Supply chain disruptions can have an enormous impact on company performance. One source estimates that firms experiencing these problems on average see an 11% reduction in shareholder value. Another estimates they incur around a 40% reduction in stock price.
With supply chain complexity rising fast over the past 30 years, the best organisations can do right now is to prepare themselves for such unforeseen problems. But how?
As the old scout motto says: “A scout must prepare himself by previously thinking out and practicing how to act on any accident or emergency so that he is never taken by surprise.”
“This sums it up pretty well,” says Paul Pittman (Ph.D., CFPIM, CSCP, Jonah), Professor of Operations Management at Indiana University Southeast. “The companies that seem to handle unexpected events relatively well aren’t merely lucky. In truth, these organisations’ leaders are just more mindful of their environments and decisions.”
Pittman and his colleague, Brian Atwater, will share their insights on mindful leadership during their workshop entitled Mindfulness to Becoming an Effective Supply Chain Manager at the SAPICS 2015 conference, taking place from 31 May - 2 June at Sun City.
The concept of being mindful deals with simply being more aware of your surroundings, or using what you do know to be more prepared to deal with what you don’t know.
While the definition of mindfulness is quite simple, practicing mindfulness is not.
During the presentation at SAPICS 2015, Pittman and Atwater will share several tools designed to help managers see far deeper than normal. “Mindless thinking says ‘problems just happen’ and ‘things are never as they appear’,” he says. “By contrast, mindful managers believe that most problems can be predicted and that is why they look deeper for signs of underlying issues.”
During the session, participants will discuss why people spend so much time engaged in mindless activities, share examples of routine scenarios to contrast mindful versus mindless decisions. They will also discuss specific techniques to increase managers’ mindfulness while working in the field of operations and supply chain management.
“We’ll teach you how to see patterns in events and identify underlying systemic structures within an organisation that can be the key to preventing potential disaster,” he says.
According to Pittman, this kind of thinking empowers managers to shift from a ‘victim’ complex that seeks to apportion blame, to a solution orientation that sees potential problems as challenges that can be addressed.
Seek answers where there seem to be no questions
(1) What can go wrong? (2) What is the likelihood of it happening? (3) What is the impact if it does happen?
“By seeking the answers to these three basic questions concerning everything from a regular oil spill that you notice on the factory floor to the likelihood of a supplier’s failure to perform, it’s possible to mitigate most risks facing supply chains today,” he says.
To help managers do this, during their presentation they will introduce and expand on tools that track cause and effect, as well as analyse the likelihood of failure and map supply chain vulnerabilities, amongst other tools for improving mindfulness.
“By applying these techniques, it may just be that few things will catch you by surprise ever again,” concludes Pittman. Now that’s something to think about.
Want to find out more? Catch Pittman and Atwater at SAPICS 2015
The presentation by Paul Pittman and Brian Atwater at SAPICS 2015 is entitled: Mindfulness to Becoming an Effective Supply Chain Manager.
For more information on the 37th Annual SAPICS Conference & Exhibition, being held at Sun City from 31 May – 2 June 2015, please visit http://conference.sapics.org/
MEDIA CONTACT: Cathlen Fourie, 012 644 2833, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.atthatpoint.co.za
ABOUT SAPICS – your supply chain network
SAPICS is a professional knowledge-based association that enables individuals and organisations to improve business performance. SAPICS builds operations management excellence in individuals and enterprises through superior education and training, internationally recognised certifications, comprehensive resources and a countrywide network of accomplished industry professionals. This network is ever expanding and now includes associates in other African countries.
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APICS is the leading professional association for supply chain and operations management and the premier provider of research, education and certification programs that elevate end-to-end supply chain excellence, innovation and resilience. APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) and APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) designations set the industry standard. With over 37,000 members and more than 250 international partners, APICS is transforming the way people do business, drive growth and reach global customers. APICS is based in the USA and has a broad global footprint.
About Paul Pittman
Paul is a Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management at Indiana University Southeast, where his teaching has earned him numerous teaching honors, including Indiana University’s system-wide distinguished teaching award. As a partner of The LAMP Group (www.thelampgroup.com ), Pittman has more than 20 years of international consulting experience assisting organizations in learning and applying systemic thinking, executive leadership and decision-making, lean and continuous improvement, and project management. He most recently served on the APICS Supply Chain Council Board of Directors and past experience includes serving as CPIM Program Chair, member of the C&C Committee, SMR Committee Chair. Paul is a frequent speaker at professional chapter meetings and international conferences and has published numerous articles including several in the APICS Magazine.
About Brian Atwater
Brian is an assistant Professor of Operations Management at Indiana University Southeast (IUS). He also currently serves on the committee that oversees the Basics of Supply Chain certification exam. He teaches courses in Systems Thinking, Operations Management, and Project Management. Professor Atwater has published over 50 articles in a variety of journals including APICS Magazine, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, and International Journal of Production Research. He has worked as an examiner for the Shingo Prize, and has provided consulting services for several businesses including Apple, Carrier Transicold, Schuller/Manville and 3M.