Wrapping a Ribbon Around it Doesn’t Mean You Have Tied Things Together – The #1 Supply Chain Software Roadblock

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Ready for a bit of a rant? I may not be a Jon Stewart or a Dennis Miller, but I just have to share my thoughts on something. I feel like the supply chain industry is at a roadblock. The concept of managing the value chain end-to-end is pervasive, yet the understanding of what’s fundamentally needed to get there still has a way to go. There is too much talk about data integration and not enough about process integration. The industry talks about capabilities in isolation, yet the value is in the combination of them. Too many speak about bringing functions together when they should be talking about running them as one. We want the whole, but we think we can get there by putting disparate pieces together. It reminded me of the other day when I ate a whole bunch of chocolate truffles. I’m just sick over it. I was in a candy store and there was this neat row of lovely looking truffles. They looked just right… and the description said all the right things. For sure they would satisfy my sweet tooth! So I went to buy one. The candy clerk told me that for the craving I had, I really needed four or five truffles together. And so I bought the whole bunch… it cost a lot more than I had wanted to spend. I also had to wait for longer than I expected as the clerk struggled to arrange all the truffles in a box that they didn’t really fit in. And then she loosely and awkwardly tied a ribbon around the whole thing… all of that came with an extra charge by the way. But finally, finally, I had my truffles and with great anticipation, I took a bite – YUCK!  It was not what I was expecting… it certainly wasn’t what I wanted… and it definitely left a bad taste in my mouth. I went back to the clerk and questioned if there was an error – she insisted that it must be something wrong with my taste buds, and instructed me to try another (though she did offer to custom make more at added cost and time). So I went back and tried the truffles again thinking that as I got accustom to them I would understand and appreciate how the flavors were supposed to work together, but over and over again I had the same sour experience, until finally I said ‘enough is enough’. I want to buy one chocolate bar – one simple chocolate bar that was made with flavors that work together… that can quickly satisfy my craving… that doesn’t need to be all packaged up… and that I can get more when I want. Forget the ribbon and bows, I want to judge on the outcome (in this case, good taste and a satisfied sweet tooth). So, yes, maybe I got off on a bit of a tangent, but not really. We value these same concepts in our software – we believe in combining capabilities and functions into one planning system of record that gives people the insight they need, the user experience they want, and that will work for them as they grow and change their business over time. Our customers have spoken to these, and other key tenets in some recent interviews. They have pushed through the roadblock. There are several short clips available that I hope you’ll check out. Here are just a couple. Celestica “We've been about five years down the journey, and we continue to evolve with the product, but we use it as our core. It's core to our architecture. We are an SAP shop from a financial ERP system, but RapidResponse really is our planning system of record.” Schneider “We needed a tool which [supports] end-to-end collaboration…a collaborative platform.”  


Joe Cannata
- August 05, 2015 at 11:55am
Great analogy and right on point.

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