Most Black Swans are business as usual

Since I came to Australia I know that black swans are common. I actually go regularly feed these swans with my two girls. For my two girls, black swans are as any duck or sheep; perfectly common animals. According to Taleb in his book The Black Swan, black swans follow the 3 following criteria: The event is a surprise for the observer The event has … Continue reading Most Black Swans are business as usual

In optimization, settle for the near optimum

As an MSc in operations management, I started my career analysing inventory parameters in a 35 main distribution centre, up to 350 locations, four level multi-echelon inventory network. The odd 100.000 spare parts my department was planning ranged from 0.01 US$ to 200k US$ in cost price and demand ranged from less then 1 spare part a year to over a 1000. The whole goal … Continue reading In optimization, settle for the near optimum

Know thy Supply Chain!

Around 2500 years ago a strange, awkward guy was strolling the streets of Athens. He would walk up to people and start conversation and ask questions about life, religion, and politics. He would challenge their answers and usually got them stuck in their own reasoning and arguments. By asking questions, Socrates made his targets starting question their own beliefs and purpose. If we want to … Continue reading Know thy Supply Chain!

Demand Terminologies

Last week I wrote a blog on Demand Poetry… well actually more on the need to use demand assumptions in the forecasting process. You can read it here: That made me think about the use of demand assumptions and other types of demand terminologies used in day to day forecasting and planning jargon. I made a 3 question survey to get some insight in terminologies … Continue reading Demand Terminologies

Forecasting Poetry

The variables in demand forecasting are endless. We have advanced planning systems to manage many of them and processes like demand shaping, demand sensing, demand control, demand management or S&OP/IBP to influence or come to consensus forecast. There is research from Paul Goodwin, professor of Management Science at Bath University that suggests better not to touch system forecast at all, if changes to the forecast … Continue reading Forecasting Poetry

The Trusted Chain

In a recent online article on S&OP at Sony,, Vice president of Supply Chain Operations Yuka Yu uses the term ‘trusted chain’ rather then supply chain. According to Yu, this term emphasizes that the strong relationships between Sony and its partners depends on mutual trust and communication. As many of us will know, implementing CPFR and S&OP like Sony did, requires internal and external … Continue reading The Trusted Chain

The Supply Chain insight generator

Last week I was reading some research on global Supply Chains. The research itself had some great insight, but I just had problems with the way the insight was formulated. It seemed that every sentence that described the insight had to meet some complex linguistic criteria. Was it my own Denglish (Dutch-English) confusion or did supply chain get so complex overnight? Although I have been … Continue reading The Supply Chain insight generator

The value of certification

What’s the value of (Supply Chain) certification in times that MBAs can be done online, hardly facing another person during the course? According to Wikipedia, twice as many master degrees are awarded in the US as compared to the 1970s. Not all of the MBAs awarded will be of the same value as an INSEAD or Harvard MBA. A smart marketer would differentiate its brand … Continue reading The value of certification