“I'm an optimist, but an optimist who carries a raincoat” is a famous quote from Harold Wilson. What about you? Are you carrying one as well for your supply chain? The weather forecast is proverbially fickle, but so are politics and international trade policies.

brexit poll

Just to catch up: Harold Wilson was a Labour UK Prime Minister in 1975 when the UK held a referendum with a simple question: “Do you think the United Kingdom should stay in the European Community (the Common Market)?”. This referendum was held 2 years after the UK officially joined the EEC...
The result was a majority “yes” vote of 67% and Labour didn't win another election for 23 years.

This is not a history lesson but I think it’s worthwhile to consider it against the current turmoil.

"A week is a long time in politics"

Is another famous quote of Harold Wilson; something president Trump has taken to heart, announcing $250Bn trade sanctions by decree overnight.

Were you thinking disruption for your supply chain would be coming from Amazon or a new internet start-up? You may want to think again… Your supply chain has been configured with a strategy: What to source-make-store-sell-deliver where and how. But how quickly are you able to reconfigure this? Not only for changes in demand and supply, but also in the case of external events and policy changes with direct bottom line and operational impacts such as customs procedures and warehousing. We see companies staring in the headlights or wondering if there is light at the end of the tunnel (“Deal”) or a train coming towards them (“No deal”).


Two weeks ago we had an Executive Workshop on the value of digital transformation. A CPO of one of the attendees asked a customer “Why did you choose to invest in the digital transformation of your supply chain through this Platform?”. The customer's answer was revealing: “To accelerate change and to be able to re-invent our external supply chain processes continuously”.

  • Every point to point EDI integration is a waste of money and an inhibitor to change.
  • Every customized company web portal which requires you to onboard and maintain individual users and accounts slows you down.
  • Your OCR scanner is the fax machine of this decade.
  • Everyone that calls a pdf “digital” should be expelled from LinkedIn
  • If 97% of your order lines are truly digital, including all the related non-physical processes from forecast to payment, you have the ability to re-configure your supply chain really fast.
  • This is exciting and good news. You will start to embrace pain: Less agile competitors will suffer a lot more from this disruption than you will.
  • brexit bollocks

    Go Trump Go! #BollocksToBrexit.

    Wars are won with logistics, not with bullets. And this is just a beginning. Soon the survivors will be laughing loud about the time when we thought digital transactions were the big thing and we will be applying singularity to assemble their products that we know as physical processes today.

    brexit workshop

    Talk to me. Come to my workshop "Prepping for the ramifications of Supply Chain & Brexit" which will take place from 12pm to 5:30 PM at Legends at Bentley located in Crewe (UK).

    Add comment

    Security code