Jake Barr: Insights for today’s business leaders

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As mentioned in last Friday's post, we had the privilege of recording three interviews with Jake Barr. In this video, Insights for today’s business leaders, a variety of themes are discussed in the context of what should be the priorities for today’s supply chain leaders, including: having an end to end supply chain design, addressing the process gaps, having an outside-in supply chain strategy, knowing the right way to monitor and manage supply chain metrics, and having a way to understand the near-real time operations performance of the business. In Part 3: Insights for today’s business leaders, Jake Barr explores the following questions:

  • What aspects of supply chain do companies struggle with the most when transforming their supply chain?
  • What is a successful strategy for business leaders?
  • When moving to end-to-end enablement and alignment, what are the implications on supply chain metrics?
  • What are three priorities for a company looking to evolve their supply chain processes?

Jake, a 32-year employee of the Procter & Gamble Company, directed the Global Supply Network Design efforts for the Company, in addition to being the discipline Director for Supply Network Operations. So, as a former practitioner, he has a lot of insight to share. ... please check it out!   Notable passage:

"So the best strategies are those that are actually multi-tiered in nature that actually have a minimum of a five to ten year horizon where you can actually answer the questions “What will trigger that next stage of change and when we need to push the button?” "So again, organization design, focus and clarity on the process execution, you’ve got be relevant and good at what you're doing on those processes. They’ve got to be tightly integrated. You can’t be running one thing on a weekly cycle and one thing on a monthly cycle. ...you’ve got to look and make sure I’ve got the information that helps me to expose problems and, importantly, opportunities because in today's stagnant growth world, you've got to be able to pre-emptively strike before your competition can."
Happy Friday 21st Century Supply Chain readers!

  p.s. feel free to check out past clips...

Part 1: An executive's perspective: The evolution of CPG companies and their supply chains

Part 2: Supply chain transformations: Going after game changing change



Alex Fuller
- September 06, 2013 at 7:03pm
I like the multi-tier concept. If you plan for iterations, then you can move forward more quickly. You release products that are good, but you plan for product updates based on customer feedback. This is the powerful lean startup/rapid iteration concept.

Excellent interview – P&G has a sharp guy.
Trevor Miles
- September 08, 2013 at 5:55am
I agree Alex, but this is true for all product stages, even long life cycle products with stable demand, if such an animal even exists. The key to multi-tiered strategies is a what-if capability that takes the future into consideration, not, as Jake states, a monthly review based on what has happened.

Getting the data in a timely manner is a mandatory prerequisite. Being able to understand what it means to future financial and operational performance is key to transforming the data into actionable insights.

Key to Jakes statement about running the business based on what is happening today is the concept of Know Sooner; Act Faster. Many people think this means reacting. No, it means acting consciously on the latest information. Have a look at the work by Kevin McCormack of DRK Research.

Melissa Clow
- September 09, 2013 at 11:00am
Thanks Alex!
Navdeep Sidhu
- September 20, 2013 at 3:37pm
"have a minimum of a five to ten year horizon"

Having a long term plan is key, but many companies are operating on the short term schedule right now. You have to be willing to look down the road and look for patterns and trends that will come and go. How will you handle those changes?

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