They will highlight how changes in your decision-making strategy can benefit your business from an end-to-end perspective, and how to stay current and profitable with a connected enterprise.

Viewers Will:

  • Understand the key elements of effective decision making under challenging market circumstances (ie: Brexit)
  • Learn to diagnose a decision from the point of view that considers intended and unintended consequences
  • Think in terms of holistic systems
  • Uncover the impacts of past decisions by establishing leveraging the supply chain as a feedback mechanism
  • Begin to develop new leadership capabilities as a decision maker

Who is this Webinar Replay for?

  • This webinar replay is best suited for supply chain and corporate leadership roles – from the C-suite to manager level.

Presented by: 

  • Robert Martichenko – CEO, LeanCor Supply Chain Group | Author | Speaker | Consultant
  • Miquel Serracanta Domenech – CSCMP Europe / Solutions – Decisions | Business & Supply Chain E2E Advisor

Download the presentation slides

Original article

Triple Axis for business improvement

To promote change is critical to approach all 3 axis in parallel.

Changing is always difficult for professionals & companies, and that’s the main reason for which majority of them don’t ever promote a change and keep on the safer “comfort zone” … causing future bigger problems that they already have.

Ones that are brave enough to, start designing changes without knowing if they’ll be positive or not, but with the absolute belief that those changes are necessary for them and/or for the companies they manage. This is usually called “sense of urgency” and is the main difference between ones who understand how critical is to move from current “as is” status to a “to be” one and the rest that are simply waiting for better times while at their comfort zone.

Improve business performance, measured in economics, is one of the key outputs expected after changes are designed & implemented by management.

After several years leading management teams & working with customers on improving their performance, I’m know absolutely convinced that there are three axis that you need to improve in parallel to ensure changes will be good.

The three axis are:

  1. Organization: Including management, teams, reporting lines, communication, coordination, roles & responsibilities.
  2. Processes: For obvious reasons, understanding current situation of real business processes & improving them is key for ensuring changes happen in a positive way. Not only operational key processes, but also supporting ones.
  3. Tools (all kind of, not only IT or technical ones): This include also methodologies to help professionals during their daily working hours.

In summary, an integral approach of all three axis make companies more able to embrace change from current situation to a better improved one

Miquel Serracanta

BCN, Feb 1st, 2015

Failing to prepare…


My insights for this new year, comparing companies that prepared 2015 accordingly versus ones that are still “analyzing” 2014. (Published in Linkedin Pulse also)

Year 2015 started three weeks ago and some companies are still looking at their “business mirrors” trying to analyze what went wrong in 2014 and why they’ve current situation. January is always the critical month for majority of businesses, no matter which market they’re in. Let me share my reasons for making this statement:

Closing previous year is always a stress for CFO’s, CEO’s and all managers, wanting to see how official P&L will look like, how many taxes will company have to pay & which amount of Bonus will be paid to executives.
Budgets are many times not “fully closed” and ready to implement when new year begins.
New goals & priorities for Areas & Managers are not closed also (because many are still “discussing” with their bosses and/or HR if achieved or not, and trying to find “justifications” for getting a YES).
Which companies then do have a clear ROADMAP of what is needed to success in 2015 ? … Ones that started the “homework” in 2014 & have already prepared Budget 2015 & Goals/Priorities for this year. They’re about to close all of them this coming week at max… and their professionals will have 48 weeks at least to deliver results.

Other competitors will continue looking at the mirror, trying to understand what happened last year, how they can change in 2015 & establishing better goals & priorities… Usually they’ll spend till End Q1 (March) to close everything … so they’ll then have LOST 1/4 of 2015 … and then will have only 36 weeks to deliver results.

Imagine the “power” of +12 weeks that prepared companies have versus the non-prepared ? That’s the power of preparation … That’s why I’m sure that “Failing to prepare is … preparing to fail”.

Enjoy your 2015

Being there: Share & Receive


Sometimes you cannot physically be where you want, but you’re sure that your ideas will be present: How to plant & harvest on a continuous basis

For medical reasons, luckily nothing serious, these days I’m staying at home while I was supposed to be at Chicago attending CSCMP Roundtable Executive Meeting.

Nothing is worse for a professional & volunteer than not being able to “be there”, sharing thoughts, ideas & knowledge and learning from top professionals in the Supply Chain function.

But, let me explain why do I think that my ideas are at least there, based on the “Circle of continuous improvement”.

When you communicate/share/give your own ideas on a regular basis with your connections & network you’re sharing your knowledge with others and they can also capture them, improve and share with more professionals. This is how the improvement circle works globally to make a global impact and improve the function daily.

So, not being there today physically at Chicago doesn’t mean than I’m not there … else I’m pretty confident that some of my thoughts / ideas / experiences / learnings on Roundtable activities & Supply Chain function will be present during the two-day discussion meetings. So, happy to always SHARE with the community, main step to continue receiving more knowledge in return. Eager to receive feedback & outputs from the people there after these two days… Keep connected with your network, is the KEY for your own development and for global continuous improvement.


Master Gate to your future: Linkedin & Social Media (1)

Some key tips for taking advantage of social media networking, speacially a professional Linkedin use. This will help you in: innovate through product & services, get a new job, get a new customer/business, enter a new country, understand a business function, be able to discuss new global development, share best practices & learn from many other professionals.

In last two years, I´ve been benefiting myself on how powerful is a professional Linkedin use for all the global professionals in any function. Is simple, intuitive, and really very powerful. All the interested professionals have their CV posted there, with the concept of SHARING it to the rest of the community (more than 135MM today in a global basis). You start developin your own NETWORK by inviting (or being invited) by people you know..and then start building your contacts at 1st. level , the ones which you will have direct relation through linkedin (you can send them messages as direct emails). Some people accept any othe professional as direct contact if they get invited by others, but I don´t recommend this practice…my golden rule is ONLY invite/accept people you know personally (this is also the same recommendation than Linkedin web is always suggesting all the members to follow). This will protect you in order to control your 1st.level of connections and know exactly who are them and why do you have them as a connection.
Secondly, all of your first connections will also have connections, so then all of them they´ll be a 2nd. level connection for you… and in addition to that all their direct connections a third level connection for you… Then, why is this so helpful ? 
To better understand, see some real figures, today I´ve got 1.111 direct contacts in Linkedin (Remember my golden rule, so, I KNOW EACH OF THEM PERSONALLY), each of them have an average of 150 connections, to a total of +167.000 second level connections for me… So, at only 1 direct contact (I know him/her personally) of distance, I´ve an enormous amount of professionals available for sharing-getting in touch through a well known person. Finally, each of this 167.000 second level connections they also have some connections (an average of 40 in this case), providing an enormous amount of + 6,8 MM professionals available at two level of contacts of distance (so, contacts of a contact of one of my 1.111 direct contacts).

So, the opportunity is enormous, in spite, I´m only “covering” 5% of the total of +135MM professionals in Linkedin… hope to continue growing my network on a daily basis……

Best regards & work on your Net (Network)

10 Top Reasons for being OPTIMISTIC

  1. Optimists live longer !!
  2. “Positive things happens to positive people” (Sarah Beeny)
  3. “ In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” (Albert Einstein)
  4. Optimist is the one quality more associated with success & happiness than any other
  5. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” (Eleanor Roosevelt)
  6. “Anything is possible if you have enough nerve” (J.K.Rowling)
  7. “Miracles happen to those who believe in them” (Bernhard Berenson)
  8. Don´t blame the darkness, light up a candle 
  9. “Whoever is happy will make others happy too” (Anne Frank)
  10. Live is full of things you don´t think you can do, until you do them !!

Move your procurement department into the strategic level: A practical procurement methodology

Too many times I see procurement departments struggling with balancing their daily activities with strategic objectives. Everyone is looking for the next level to meet BOM or Management’s strategic expectations, but fail to reach this level due to the day-to-day (read operational and tactical) requirements. You can hire a very expensive consultancy company, but they are not helping you out as they will create ‘black boxes’, and do the work for your procurement department, and are not coaching your procurement professionals to learn the strategic activities themselves. The result is that you will be incurred with a high cost, and that results are not sustainable. Facing this and having in-deep experiences with the global procurement team of SABIC Innovative Plastics (fromerly known as GE Plastics), Arcadis Aqumen FM, and Panalpina Benelux, Boomerang Procurement & Sales Counseling have setup a practical and pragmatic procurement methodology.

Why is this approach unique and why are other programs not yielding best results?

  • Coaching the procurement people enabling them to make the strategic plans themselves is key
  • Coaching can be executed on-line and on global scale, avoiding a lot of costs, time and leaving a small ‘footprint’
  • A structured approach for creating commodity segmentation and commodity strategic plans
  • Progress reporting of the segmentation and strategic plans is contributing to success
  • Short implementation cycles, therefore lower costs compared to other consultancy companies

For further info, please have a look at website of Boomerang Procurement & Sales Counseling, one of Solutions & Decisions European partners:

S & OP vs. Traditional Planning: Culture is THE difference!

Sure! In my opinion there is a BIG difference between both business planning dynamics: the first one (S&OP) is a COMPANY one, leaded by the Managing Director + Board and with a wide comprehension amongst all Areas & functions about their role/responsability; whilst the second one (Traditional Panning) is usually a functional approach (sometimes Supply Chain leaded or sometimes Finance), without the real support & commitment of the Managing Director and all the board members. So, in my criteria the FIRST STEP to move from a tradicional Planning effort to an integral S&OP Business Planning focus, is a CULTURAL CHANGE, a real movement leaded from the Top Management towards this wide comprehensive Planning vision.

Knowing yourself & opening to others

Shared in paralel via Linkedin Posts on April, 19th 2015)

In today’s “hyper-connected” world is very easy to read updated global news, find free knowledge, get back in touch with old contacts & start+manage business virtually. It’s clear that via Google & Social Media (Facebook, Linkedin & Twitter specially) each of us can find information in a fast and non-intrusive way (assuming all info available has permission from each of us, which is unfortunately not always true).

Having said this, it seems to me that some of us know more about our environment than about ourselves … meaning that we’ve not been able to discover who we are & what we’re doing here.

Self-confidence is many times the lever for professionals to start sharing their personnel knowledge & starting to become “open” to the world’s global eyes. Without this ability your career & life is sometimes keep in a “closed box” without being shared & without the possibilities of being give valuable feedback from others, outside your own world.

That’s maybe one of the reasons that thousands of people devote time to volunteer in different associations, entities or projects so they can make themselves “open” to others, and take final advantage of increase their personal knowledge and, with this, their personal self-confidence.

When I found myself interviewed recently by CSCMP team at “Meet a member” I’ve proved myself the power that 10 excellent questions have in sharing someone’s key insights, so we can re-inforce the virtuous circle of knowing ourselves – openly sharing – re-feeding all of us.

The “King”: Economic Results

Reflection on key importance of achieving positive economic business results
(Published via Linkedin Posts also)
Miquel Serracanta, Terrassa (BCN). May,29th 2015.

Since business models started many centuries ago, it’s evaluation is based on a simple “thumb rule”: Their survival options are based on the annual economic net results each company is able to generate.

Considering this initial statement, which maybe many of you may consider as a “business fundamental”, is still surprising to me the huge number of companies that base their decision processes on operational indicators, and don’t take much attention to real business economics.

Supply Chain function has changed the way many companies manage their Operations & make/take decisions on them, and IMHO the major difference between “best practice” businesses and non-succesful ones is measurement of economic impact (in Dollars, Euros, or local currency).

So, Why don’t majority of companies measure economic impact of their operational daily decisions? Which are the biggest barriers that prevent them of doing it? Clearly, it’s not that easy, and business should have reached a maturity level in all the three key axis (Organization, Processes & Tools). (See post “Triple Axis for business performance improvement” for more information)
In one of my previous post (“What gets measured, gets managed”) I already shared the key importance of measuring for successful management, and in this one I’m highlighting the major benefits of using economic units for major accuracy of business performance measuring.

Sustainability of business is reached without doubts by generation of a virtuous circle that starts on FIRST STEP by generating positive economic results (EBITDA). This drive more team’s energy & commitment at all levels (leaded by successful motivated C-level executives & management obviously), which ensures that new ambitious strategic goals are combined with reasonable execution plans to achieve them. After, top management ensures alignment of priorities for changes driven by all functions in collaboration with external partners (suppliers & customers).

Finally a continuous improvement mindset is more embedded in business culture and makes easier the decisions of re-investing in people (more talent), improved processes and better tools (technology & innovations) … closing the loop of generating more positive economic results & re-starting the virtuous circle again.

Ones that have reached this point of my post, may understand now why is not that easy that majority of companies are still not able to manage their businesses via economic kpi’s & maybe also argue with me that external uncontrollable factors also influence business results (but this is another story…)