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They Ain't No Steak In Stakeout

By Art van Bodegraven | 07/10/2016 | 12:15 PM

We have, perhaps, been spoiled by TV shows. Stakeouts are sort of boring, but at the same time sort of exciting. We have the FBI looking for Mafia dons, elite police units keeping eyes on serial sadistic killers, and various operatives looking at and after a motley of suspicious characters. We don't see much of private eyes in baggy pants and gravy-stained ties busy proving or disproving that a spouse of odd behavior is cheating with an insurance agent.

When the stakeout is over, or when the next shift takes over, it's time for pasta puttanesca, or Chinese takeout, or a quick two or three pick-me-ups at a hotel bar, or at a cop hangout. In more or less real life, though, what sustenance and refreshment is available is a little different.

Think lukewarm or cold coffee from someplace definitely not Starbucks, a peanut butter sandwich (or more likely a day-old salami treat on a short path to salmonella). Think stale doughnuts and a bag of Cheetos. And, the next shift is you - the cavalry is not riding to rescue.

Our work is a bit like that. We grind through doing what has to be done. We see our fair share of leftover Krispy Kremes. Our idea of hydration is a bigger mug of watered-down Folger's. That is the fuel of supply chain execution.

Every so often, and without warning, we get a shot at a John Gotti or a Carlo Gambino, an opportunity to superhumanly solve a new problem and, for a moment, be a hero. To handle the 100 truckloads that no one expected, or the 10 containers on a ship arriving 3 days early.

Do we get the steak? Probably not. But pizza is a possibility.



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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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