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Play Ball! Spring Training in Full Swing

By Steve Simmerman | 03/19/2012 | 10:23 PM

How is your team looking this year?

Hard to believe, but it's that time again for baseball fans - Spring Training is in full swing and baseball fans are flocking to Arizona and Florida to enjoy some sunshine and watch their favorite teams get ready for the regular season.  And so the cycle continues...

It seems as though the World Series was just a few weeks ago. Winter came and went and here we are again getting ready for the start of the MLB season.  Well, a lot has happened since the end of the 2011 season and the start of the 2012 season. Manager's were fired and hired; players were traded; GMs moved around and coaching staffs were rearranged accordingly. 

So what did you experience between your supply chain 'season' in 2011 and how have you reacted to improve for the 2012 supply chain season?  As we often talk about in this blog, so much of supply chain success hinges on processes, technology and, of course, people.  Like the owner or GM of a major league baseball team, did you take the time to really evaluate your team as you headed into 2012?  Were good players rewarded?  What changes did you make to your training regimen to help make your team a stronger and better prepared team for 2012?  Do your continuous improvement programs really factor in the people side of your supply chain operations?

Theo Epstein, the new GM for the Chicago Cubs vowed to build "a foundation of sustained success," which he said starts with a commitment to player development.  It sounds very simple, but as we all know, it's just not that easy.  Committment to sustained success takes hard work at all levels of an organization from senior management all the way to the "rookies" (new hires).  The processes and programs, including crystal clear communication, must be in place so that everyone is in alignment with the goals of the organization and so everyone is accountable for their part of the formula for success.

Accountability has been a very popular word in many of my conversations with customers lately.  I have had discussions with senior managers that claim significant supply chain-related programs have faltered due to lack of accountability - despite the fact that they believe the technology is fully in place to support the program. I had a recent discussion with another group of senior managers that decided 2012 was going to be the year of superior performance and a key underpinning of the program will be...you guessed it...ACCOUNTABILITY.  Their belief is that less than 50% of us are actually held accountable for the things we say we will do. This particular senior management team believes that by improving their focus on accountability, they will realize greater results and returns from their efforts as an organization rather than accept mediocre accountability across the organization.

Let us know how you have helped your team, your coaches, your players and even your customers (fans) become more aligned and more accountable so that your 2012 Supply Chain season is even better than your 2011 season.  What programs have you put in place to ensure alignment and accountability so that your company can enjoy a "foundation of sustained success"?  I'm sure the DC Velocity readers would like to hear about any ideas you would willing to share.  Tell us about your player development programs, what is working and what did not work for you and your team?

Play ball!

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About Steve Simmerman

Steve Simmerman

Steve Simmerman is a Senior Director with JDA. Simmerman has more than 25 years of experience in the supply chain industry including software, consulting and material handling. He has focused his efforts on working with clients to achieve high performance supply chain results through partnerships and creative solutions. He is a member of CSCMP, WERC, and MHIA and is a regular contributor to several industry publications and events. Simmerman holds his undergraduate and MBA degrees from The University of Notre Dame.


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