The major thing that supply chains and weddings have in common is that they both require an excessive degree of coordination. Melissa Clow of the 21st Century Supply Chain cheerfully compares her recent wedding to managing a supply chain, using one to illuminate the challenges of the other.
The Four Parallels
- Risk management
Disruptions are a pretty obvious one. An unexpected tornado can wreck your reception hall just as easily as your warehouse, or maybe your guest list suddenly balloons the way customers might have sudden new demand. Instead of dwelling on hiccups, Clow says to plow straight through them, and maybe even try to be creative about overcoming them. It is easy to see how risk management would come into play. Clow provides an example of deciding to keep speeches to a minimum at the wedding in order to mitigate opportunities for the husband’s friends to say anything offensive. But as supply chains show us, mitigation is no guarantee that risks will not still be realized, so it is important to be responsive.
Clow has this to say about collaboration:
Just like collaborating with all your vendors, guests, bridal party, those in supply chain now need to coordinate with a number of tiers in the value chain network. Because of that, supply chain visibility and supply chain coordination has been reduced and often made the brand owners dependent on suppliers for their business and operations performance results. To be truly effective, supplier collaboration needs to go far beyond the tactical exchange of data. Key suppliers must actively review information and directly contribute to the decision-making process so that companies can exchange early warnings and collaboratively resolve supply chain risk issues. Better supplier collaboration improves the flexibility of a supply chain and the profitability of the enterprise.
Talent is an easy one to explain then. It simply takes people with skill to pull together a big event, whether in weddings or in supply chains. You can read Clow’s full post here: http://blog.kinaxis.com/2014/07/4-parallels-planning-wedding-supply-chain-planning/