The Cost of Denying your Supply Chain Orchestration Problems

By Nader Mikhail | Dec 12, 2018 10:56:16 AM

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Every quarter you spend millions chasing better demand forecasts and more accurate supply plans, yet your teams still spend all their time in reactive and costly fire-fighting. Trying to improve supply chain outcomes by investing more in planning is like trying to increase your salary by staying in school for a fifth doctorate instead of getting some actual work experience. The benefits of squeezing out another 1-2% of planning accuracy are tiny compared to the huge costs you’re currently paying for the 30-40% that doesn’t go according to plan. Without a system to effectively manage the inevitable gaps between plan and reality, you’re hemorrhaging money in the form of high staffing costs, expensive expedites, and worst of all, missing commitments to your most important customers that can result in billions of lost revenue.

Why Companies Screw Up Digitization

By Nader Mikhail | Mar 28, 2018 4:16:00 PM

I loved my travel agent. But then I kept finding cheaper flights online without his help. I never minded hailing cabs. Until they were “lyfted” out of my life. When I got a smartphone — a portal into the world that ensures my day is never interrupted by inconveniences — I threw my Blackberry into the trash. The inevitability of waiting has been washed away by a tidal wave of digitization. I’m no longer the customer I used to be. My expectations are higher — and my patience lower — than ever.

Your Customers Will Leave You

By Nader Mikhail | Jan 2, 2018 4:34:00 PM

“You just don’t get it. And I need to find someone who does.” I’m not talking about a significant other; I’m talking about your customers. And when they say this—not with these words, but with their dollars and their loyalty—they won’t be the ones betraying you, you’ll be the one who has been betraying them.

The Technology-Free Way to Start Fixing Product Availability

By Nader Mikhail | Dec 18, 2017 4:30:00 PM

We live in a world where customers aren’t willing to wait for their products. In the age of hyper-connectivity, customers are used to spotting an item and making a one-click-buy-now purchase. If their desired product isn’t available, they will turn to the next brand without hesitation. All the while, companies are busy trying to squeeze costs out of their partner network in the the guise of “tightening up” operations. But they are completely missing the point. Cost is not the issue. Moving products to be in the right place and the right time to avoid missed sales, is.

Stop Hiding Behind Your Bottom Line

By Nader Mikhail | Nov 13, 2017 4:14:00 PM

Your Balance Sheet is More Important than Your Income Statement

When trying to lose weight, it’s not about what the scale says — it’s about how the clothes fit. The number is irrelevant if the pants don’t close or the once too-tight shirt is now too big. The scale is reductive and insufficient as the sole indicator of one’s overall health. It allows for loopholes like dangerously depriving oneself of calories while completely ignoring important details such as increased muscle mass, improved hydration levels, or resting heart rate.

[Big + Fast] > [Small + Fast] > [Big + Slow]

By Nader Mikhail | Nov 3, 2017 4:35:00 PM

If you’re like me, your willingness to wait for your favorite brand caps out at about two days. Today, customers merely tolerate big brands based on how quickly and conveniently products get to their doorstep. If customers aren’t guaranteed nearly instantaneous delivery from their preferred brand, they will seek a “prime” experience elsewhere without a second thought.

Why More Operations Executives Will Become CEOs

By Nader Mikhail | Oct 27, 2017 4:23:00 PM

The days of blind brand loyalty are over. Our children will laugh at us when they hear stories of how we camped overnight for an iPhone release or got into heated altercations over the last pair of Air Jordans on the shelf. Today, rather than buying into brands based on reputation, customer demand is based on how quickly and conveniently they can get their hands on the products they want. This shift means one thing for companies: speed is everything.

The Visceral Fortitude Required to Digitize Your Operations

By Nader Mikhail | Oct 10, 2017 4:32:00 PM

Over the entrance to the cemetery of complacent brands a sign will read: here rest those who rested on their laurels. It is a fast new world, and customers have already decided that “I want it now” trumps brand loyalty. They aren’t interested in the complex interdependencies of global product operations, from sourcing materials, to manufacturing, storing, and transporting goods around the world. But these complex interdependent factors are ultimately what are keeping brands from meeting these expectations of today’s consumers.

Want to be a Leader? You Better Have These Ingredients

By Nader Mikhail | Sep 29, 2017 4:40:00 PM

I’ve always been inspired by humble giants. Leaders who rise to the occasion, whose game-face reflects pure passion and those who live to deliver in the clutch, staring fate in the eyes with the confidence, grit, and unrelenting will to bring home the win. Most of all, those leaders who, despite their abilities and their thirst to win, possess genuine humility through it all. In one of my favorite books, Jim Collins’ Good to Great, such leaders are said to possess a paradoxical blend of humility and professional will. They base their success on leadership style instead of corporate rank. They do anything for the good of their company mission and not for their own personal glory. Such leaders “look out the window to attribute credit and look in the mirror to take blame.”

Why Big Data Kills Businesses

By Nader Mikhail | Feb 28, 2017 4:36:00 PM

Big data has been anointed the savior of big business: it divines the future, reveals our path, and breathes new life into our venerable business models. But in reality, data kills. It kills projects, it kills money, and it kills time. Twenty-five years ago, data was growing at a rate of 100GB a day. Now, data grows at a rate of almost 50,000GB a second. And as the volume of data grows, the ability of companies to make sense of it diminishes, confounding rather than illuminating strategic decisions.