Archives for March 2020

Stars and Stripes. For now, or forever?

By Steve Geary | 03/16/2020 | 2:29 PM

The Fiscal Year 2021 budget request released by the Pentagon in February eliminates all government funding for Stars and Stripes, the military newspaper.

Elaine McCusker, the Pentagon’s acting comptroller, as reported by many outlets, including The Hill, said at a press conference that that the department "essentially decided coming into the modern age that newspaper is probably not the best way we communicate any longer.”

According to Ms. McCusker, as reported by Stew Magnuson in the March issue of National Defense, newspapers aren’t necessarily the best way to deliver information in the modern age.

I’ve run into the same kind of inside the beltway myopia myself.   I deployed as a contractor.  When I got home, an auditor tried to bust my chops because I wasn’t logging in and reporting my hours every day. 

I kept track of them in an Excel spreadsheet.  I was in the desert.  A place called Iraq.  There were no internet cafés.  The auditor didn’t understand and insisted on writing me up.

Even though I was far from a newsstand, or the internet, I still got my hands on a Stars and Stripes regularly.  Perhaps Elaine should reconsider her position.

Curb your dogma

By Steve Geary | 03/01/2020 | 11:32 AM

Supply chain practitioners have fallen into the trap of tunnel vision.  Lean manufacturing.  Offshoring.  Outsourcing.  These tactics do not necessarily lead to best value decisions.

The coronavirus is a good example.  Unfortunately, the opportunity to prevent logistics damage in many supply chains due to the coronavirus has passed.  It isn’t just Apple with business challenges erupting at lower levels of the supply chain.

Placing all the sourcing bets with China did not reduce risk; it compounded it. 

Logisticians are now in containment mode.  The US military provides a relevant frame of reference.  According to the Military Times, the DoD is moving out with “Containment, cancellations and quarantines — the Pentagon’s latest plans for dealing with coronavirus.”

What is your containment strategy to deal with the close-in logistics risk?  Beyond immediate containment actions, have you started moving to evaluate the tiers of your supply chain and manage risk across the portfolio?

For too long, many logisticians have thought that best value and low cost are the same thing.  Best value decisions in supply chain and logistics demand a balanced perspective.

Define what best value – not low cost – logistics means for your network.

The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

About Steve Geary

Steve Geary

Steve Geary is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Tennessee's College of Business Administration, and is on the faculty at The Gordon Institute at Tufts University, where he teaches supply chain management. He is the President of the Supply Chain Visions family of companies, and Chief Operating Officer at ROSE Solutions, consultancies that work across the government sector. Steve is a contributing editor at DC Velocity, and editor-at-large for CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly. He is listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in Science and Engineering, and Who's Who in Executives and Professionals. In November of 2007, Steve was recognized for "Selfless Service to Our Nation and the People of Iraq" by the Deputy Secretary of Defense.


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