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Cherry Picking vs. Selective Strategies

By Art van Bodegraven | 01/20/2011 | 6:53 AM

I was seriously ill a couple of years ago.  The search for a surgeon unearthed a specialist with an amazing success rate  - almost unbelievable.  As it turns out, he hand-selects candidates based on several criteria for success.  Not that he's looking for slam dunks or an easy "A."  But, he won't do procedures for the sake of doing them in cases that are too far gone to make the pain worth the short-lived, at best, gain.

Importantly, he does make exceptions for cases that fall outside his medical criteria if and when the patient has the right attitude, and is as committed as he is to conquering the disease.  (Happily, I fell into that category, with a condition twice as bad as his key criterion, but possessing  a mean streak that won't quit.)

The point?  We face  - or should - issues like this all the time in relationships with supply chain partners.  It makes no sense to take on a business relationahip with a partner who is too far gone to advance your cause - or his.  Further, it is not a moral requirement to stay in a relationship that is ineffective, or toxic, or an obstacle to success and profitability.  Pick the candidates who have the right stuff.

The exception(s)?  Partners who, despite weaknesses and failings, have the right attitude, who are committed to getting the act together.  To not only surviving, but to succeeding.  As in all cases of building supply chain relationships, a key is to not sit back and let things happen as they may.  The risks and paybacks involved demand thoughtful and organized proaction.

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About Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven (1939 - 2017) was Managing Principal of the van Bodegraven Associates consultancy and Founding Principal of Discovery Executive Services, which develops and delivers supply chain educational programs. He was formerly Chair of the Supply Chain Group AG, Partner at The Progress Group LLC, Development Executive at CSCMP, Practice Leader with S4 Consulting, and a Managing Director in Coopers & Lybrand's consulting practice. Concentrating in supply chain management and logistics for over 20 years in his 50+ year business career, he has led ground-breaking strategic, operational, and educational projects for leading US and global clients. Art was principal co-author of DC Velocity's Basic Training monthly column for a decade, and was the principal co-author, with Ken Ackerman, of Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management, the definitive primer in the field. His popular blog, The Art of Art, has been a staple of DC Velocity's web site since its inception.


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