The Supply Chain Manager as Santa Claus!


I just re-read a great blog post from last holiday season titled, “The Supply Chain Manager as Super-Hero” posted to the Supply Chain Expert Community.  Visions of Spiderman and the Green Hornet raced through my head, but given that we are in the holiday season, another vision also came rushing unbidden to the forefront – the supply chain manager as Santa Claus! In order to fight the perception that supply chain managers labor in obscurity, buried deep in the bowels of a manufacturing organization in a ‘decidedly unglamorous’ job. I’m thinking we need to promote the thought  of supply chain managers as Santa Claus! Ie. heavily publicized, very visible to all, making sure that all those ‘gifts’ get to the right place at the right time, and using his or her skills to balance the needs of all! With that in mind, here’s an ode to the supply chain manager as Santa Claus!

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the plant

Not a creature was stirring, not even an ant.

The shipments were stacked by the loading dock with care,

In hopes that FedEx soon would be there;

The supply chain planners were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of on-time shipments danced in their heads;

With my dog on her cushion and a blanket on my lap,

I’d just settled down for a long winter’s nap,

When there on my nightstand there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the Blackberry I flew like a flash,

As if I was running the 100 yard dash.

The soft blue light from the screen made a glow

Giving the lustre of mid-day to my face below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sentence, with emoticons so dear,

With a short little message, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment that I wouldn’t get sick.

More rapid than hand-writing the words they came,

And they jumped off the screen listing name after name;

“To Boston, to NY, to San Jose too!

To London, to Shanghai, to Kalamazoo!

To the top of the market! To the top of the mall!

They shipped away! Shipped away! Shipped away all!”

As two sheets that before the wind flies,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the skies,

Up to 35,000 feet the planes they flew,

With a cargo of products, and  commercial packing slips too.

And then of a sudden I heard on the roof

The strange sounds of what I thought was a goof.

As I turned off the Blackberry and was turning around,

Down the chimney the supply chain manager came with a bound.

He was in business casual, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were not tarnished with a speck of soot;

A bundle of metrics he held in his hands

Developed from information gathered from faraway lands.

The end of a laser pen he held tight in his teeth,

And the light it encircled his charts like a wreath;

He had inventory, on-time shipments, and cost savings to go;

With targets for all, so the executives would know.

He was happy and sane, a right savvy spry elf;

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A grand sweep of the arm and a nod of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

All the metrics were green, no duty was shirked.

And laying his charts near his portfolio to close,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to the Express Line, to his team gave a whistle,

Into the frequent flier  world he flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

“Happy planning to all, and to all a good-night.”

Enhanced by Zemanta

Janice Kakazu, senior consultant, has been with Kinaxis for two years, supporting high tech electronics and biotechnology customers by developing solutions which address their key business problems in Supply Chain, Finance, Order Promising, and other areas.

Prior to joining Kinaxis, Janice spent many years at Teradyne in planning management, project management, and business analyst roles. Janice was a key contributor in the initial implementation of RapidResponse at Teradyne 13 years ago and in developing business processes utilizing RapidResponse for “what-if” analysis, inventory management, production planning, supplier forecasting, and order promising. Janice has a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and is APICS CPIM certified.

More blog posts by Janice Kakazu


Leave a Reply