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Renault Schools The Modern Supply Chain

By Art van Bodegraven | 05/17/2017 | 7:30 AM

What, you may rightly ask, does a long-dead creator of questionable automobiles have to say to us as a new century stands on the cusp of maturity?

Louis Renault was a genius. At first, and at an absurdly young age, he was a dabbler, a dilettante with interests in chemistry, electricity, mechanics, and sundry impossibilities. He settled on engines and automobiles.

An early blow, failure in his school entrance exams, was softened by the family fortune.

As the practical performance of autos was demonstrated, and a radical transmission evolved, racing was the next mountain to scale. Two dead brothers later, racing remained the catalyst for growth, and Louis was alone.

Atop a colossus, Renault could not share power with anyone, and suffered devastating work strikes. In 1940, he agreed to work with the conquering Nazis.

When the Germans decamped Paris, Louis was arrested and died in prison.

A one-man business to a national corporation. A name to live on in memory. A curious old man buried in a Paris cemetery. Alone.

Take from that the importance of building a team to carry on, the importance of collaboration for success, the power of focus, the potential of thinking outside the (gear)box, and the dangers of not staying true to core values.

Then contemplate an end alone.



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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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