Compact supply chain communication competition

Supply chain management is all about efficiency and effectiveness: correct delivery to the customer in as few steps as possible. That sounds clear and simple, ‘efficient and effective’, yet it can only be achieved through good communication – and that is often lacking. I believe that the chain of communication within the supply chain could be considerably shorter.

It was a newspaper article about ‘Six word stories’ – about telling a complete story in just six words – that got me thinking about communication. I am a big fan of Ernest Hemingway, who once wrote a classic: ‘For sale: baby shoes, never worn.’ Many famous authors around the world have taken up the challenge, and a Dutch newspaper, Algemeen Dagblad, recently launched a competition in which winning writers of a six word story would see their stories published on huge billboards at the side of the motorway.

Personally, I think that supply chain managers and consultants, efficient and effective as they are, should be the best authors of six word stories. To test my theory, I hereby launch a compact supply chain communication competition. Using the standard format of just six words, try to formulate a business-related story or provide a sharp observation.

To help aspiring authors along, I have come up with a few six word supply chain stories in the hope of providing you with a bit of inspiration:

‘Out of stock: one left sock.’
‘Warehouse for sale, inventory of dust.’
‘China is pulling your supply chain.’

Naturally, I am well aware that these represent observations by a trend-watcher rather than insights into the trials and tribulations of a true supply chain professional. But I am prepared to be amazed and intrigued by your imaginative suggestions for a unique six word supply chain story. The best three stories will receive a signed copy the book “Canon van de supply chain”.  Now let’s see whether supply chain professionals really can communicate efficiently and effectively.

Martijn Lofvers, Publishing Director & Chief Editor of Supply Chain Magazine