Supply Chain Blog

FMCG & Shakespeare? Macbeth S&OP Soliloquy

Posted by Dave Jordan on Mon, Apr 25, 2016

As we one again celebrate St George's Day and the 400th birthday of William Shakespeare (also the date he died, coincidentally) what would the great bard think about Sales & Operational Planning (S&OP) in FMCG businesses? Let us take a look......

S&OP ala Shakespeare

Is this a plan which I see before me, 
The numbers are as we planned? Come, let me see.
They are not, I see two numbers, still.
Art thou not following S&OP, incredible!
Your “gut feeling” could be right? or is this but
A plan of the sales mind, a false creation,
Proceeding from the bonus-obsessed brain?
I see this yet, inform others
As this which you cannot ignore.
Thou shall assure me S&OP gets going;
And the S&OP instrument I want used!
Mine eyes see the foolish lack o' consensus,
Or else worthless at best; I see this ill,
And on thy supply plan remove doubts of “could”,
Which was not so before. There's no such thing:
It is the demand plan which conforms
Thus to mine eyes. I must see minutes recorded
Pre-SOP must go ahead, and ERP is in use.
The gaps could be deep; discussion eliminates
Take extra offerings, and work even harder,
Align by this meeting, calm the sales wolf.
More minutes you attach, thus with stealthy pace
With colleagues at your sides, a single plan design
Move on to the Board. Ensure a firm-set plan,
Fear not our quips, the way we talk, no fear.
Some small adjustments we may talk about.
And take the present plan and deploy as,
This now suits the Board. S&OP is done, and leads
Towards defeat of those where S&OP lives not.

For fans of the man himself, here is the original William Shakespeare work.

Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling as to sight? or art thou but
A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?
I see thee yet, in form as palpable
As this which now I draw.
Thou marshall'st me the way that I was going;
And such an instrument I was to use.
Mine eyes are made the fools o' the other senses,
Or else worth all the rest; I see thee still,
And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood,
Which was not so before. There's no such thing:
It is the bloody business which informs
Thus to mine eyes. Now o'er the one halfworld
Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse
The curtain'd sleep; witchcraft celebrates
Pale Hecate's offerings, and wither'd murder,
Alarum'd by his sentinel, the wolf,
Whose howl's his watch, thus with his stealthy pace.
With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design
Moves like a ghost. Thou sure and firm-set earth,
Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear
Thy very stones prate of my whereabout,
And take the present horror from the time,
Which now suits with it. Whiles I threat, he lives:
Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives.

For a view of the lighter side of all things supply chain please click here.

 

Tags: FMCG, CEO, Humour, Performance Improvement, S&OP, Sales

FMCG Company disbands the Supply Chain function……..

Posted by Dave Jordan on Wed, Mar 23, 2016

I am back on line again after a few days’ holiday post completion of some challenging factory footprint project work. One of the first catch-up meetings I have had was with an FMCG CEO. No names of course, but this is a medium-large sized player knocking on the blue-chip door. The company has a broad European supply network and is present in most markets. I have disguised the identity to protect the innocent or not so innocent!

I recall how many companies plodded along blindly with what we now accept as supply chain functions dispersed around other departments, e.g. procurement/buying and logistics in finance, planning with sales – I, along with many, am so pleased that the latter is no longer the case!

Many years flew by before all the essential elements of supply chain were brought under one organisation. Looking backwards now, it hardly seemed like rocket science but it was a painful process as established empires were dismantled and begrudging recognition given to what is still an undervalued function in a large number of companies. How many actually have a Chief Supply Chain Officer even now?

Although many were dragged kicking and screaming into the newly created function, there is no doubt those companies operating an integrated supply chain have seen huge benefits over succeeding years. Nothing happened overnight of course, as slowly but surely companies made massive strides in understanding cost, efficiency, service and innovation. Is it naïve to believe that supply chain is now considered equally important as say finance or those darlings in sales? The jury is probably still out on that one.

FMCG_SUPPLY_CHAIN_CEO.jpgSo, you could imagine my jaw dropping onto the worn leather inlay of the table when I heard from Mr./Mrs. CEO that this company had taken the decision to dissolve their supply chain and relocate elements across the other departments. The Supply Chain Director role just vanished off the top table in one fell swoop. Without doubt, there must be a leading edge reason for this bold and brave (yes, insert “crazy” or “stupid” or “daft” as you wish) move and I waited for the disclosure of the divine inspiration and associated logic.

No, there was none on offer in my humble opinion. The insight behind the decision was that the company wanted more direct board control over various areas of business and believed that a dispersion of roles was required. The fact that segregation of roles is necessary for auditable control and accountability has been at best over-looked let alone the impact on business performance.

The only outcome is a lack of cross functional clarity on how the Supply Chain contributes to business performance excellence. A return to functional silos where people will not take responsibility or be accountable and resort to lobbing blame-grenades over the office walls.

Why would you make such a decision? What are they really hiding from? Answers on a post card please as this one beats me. I am not suggesting supply chain development has finished and we have the ultimate design (far from it) but reverting to a disjointed 1980’s model in an effort to improve control is a contradiction.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net

 

Tags: FMCG, CEO, Performance Improvement, Supply Chain

FMCG Supply Chain: KPI Scorecards - Don’t look back in anger

Posted by Dave Jordan on Wed, Mar 16, 2016

For a change, UK has been my base for a few weeks and even in that short time I have started to genuinely think I must now be a different nationality if not from a different planet. When my denim jeans rip at the knees it is time to throw them out.  I do not have a badly drawn and inappropriately placed tattoo. Nothing on me is pierced and decorated with metal, precious or otherwise.

I do not have a preference for Ant or Dec – the “best” UK double act in a sea of tepid TV reality dross? What is Keith Lemon all about? So many TV channels yet so little worth watching. I put litter in waste bins. I still know how to queue. I honestly don’t care about the new line up of Top Gear. Even my waistline is now considered trim. I own music recordings where the performers wrote the lyrics and play the instruments and don’t get me started on that Justan Ameoba fool.

Nevertheless, there is something consistent. Something that has not noticeably changed since I packed my company leaving gift suitcases in 1991 and departed for the desert. Traffic Wardens.

FMCG_KPI_SCORECARD_SUPPLY_CHAIN.jpgBeing a Traffic Warden is a universally hated career choice and possibly third on the detest list after Tax Inspectors and Bankers these days with Politicians closing in, of course. In the UK wardens patrol the streets looking for vehicles illegally parked even for a short time or even if the front bumper/fender overlaps the authoritative double yellow lines by a few millimeters.

Why do they exist; the role that is, not the people? What good are they doing for the general public and the fuel duty/road tax cash-cow motorist? Are they here to keep the Queen’s highways, byways and pavements clear of transportation obstacles to allow free flow of vehicles, people and prams? Are they here to generate as much revenue as possible for councils and police authorities?

Is their role to gently correct errors, show understanding and guide people on their future behaviour or are they here to discipline, penalise, visually allocate blame with a sticky yellow ticket and generally strike fear and hate in drivers? Should people hide and shy away from traffic wardens and treat them with mistrust or should they be seen as a welcome, integral part of day to day living.

Friend or foe? Beauty or beast? Pariah or paragon? Ant or Dec?

So what does your Supply Chain team think about your monthly KPI Scorecard discussions within your IBP/S&OP process? Is it a meeting all about blame and backwards looking fault finding and discipline? Or is it what it should be, an open discussion about what needs to be done better by everyone in the current and coming periods?

You certainly must learn the lessons of past shortcomings but applying the learnings to the future is a far more positive and healthy experience for everyone.

Applying a “…don’t look back in anger” approach will lead you and the business to a much more profitable oasis within the FMCG market place.

Image courtesy of iosphere at freedigitalphotos.net

 

Tags: FMCG, Performance Improvement, KPI, S&OP, IBP

Supply Chain: Communication teases out scorecard improvement

Posted by Dave Jordan on Thu, Mar 03, 2016

When I used to spend far too much of my life flying around the globe I did my best to avoid cabin chat with fellow passengers. That may sound a bit miserable but I just needed some sleep before arriving at the next FMCG supply chain challenge.

I still prefer to strap in with a hand wrapped around an old Cockburn’s port (in business class) or a plastic cup of wine from godknowswhere in cattle class and sleep until touchdown. My record sleep was non-stop from Kuala Lumpur to London when the air crew checked I was actually breathing every few hours.

Even then there were some travellers who obviously needed their chat fix to relax and they were persistent. This led me to design a range of responses to the inevitable “what do you do?” enquiry that would leave the chat ball squarely in their court and keep it there!  My top five “stop the chat” responses were:

  1. I have just been released from prison for a really bad thing but don’t worry, my drugs usually get me through the flight.
  2. I am an undertaker with excess capacity seeking new business.
  3. I am an erotic dancer and stripper (no, not of the paint kind).
  4. I collect nail clippings; from hamsters.

If they persisted I would look them deeply in the eyes and say:

  1. I’ll do whatever you’d like me to do………

FMCG_SUPPLY_CHAIN_COMMUNICATION_SCORECARD.jpgThe temptation to do this in business must be avoided as discussion and debate are of course vital for success.  Nevertheless, the wrong question at the wrong time in the wrong tone can hide issues and keep them hidden until lasting damage is done. When questioning is consistently about what went badly you seldom hear what really did go wrong only what the “accused” is willing to reveal without exposing themselves or colleagues. 

To stem the tide of accusative questioning in an IBP/S&OP meeting try a different approach and see how colleagues react. Throw in a few of these questions/requests to get the chat ball freely bouncing back and forth and avoid the what went wrong/who did wrong interrogation.

Performance Scorecard

Measurement

Achievement

Board feedback

Forecast Accuracy

85%

Getting better. Please share some of the successes from the month to see if can share the learnings across all categories.

Overall Equipment Efficiency

75%

How can we maintain this momentum so we can continue to postpone new capex?

Picking Accuracy

99.95%

Nearly perfect; can we do any more or is it a case of diminishing returns?

Customer Service Level

98.75%

We are delighting 98.5% of our customers but some still need a bit more from us, or do they? Why don’t we check what the other 1.5% really need from our extended supply chain?

Inventory Level

15 days

Such a difference to 12 months ago after our SC Analytics investment. Could we shave off another day?

When you see scores very close to the objective or what is actually possible given the constraints of your supply chain then change the approach. Tease out a little more performance rather than stopping the chat ball dead in its tracks.

Image courtesy of stockimages at freedigitalphotos.net

Tags: FMCG, Performance Improvement, KPI, Communication

FMCG Inventory: Do you celebrate being Out Of Stock - OOS)?

Posted by Dave Jordan on Wed, Feb 17, 2016

Out of stocks? Excellent news and a huge relief for all concerned!

A celebration party or at least a few drinks should be the next immediate priority but only after a bath or shower……….. Being sentenced to serve time in the stocks in medieval times was a very public humiliation but certainly low cost and effective for the public purse. Stocks were popular across the world and their official use did not die out until the early 1900’s. If only they were available today.

Those found guilty of crimes would be locked in that one uncomfortable, immobile position for days or weeks in all weathers. Then came the fun part as the general public took great delight in throwing as much mouldy and rotten “stuff” at the incumbents. Anything was fair game to be thrown at or poured over these local miscreants. Honestly, anything!

Those who commit crimes today and benefit from soft Community Service Orders or holidays in Africa might think again if they were sentenced to sit in wooden stocks in the town opposite the pub they misbehaved in or shops from which they stole. In fact, if the stocks were placed next to waste recycling skips outside a fast food outlet you could make a thoroughly entertaining day out of it. “Hey kids, should we go to the beach or have a “muck-burger” and throw rubbish at the prisoners?” My yellow Marigold’s would be snapped on in seconds.

In FMCG companies, being out of stocks (OOS) generates quite opposite emotions. No celebrations or relief, just the knowledge that a valuable consumer probably walked away with a competitor product. Consider the infrastructure you have employed and paid for to place your product in front of the consumer face and your dismay should be weigh heavily.

FMCG_INVENTORY_SOP_COSTS_WORKING_CAPITAL.jpgIn all retail sectors there are multiple alternative purchase options. If you want a chocolate snack then you want it now. If you want a beer or wine with dinner you are not going to wait until you return home. If you have a headache you are not going endure the pain until your regular paracetamol is available. Consumers make purchase decisions in real time and you do not receive a second chance of securing their cash.

There are many causes of OOS including pure human error or simple transport challenges but regular OOS in your business demand a thorough backwards AND forwards review and assessment:

Forecast Accuracy & Bias – this is of course valuable data if calculated by SKU and with information available quickly to facilitate corrective actions. Only hearing about poor accuracy or persistent inaccuracy several weeks after it happened is a complete waste of time and energy.

Sales & Operational Planning (S&OP) – is your process robust and taking innovation and demand from all channels into account? Do you all operate to one set of numbers or are different departments chasing different targets? Do you have a future stock modelling element within the standard processes?

Route To Market (RTM) – whether this is for Traditional Trade (TT) or Key Accounts (KA); is your deployment efficient and fit for purpose. When did you last assess the relevance of your network? Are you holding the correct level of stock to satisfy the demand including seasonal variations?

All these elements and many more affect your ability to minimise OOS and maximise sales and all require a concerted team effort to continually drive out stock holding errors and drive up perfrormance. Your working capital performance is a pot of gold waiting for you.

I leave you with a motivational thought and image. What if those responsible for repetitive OOS were placed in wooden stocks for a few hours in the factory canteen area? Pass me those Marigolds!

Image courtesy of radnatt at freedigitalphotos.net

Tags: FMCG, Performance Improvement, S&OP, Inventory Management & Stock Control

FMCG Foods: Hugh F-W and UK Retailer & Producer Waste

Posted by Dave Jordan on Wed, Nov 04, 2015

Good to see chefy type and anagramists dream Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall speaking out about the continuing food waste in UK. After the faceless, expenses-hungry suits in Brussels relaxed the laws some years ago retailers have been allowed to vary their acceptance standards for misshapen fruit and vegetables. This has resulted in horrific food waste as shown by the non-pretty parsnip mountain in Hugh’s link above.

I don’t know about you but if I see a potato that looks like a Telly Tubby or a carrot that looks like a pair of knobbly legs with a fake tan or an onion that looks like a light bulb I buy them straight away; no hesitation. My favourite “ugly food” purchase was a spud (aka potato) that looked like Tony Blair. You could tell by the eyes he was lying, again. How I enjoyed making mashed potatoes that day.

Obviously, if your potato or carrot is so misshapen that there is going to be excessive waste involved in peeling the thing then this is far from cost effective. However, the vast majority of misshapen or “ugly” produce is perfectly fit for cooking and eating and surely having a culinary guffaw at the same time is healthy. Cosmetically defect but nutritionally perfect.

In these difficult economic times are we being too rigorous on FMCG/Drinks product quality? Ok, I accept you cannot take any risks with pharma or perishable food quality but in these difficult economic times are companies being unnecessarily rigorous, particularly with packaging defects? There is no debate necessary concerning usage instructions or safety advice but small blemishes would not be noticed by the vast majority of loyal consumers.

I can hear the QA purists angrily stamping their feet and making comments like "over my dead body". They will argue that brand image is paramount and any packaging defects must be wholly funded by the suppling company. Gaining a refund on any particular faulty batch of packaging materials is not really relevant as the supplier will recover the cost from you one way or another. What is worse? Having a product on the shelf with a minor, insignificant defect or no product on the shelf at all?

What about the contents of the packaging; is there any leeway there? Drinks manufacturers cannot possibly QA each unit of sale and in fact wine producers assume a reject rate of 8% due to ‘corking’ – prior to the introduction of plastic corks and screw caps of course. Yes, I questioned that defect rate too but it is correct so your seasonal celebration case of 12 southern hemisphere bottles has an even chance of one with a foul, musty taste.

I just wonder how much money is being unnecessarily wasted at a time when nobody – private or corporate – can afford to lose a penny. No doubt at quarter and year-ends travel restrictions and the freezing of discretionary spend budgets will be rolled again out as FMCG producers try to meet the numbers they “agreed”.

The hot and possibly ugly potato is that they may be missing easier opportunities to achieve their tough targets.

Image courtesy of feelart at freedigitalphotos.net

Tags: Brewing & Beverages, FMCG, Dave Jordan, Humour, Performance Improvement

FMCG Supply Chain: Do you use data or information?

Posted by Dave Jordan on Thu, Aug 27, 2015

Who coined “Big Data”? How did we get there without normal sized data, slightly larger data, chubby data and bordering on big data? People working in or associated with Supply Chains seem obsessed by data yet data itself actually tells you nothing. Really, not a lot apart from the fact that something is being measured or calculated.

Firstly, a couple of information irritations. If you need to renew your UK passport (must be similar for other countries) you need to have your identity confirmed by someone in a certain profession, e.g. doctor, teacher etc and be a person of “good standing in their community”. The allowed list of professions includes Bank Officials which baffles me these days. Anyway, the signatory has to provide information confirming your identification and you get the passport. Information not data gets the job done.

My bank writes to me – note, sends me a letter – asking me to confirm my address! “If you know where I live why do I have to call you to confirm what you already know?” TINA as Maggie would say, there is no alternative so you have to bite your tongue and provide the information.

 sc-data-analysisIn Supply Chains the data obsession is growing. “Show me the data. How does the latest data look? Will the data protect my backside?” Data is only valuable if you know what it is measuring, what it actually means and what you need to do to change or influence an aspect of business performance. For data to be useful it must be converted into useful information and then into appropriate actions.

Someone is shouting “data is information isn’t it”? Well, no it is not and as Michael Caine insists he did not say “not a lot of people know that”.

Due to some poor forward planning by the travel department you find yourself airborne for the duration of a vital end of season relegation encounter. On leaving the plane you ask an airport worker about the big game. All he/she can tell you is that there were 4 goals scored. Is that helpful?

Certainly, the match sounds like it was entertaining but your overpaid wimpy soccer idols needed a win. The data you have been given is 100% accurate but it does not actually tell you anything about the outcome. Was it 2-2, 3-1, 1-3 or even 4-0/0-4?

When you understand the final result was 3-1 in favour of your wimps you are elated and think about kissing the moustachioed guy at security but back down just in time – that metal detector sausage could cause some damage. Instead of being as sick as a parrot you are over the moon, y’know what I mean?

You have converted the raw data into information and then into actions. In terms of actions this means you have wisely decided against kissing the Village People lookalike security guard in order to head off to quaff several pints of the foaming ale. When you only had the 4 goal data you had no idea what of the outcome.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net

Tags: FMCG, Dave Jordan, Performance Improvement, Supply Chain

FMCG Performance Scorecard: Not seeing the wood for the trees!

Posted by Dave Jordan on Wed, Aug 12, 2015

When travelling, my personal preference is to take only one plane to my final destination. I know this is more expensive than journeys with connections but I find it a much better overall experience. Of course, sometimes I do have to transit and I must have done this on a few hundred occasions but it is nearly always a nightmare especially in places like CDG and currently in Rome. Whoever designed the temporary airside operations during the terminal extension needs their gene pool membership urgently reviewed.

Anyway, during a fairly tight transit you seek out the flight display boards and rapidly scan to see from which gate your next flight leaves and if there are any delays. Just as you have found the right flight and glance towards the gate number column the display refreshes and you have to start again. Then the code share flights start to show so the flight numbers change unexpectedly.

With few minutes to spare I am not interested in Ryanair being delayed as the captain is carrying out a whip-round to pay for the fuel. Or that the Wizzair flight has been cancelled at the last minute, again! (If you are going to name the company after something that sounds exciting, fast, direct and reliable then try and operate in that way.)

There is so much information on one of these huge airport screens that it takes some time to actually see whether you need to run or take your time to negotiate a loan to in order to buy an airport meal. When you cannot see important information quickly there is the every chance of missing the flight.

This week I have been helping a regional FMCG company define a corporate KPI Performance Scorecard. Like many companies they had plenty of data, KPIs etc and as usual more than one format for period end performance reporting. In all cases the previous brief must have been to limit the report to single A4 pages but cram in as much data/information as possible via minute fonts and creative use of text in all sorts of direction.

FMCG_SCORECARD_PERFORMANCE_TRAFFIC_LIGHTSUseful visual colour coded traffic lights were present but there was so much “stuff” on show I did not know where to start let alone focus on what was important and needed the senior team attention. Perhaps this is an unachievable utopia but just one set of traffic lights on a page would provide far greater clarity than a jumble of usually backward looking, defensive statements and assessments.

How would this work?

Green – no need for the senior team to waste their time discussing what is going right. (Certainly valid learning in a different business planning forum.)

Amber/Green – improvement is visible and resources should be applied to keep the indicator moving toward a green light.

Amber/Red – something is slipping here. Why? How? What needs to be done to address the slide?

Red – this is what needs the collective brains of the top team. Spend time on these red items as they will be permanently draining resources without defined leadership and coaching.

Presentations where requests for assistance are obscured by formatting and animation are far less effective than clear, in your face messages.

Must dash, flight to catch and it’s not Wizzair.

Image courtesy of stockimages at freedigitalphotos.net

Tags: FMCG, Dave Jordan, Performance Improvement, KPI, Supply Chain

FMCG Supply Chain Scorecard Performance Measurement: Del-Boy Style....

Posted by Dave Jordan on Wed, Aug 05, 2015

In a related post I took a look at the use of Balanced Scorecards in FMCG, Brewing and Pharmaceutical businesses but in fact they are entirely appropriate for any business. Whatever your business size or offering you will benefit from knowing exactly what is going on and where you need to improve.

For once I can name a specific company in this blog. Trotters Independent Traders (TIT) is a well known UK operation involved in general trading and “knocking stuff out”. This very flexible company is run by two entrepreneurial brothers with occasional “help” from a family elder statesman and with even less help from their acquaintances. They operate from an exclusive high-rise, corporate accommodation suite and while they are not yet super rich, “this time next year we’ll be millionaires“is their mantra. This is how the Trotters Independent Traders KPI Balanced Scorecard might look.

fmcg_balanced_scorecard

With a quick glance you can see who is being a dip-stick and who is playing a blinder in this company.

Should you also follow a Balanced Scorecard approach to business? Cushty, you know it makes sense. Le monde est votre homard !

Image courtesy of Enchange.com

Tags: FMCG, Dave Jordan, Humour, Performance Improvement, KPI, Supply Chain

FMCG: Performance turn-around needs fresh supply chain faces

Posted by Dave Jordan on Wed, Jul 29, 2015

In the greater scheme of life many questions remain unanswered but my hobby horse question is why people and notably politicians and usually male at that, cannot get on with other nationalities and/or/religions. We are not here for long yet some people spend their lives causing or being affected by conflict.

On a much less serious level my top 4 so far unanswerable questions are:

Why would anyone want to eat cucumber/castraveti?

Why do people wear headgear in hard top cars when they are not in F1 racing?

Why do obviously bald men think the Bobby Charlton careful combing technique turns you into a babe magnet?

Do you know? Well, this might not appear to be a seamless link but please bear with me for the 4th unanswered question.

Athletic Madrid is a famous football team playing in the Spanish League and located in the Basque region. Uniquely, they only recruit players who were born or trained in football in the greater Basque region of Spain and Southern France. On the face of it this provides quite a challenge as the number of potential recruits of the highest quality is severely restricted compared to other teams with a potentially global choice?

Nevertheless, Athletico has and continues to be extremely successful despite not being willing to bring in players from other countries and continents. Competing teams can sign who they can afford or bring in players on loan to fill a specific need or to strengthen the team as the various competitions draw to a cup winning closure.

Teams acknowledge that sometimes it is right to shake things up in the dressing room particularly when results are not going well. Buy somebody who plays in a different style or who has battled relegation previously or simply someone with a fresh approach that will add some sparkle. Athletico really is unique in terms of operating within the restriction of the Basque heritage and such an approach does not work in FMCG supply chains.

So, onto question 4.

Mr Einstein said “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

FMCG_Supply_Chain_Performance_ImprovementWhy do some FMCG companies insist on maintaining a strict internal recruitment and promotion policy even when the results are heading south and have been for a number of years? Surely something is screaming out for change and improvement yet the same old ideas and practises continue and guess what, with the same results! I find this within supply chains in many companies in many countries.

These are people – male and female – who are clearly hitch-hiking against the traffic

You are not constrained by the Athletico approach so freshen up your supply chain at least, by bringing in some fresh talent to shake up the status quo and generate the spark that can create sustainable change in the business. This is not to suggest the existing employees are not good enough but now and again you need a change of direction and even leadership in order to achieve the corporate objectives and beat the competition (don't get me started on Sepp Blatter!). Recruit someone “on loan” or on an interim contract and you might start winning trophies again.

(The cucumber question is doubly worrying when people say they actually enjoy the stuff!)

Image courtesy of taoty at freedigitalphotos.net

Tags: FMCG, Dave Jordan, Performance Improvement, Supply Chain