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By Art van Bodegraven | 03/16/2016 | 10:19 AM

It's a matter of context and points of reference. When the Beatles sang, there was some wiggle room. Yesterday might have been as much as a week ago.

When I say (not sing) yesterday, it probably means yesteryear, possibly even a time before World War II. When we say "yesterday" in the galloping world of supply chain developments, we mean anything that has whack-a-mole popped up since midnight.

With some exceptions that range from the laughable to the heart-rending, we get that the WW II yesterday is museum quality, providing the well-springs for many commonplace practices. Late last century's yesterday is full of booby-traps and minefields, lulling one generation of practitioners into thinking that they have today's solutions in hand.

But, execution reality is that each new today brings opportunities to solve problems and overcome challenges. One of our dilemmas, in satisfying both our leaders and our customers, is that real-time yesterday's solutions might well not be today's escape hatch.

It's not so much that the rules have changed; they do that often enough. But, the context, the environmental subtleties, the unique circumstances that have shifted ever so slightly from one yesterday to the next, can make the optimal - and ultimately successful in cementing the customer relationship - solution a little different from what worked, was the right thing, just a day ago.

So, relaxing with a cold one at day's end, consider how lucky we are to be challenged each and every day in our jobs.

Beats insurance underwriting, doesn't it?



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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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