Category Archives: Demand chains

The term “Demand chain” emerges from the old supply chain terminology, but recognises that the customer is king. In every chain, an end customer needs to buy something, the rest of the chain is just about sharing the outcome of that transaction, the whole thing is driven by “Demand”. This category recognises the primacy of demand in the marketing and strategic thinking of sccessful businesses.

Successful chains are communities

When people are tied together, when they are in “communities” they tend to develop shared values, aspirations, and courses of action. The incidence of double dealing, dishonesty, personal gain at the expense of the community gain, are reduced. An efficient … Continue reading

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“Democtratising knowledge” in demand chains

Democratising  knowledge, isn’t this a lovely term! I have heard it used on a number of occasions recently, and it came up again in an extraordinary TED presentation by Stephen Wolfram . In just two words it nails the complex … Continue reading

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Transactions and obligations in a demand chain

Isn’t it interesting, when we pay for something, we have an expectation of what that transaction will deliver to us, but there is little sense of lingering obligation. However, if we just do something for someone, any small piece of … Continue reading

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Customers drive chains

Integrated value chains are nothing new. IBM had one before it started “outsourcing” what turned out to be the future to Microsoft and Intel, Ford had one at  centered around the Dearborn factory, from where the company controlled by owning … Continue reading

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Transparency effect

Can you imagine the changes that would have occurred in the behavior of the tobacco industry in the 70’s and 80’s had there been the “net-enabled” communication tools available then, when the big tobacco companies were conducting a rear guard … Continue reading

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Forecasting and demand planning.

Developing a forecast of what you need to make to sell is a different proposition to doing a demand forecast, it is much more than a semantic difference. A forecast is usually an extrapolation, sometimes very sophisticated, but an extrapolation … Continue reading

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To collaborate or not to collaborate

It seems that everywhere there is a drive to collaborate, without any real regard to the challenges of collaboration, the behavioral and cultural changes necessary for success. Collaboration has become an end in itself, rather than a strategy that has … Continue reading

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Successful alliances manage the dissimilarities.

Alliances form because organizations have similarities, and commonalities that promise synergy. However, most alliances fail because they fail to manage the areas if dissimilarity. Leo Tolstoy  remarked that happy marriages were the result of the manner in which partners dealt … Continue reading

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Resilience is a requirement for demand chains.

  Evolving a demand chain requires great resilience from all parties involved, it is new territory every time it is addressed because all situations are different, and developing a set of rules for implementation has not yet been done well, … Continue reading

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Demand chain innovation pay-off

  Turning a supply chain 180 degrees to become a demand chain is an inordinately difficult organizational challenge, not because it does not make sense, but because it requires organizations and the people in them to be able to see … Continue reading

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Forecasts are not predictions.

If you want a prediction, go to the lady in the tent at the local fair. If you want a forecast, talk to those who have an intimate knowledge of the drivers of the outcomes you are seeking to forecast. … Continue reading

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The fad and fact of transparency.

Suddenly, post GFC, transparency has become a buzz-word. Regulators are calling for “transparency” in financial products, shareholders (and regulators supposedly on their behalf) are calling for “transparency” in executive remuneration schemes, and so on.  Those of us who have been … Continue reading

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Category management and demand chains.

Demand chains are a representation of the drivers of “flow” through a supply chain, a concept familiar to those engaged in “lean” initiatives, when the motivator to the flow is demand rather than an ability to produce for inventory or … Continue reading

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Demand chains as the competitive differentiator.

We can learn a lot about supply chain management from successful retailers. To be successful, generally they have identified their logistics chains as a key source of competitive advantage and they work on it. Their business model depends on having … Continue reading

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Forecasts are not predictions.

If you want a prediction, go to the lady in the tent at the local fair. If you want a forecast, talk to those who have an intimate knowledge of the drivers of the outcomes you are seeking to forecast. … Continue reading

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Size and intimacy in a demand chain.

Power has shifted dramatically to consumers from the firms that inhabit the supply chains that serve them. Scale used to give market power that could be leveraged, but IT development has radically changed the location of the power towards the … Continue reading

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Putting the “I” back in Alliances

The following list was imbedded in an article “putting the I back in Alliances”   by Rosabeth Moss Canter, one of the better management thinkers around. It creates a simple list of things any successful alliance requires. Individual excellence: Both sides … Continue reading

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Knowledge flow in demand chains

Technology has multiplied the potential for information flows through a value chain, but often human behavior hampers it as individuals use the available information to enhance their own position. This happens internally, but is even more prevalent in the interactions … Continue reading

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“Revenge” behavior stalls alliance growth.

 The impact of current behavior of all who are engaged in an alliance on the perceptions and expectations that will drive the evolution of the alliance into the future is pervasive. Success breeds expectations of more success, and failure breeds … Continue reading

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Effective Project management needs Information flows as well as work flows.

Standard project management tools are designed to manage a sequential series of activities typified by a building project. They do this very well, as the work flows are dependent on the completion of previous work that is done to well … Continue reading

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