Diagnosing Greatness: Ten Traits of the Best Supply Chains

Ten Traits of the Best Supply Chains

This week we look at the topic of continuous process improvement.  Continuous process improvement is a strategy that is proven that offers greater efficiency and profitability from the supply chain planning all the way to execution.  It is a process to strengthen the daily operations of a business (Levinson, 2016).  The process impacts three main aspects of the supply chain; people, processes, and technology.  The first aspect; people must be in a position that fully utilizes their individual’s skills and technological strengths.  Second aspect; an organization must identify the best avenue to reach its goals.  Third aspect; the organization must operate the latest technology that achieves maximum efficiency and is flexible enough to meet customer demand.  Continuous process improvement has four basic steps to achieve greater efficiency and profitability.  The first step is to identify that is causing issues, this is achieved by brainstorming, meeting, and collaborating within the sections and organization.  Second, build a plan prioritizing the tasks at hand.  Third, execute the plan of action, there will be issues that may arise, continue to identify the issues and have a plan to overcome the obstacles.  Finally, review the changes that were made.  Make sure you solicit and inquire about feedback.  Feedback given by employees or sections in the organization will ensure your continuous process improvement is easier to implement in the future.  Often times sitting on one’s laurels will lead to stagnation.  Continual process improvement ensures your organization is ahead and better situated with issues that may arise.  Do you think companies that do not apply the continuous process improvement can still be profitable and be better to adapt during rapid consumer changes?


Levinson, W. A., & Books24x7, I. (2016;2013;2012;). Lean management system LMS:2012: A framework for continual lean improvement. Boca Raton, Fla: Productivity Press.

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“In order to address these deficiencies, a process improvement team established a “future state” (Poirier, Charles, et al. Diagnosing Greatness 2009). In the world of business, companies and people are always finding better ways to conduct business or run operations. Technology is the biggest driver of improvement, along with peoples creativeness to find a better or more efficient way. Since working in the glass industry, I have noticed that technology has improved the way we bend glass greatly. The idea in manufacturing is to make as much product as you can, in the shortest amount of time possible, and have the product be made to the correct specifications. For example, we had a production line that was put in 40 years ago, and they were having trouble making it profitable due to the machines not being about to make glass at the tight tolerances. Therefore, on the newer machinery had no issues making the glass to what the auto makers design. Supply and logistics is the same way. Companies are always looking for a better way to conduct business, by making the customer happy and wanting to them to return for more business. Continuous improvement will allow companies to cut cost and streamline process, in order to do more work with less people, therefore making the company more lean and profitable. What type or form of technology will be the next big improvement?



Measuring Performance

Measuring performance boils down to feedback in my mind. I can reflect and relate to this term because it is important to me to have a feedback to see how my performance is being measured up to my peers. Also, to tell me where I need to step it up and where I need to improve in. Giving feedback to leadership is important as well to show them where we need them to be and how they are performing in guidance and leading.

The supply chains need to measure their performance as well. They have to continue to grow and the way to do this is by measuring performance and learning from it.  There was a great example that I read in an article talking about how a car is a great example of measuring performance. You can think of it like a car and imagine if you were driving without an odometer  but think that you are adhereing to the speed but then you get a ticket. Then if you keep driving and slow down you will run out of gas because you don’t have a gas gauge either. This shows that you could have the measurements but still have issues just like this car example.

There are different ways that supply chains can measure their performance.  It seems that each method gauges financial matters, customer feedback, delivery times, and inventories (mThink, 2000). Measuring performance is important for supply chains and can help out strategically speaking for supply manager. I see how a lot of these terms can all relate to each other and affect the supply chain overall. Supply chain managers should be always looking at suppliers , delivery times, warehousing, and costs.


mThink. (2000, April 14). Blue Book. Retrieved from What about measuring Supply Chain Performance?: https://mthink.com/what-about-measuring-supply-chain-performance/

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