Archives for July 2012

This Bud's For You

By Art van Bodegraven | 07/27/2012 | 7:50 AM

Apologies for taking a week off.  I was pre-empted by some high-level research into socionomic behavior in Punta Cana.  The control group was informed that I am a dirty old man of uncertain proclivities.  The subject population was fed a rumor that I was in fact, a Sports Illustrated photographer, scouting talent for an upcoming swimsuit (or less) issue.

Exhausting work, this research . . .

Upon returning, I was privileged to attend a celebratory breakfast honoring Bernard J. LaLonde, Jr. PhD., and was reminded that the rising generation of young supply chain professionals, such as myself, have benefited from standing on the shoulders of giants.

This race of Titans is small in number and comprise our world's arguably Greatest Generation, visionary pioneers who saw the power and potential of our profession in elevating business performance. In this tiny group, no one has stood any taller than Bud LaLonde.  It is fitting that we pause to recognize his life and contribution.

Bud has been a leader, a teacher, a mentor, an inspiration, and a friend.  HIs wisdom is timeless, his voice remains relevant, and his presence is treasured.  Countless academics and practitioners find themselves where they are today because of him.

We - our entire professional community - owe Bud LaLonde an enormous debt.  We can honor that debt best by, as suggested by another legend at The Ohio State University, paying forward.

Young Love, First Love, Filled With True Devotion . . .

By Art van Bodegraven | 07/10/2012 | 7:03 AM

Probably fewer than three out of a million remember that this was a Ric Cartey creation from 1956 that was not a hit until it was covered.  Vacuous erstwhile blonde idol Tab Hunter struck first, but Country great Sonny James issued the slightly less successful, but definitive version later in the year.  Sonny's version is the one that pops into your ear when you see the phrase any time or any place. 

Over the decades, subsequent cover artists have included: The Crew-Cuts, Frankie Avalon, the mysteriously popular Leslie Gore, bewitching Mary Hopkin on The Beatles' Apple label, the ever-sappy Donny Osmond, mischievous Ray Stevens, and  - most improbably - Celtic Thunder, among an army of others.

Meanwhile, and to the point, the eight-year-old demonstrates an increasingly precocious grasp of the core elements of relationships.  He is extrordinarily sensitive to how people interact, and to how his actions might affect others.  He is also deeply in love - again.

I will change the names to protect the innocent, but (let's call him) The Kid wants to do things right this time.  The object of his limitless affection, "Ripley," is admittedly a looker, and one who must surely possess rare personal qualities.  We thought that his great and good friend, "Jumarah" might be in the running - she is cute, gifted, poised, and artistic, and can play games without rules involving battalions of Army guys as well as any boy.  But it is only "Ripley" for "The Kid" and "The Kid" for "Ripley."

A few weeks ago, "The Kid" announced his intention to tell "Ripley" of his plan to marry her and have a family, "Not right away, but she should know ehere things stand."  In February, Valentines had been exchanged, with every line parsed and taken literally, and deserving of a heartfelt response.  Last week, he composed a love song for "Ripley", and overcoming any shyness or hesitation, performed his liebeslied for iPhone posterity.  (It was a trifle hip-hoppy for my taste, but hey, times and tastes do change.)

Our star-crossed romantic has once again encapsulated much of what is core to successful business relationships in the supply chain into a few simple actions and examples.  They include:

     - Start early.  (Things change over time, and you don't want to not know what to do when that happens.)

     - Focus on the end game. (Have an objective and a plan, and keep your eye on the prize.)

     - Be selective.  (Don't chase every attractive candidate just because.  Understand the difference between a girl friend and a girlfriend.  Realize that not every good supplier is a strategic partner, and that not every customer is a key account.)

     - Communicate often.  (Keep the lines open at all times, and maintain contact and context.)

     - Put whatever effort is required into it.  (This serious relationship stuff is neither free nor easy, and the payoff is worth personal and professional investment.)

     - Take risks.  (You'll never know what the possibilities are without taking the first step.  And, getting outside of your comfort zone is always a worthwhile trip - even if you wind up on YouTube.)

I reaally can't add much to the story.  What we might see as difficult and risky comes naturally to a rising third-grader.  What does that tell us about ourselves, our experiences, and out development at persons and as professionals?  

The Unbearable Lightness Of Carly Rae Jepsen

By Art van Bodegraven | 07/02/2012 | 9:03 AM

I've been considering the staying power of Carly Rae, an also-ran in a second-rate talent competition who has become a sensation.  What is this all about?  Biebs for boys?  My real interest is in the sustainability of genuine talent and value versus the unsustainability of lack of same.

The link with Milan Kundera's brilliant 1984 book, The Unbearable Lightness of Being?  Two quotes ought to tell the story.  ". . . chance alone has a message for us."  And, ". . . who hankers after fame has no idea what fame is."  No evaluation od Ms. Jepsen's personal habits is intended by the reference.

The hook with our world of supply chain managment lies in the reality that not every hot new buzzword or acronym has got legs - has processes, practices, and concepts that will stand the test of time.  Trying to seperate the fluff and hype from the foundational and serious could be a full-time job in our universe.  Especially with much of the trade press giddily willing to dance with each and every seductive siren who waltzes into our professional consciousness.

So, my suggestion is this: every idea presented to us as the next breakthrough - particularly if being promoted by people and organizations with obviously vested interests - needs an evaluation period of Call Me Maybe before we fall all over ourselves proclaiming undying love and the imminence of world peace.

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 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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