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System Fit & The NFL Draft

By Steve Simmerman | 04/25/2013 | 11:34 AM

It's time for the NFL Draft and just about every sportscaster in the world has a multitude of opinions and advice.  I'm sure the Fantasy Football fans are on the edge of their seats just waiting to see who they can draft this upcoming season as well.

Todd McShay, well known football analyst, had an intersting observation last night.  He talked about "system fit" and no matter how deeply NFL teams assess talent, skills, physical and mental preparedness, one of the most important elements of a successufl draft pick is "system fit" according to Todd.  Draftees have to buy in and fit into a particular team's "system" or they and the team risk ending up with a draft "bust".

It struck me that the supply chain is really no different, especially when it comes to people.  I've talked about people, process and technology all having to mesh well together in order to deliver optimal results, and Todd's comments really helped drive that home.  How often do companies really look at overall "system fit" when they are looking to implement software, install some material handling systems or hire employees?  It goes well beyond the internal perspective as well.  How will planned systems, software, people "fit" your overall "system".  Is everyone bought in, do they share the vision, is there cultural alignment among the stakeholders.  And what about external players in your "system" - I'm talking about vendors, customers and trading partners.  Are those external members really fitting into your "system"?

So like the NFL teams do, I encourage you to weigh all options when it comes to implementing systems, processes, people and make sure you carefully consider "system fit" in your decision matrix.  "System fit" could cause some options to move up or down on your draft board.  Good luck with your draft this season!

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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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