For those that follow the National Football League (NFL), these next few weekends are going to be engaging. We are down to the final four teams: Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts and the Green Bay Packers. With full disclosure, I have to say that I do not have a rooting interest. I grew up in Pittsburgh, and it is Steelers all day.
But, that didn't stop me from wondering who the Super Bowl champion would be. So, I decided to use supply chain best practice metrics to predict the Super Bowl participants, and the ultimate winner.
I remember when my parents questioned my plan to go after a dual degree in college – Industrial Engineering and Statistics. Only four more courses would get me the Statistics degree - that cost a lot of money. And, now, after 25 years, it’s about to pay off! The winner of Super Bowl XLIX (or 49) will be… Okay, not just yet… Let’s consider that best in class supply chains use ‘Value’ to measure success: Value = [(Service * Quality) / (Cost * Speed)] + Innovation This is a simple equation, but yet very effective when used as an end-to-end metric. Much like supply chain, a focus on a single, functional area will improve one facet, but not the complete network. This ‘Value’ equation accounts for the end-to-end success. Now, I’d like to challenge the Analyst community! If this model accurately predicts the Super Bowl, then let’s consider using this to rank the Top Supply Chains. So, without further ado, in terms of the NFL, ‘Value’ would be:
For this metric, I searched for the best indicator of “does this team provide its customers with a high level of service” and “are the customers willing to “go above and beyond” in support of their team”? Forbes came up with a ranking of NFL Fan Base, using ‘stadium attendance’, ‘television ratings’, ‘merchandise income’, ‘social media rank’, and ‘fan club count’ (including season ticket waiting list count). This accurately identifies a high level of service.
|Team||Stadium Attendance||Television Ratings||Merchandise||Social Media||Fan Club||Waiting List|
|Green Bay Packers||6||3||5||1||10||111,072|
|New England Patriots||6||9||3||4||6||60,000|
The quality of an NFL team depends on two factors: Does the offense score touchdowns and/or gain first downs? And, does the defense stop touchdowns and/or first downs? DSR, or Drive Success Rate, as determined by Pro Football Prospectus, measures the percentage of down series that result in a first down or touchdown.
|Team||Net Yards per Drive||Net Points per Drive||Net DSR|
|New England Patriots||1.380||0.810||0.047|
|Green Bay Packers||6.000||0.840||0.044|
Some NFL teams have a net value of nearly $3.2B (Dallas Cowboys). The total net value of all 32 NFL teams is $45.7B USD. But, I think ‘Cost’ should be driven off what revenue is created against the operating income. So, ‘Cost’ calculation is NFL team revenue/Operating Income.*
|Team||Revenue ($M USD)||Operating Income ($M USD)||Rev/OI|
|Green Bay Packers||299||25.6||11.680|
|New England Patriots||428||147.2||2.908|
Speed is the metric that pulls all the functional areas together. I see in many supply chains the desire to focus on a single, functional metric. With the global and complex network of supply chains, the real challenge is taking this Value equation to all nodes of the network. I will use Football Outsiders rating – DVOA – or Defense-adjusted Value Over Average. This metrics breaks down every single NFL play and compares a team’s performance to a league baseline based on situation in order to determine value over average.
|Team||Total Team DVOA||Offense DVOA||Defense DVOA|
|Green Bay Packers||23.3%||24.6%||-1.0%|
|New England Patriots||22.4%||13.6%||-3.4%|
As always, positive numbers represent more points, so Defense is better when it is negative.
I remember my days at Apple, and the intense focus on innovation. We used the concept of Strengths Development + Engagement = Innovation. Steve Job’s gave me a quote, “Know what you know, and know what you don’t know, and surround yourself with people who know what you don’t know.” This is the core driver of Strengths Development. Not everyone has or “knows” all the strengths to run a supply chain. You need to figure out who are the “A” players, build up the “B” players, and play to your strengths. And, you need to be engaged, or in NFL terms, “on the field”. No supply chain, or NFL team, will be successful if they are standing on the sidelines. Therefore, I will use ‘Team Time of Possession’ as the ‘engagement’ metric. There is a direct correlation between teams with a time of possession and winning the game. Strengths Development:
|Team||Points||Plays||Yards per Game||Yards per Play|
|Green Bay Packers||328||988||348.6||5.3|
|New England Patriots||296||975||349.2||5.4|
|Team||Possessions per Game||Total Time||% of Possession|
|Green Bay Packers||30||488||50.83%|
|New England Patriots||29||473||49.27%|
Now, let’s break down the winner…
|Green Bay Packers||1||1||4||2||2||3||13|
|New England Patriots||2||4||3||3||3||4||19|
There you have it. Using the supply chain best practice “Value” equation, the Super Bowl will be:
Seattle Seahawks vs Indianapolis Colts With the Seattle Seahawks prevailing, and winning back to back Super Bowl Championships. As I said earlier, the challenge is out to the Analyst community! If this prediction is accurate, let’s remove the highly influenced peer, analyst, and academia voting. Let me know your “supply chain” measured predictions for the NFL Super Bowl!
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