Supply Chain Now Episode 515

“Just because you have a large supply chain does not guarantee that you’re a going to survive.”

– Mike Griswold, Vice President of Research, Retail at Gartner


According to Gartner research, 60 to 75% of organizations report a disconnect between their business strategy, digital strategy, and supply chain strategy. If companies struggle to align their business and digital strategies, it seems like a long shot that they will be able to align the supply chain, especially given the elevated levels of uncertainty we face today.

Mike Griswold is the Vice President of Research at Gartner, specializing in retail with a particular focus on forecasting and replenishment. He is responsible for Gartner’s annual Top 25 Supply Chain ranking and joins Supply Chain Now on a monthly basis to discuss the latest in retail supply chains from an analyst’s perspective.

In this conversation, Mike tells Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton:

· The need to be able to identify and articulate business problems before trying to solve them through technology or operational change

· Why the key to cross-functional collaboration may reside in the traditional org chart and using a broader definition for ‘supply chain’

· The concrete steps companies can take today to reduce the cost and inefficiency of their reverse logistics

It’s time for supply chain. Now broadcasting live from the supply chain capital of the country. Atlanta, Georgia heard around the world. Supply chain. Now spotlights the best in all things. Supply chain, the people, the technologies, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.

Scott Luton (00:40):

Hey, Hey, good afternoon, Greg white tequila, sunrise supply chain now has got lead here all with Wednesdays. Last string, Greg. I liked that. Well, I wanted to, I wanted to see how much I could fit on the screen. Well, I’ll tell you, you’ve had, you’ve been on quite a roll folks. Need to know a lot more about tequila, sunrise. We’ve got we’ve we’ve had a slew of, of conversations with some of the movers and shakers, not just across supply chain, but across industry. And that looks like it continues. You’re like, uh, old DiMaggio here lately 57 game hit street. Right?

New Speaker (01:14):

I guess so. Yeah. I, you know, people like listening, um, it, this, this next episode is going to be all about investing in supply chain tech. So I have a feeling, uh, like, like my, so you think you want to start a supply chain tech?

New Speaker (01:32):

This could be a little bit of an awakening for investors, like the same sort of, uh, awakening we offered.

Scott Luton (01:39):

founders. So I love it, but Hey, let’s talk about that later, man. We have a huge guest once again here. Yeah. Huge guests. We’re getting today’s all about supply chain today and tomorrow, right? The one and only Mike Rosewall with Gartner, we’ve enjoyed this monthly series. We’ve gotten a ton of feedback from folks in the audience. I know that live streams have been with ton of interaction and answers. So Hey, David and Kayvon, uh, smile. Great to have you Larry Klein, two squared via YouTube. Of course. Jenny Froome may even sneak in here on YouTube. Hey, just a fair challenge. This isn’t really challenge our audience because they always bring it, but challenge them. That’s right. We’re going to be talking about some key takeaways from a big event early this month with, uh, certainly a leader in the nose. So y’all get ready. Cause we want to hear from you all as well. So, uh, Greg quick programming note, as we were working hard, improve and increase and enhance and maybe optimize everybody’s supply chain IQ. Yup. If you want to do, if you enjoy today’s conversation, everybody make sure you check out our podcasts wherever you get your podcasts from. So, uh, cert for supply chain now, and please subscribe it’s free. Uh, and you won’t miss conversations like this one with Mike Griswold here, money back guaranteed. Our marketing people want us to say subscribe

Greg White (03:00):

Or follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Twitch.

Scott Luton (03:05):

Nice, nicely done. And on that note, we should thank both Amanda and clay and the whole team, always behind the sides. They’re certainly the true cogs in the engine that keep us coming so greatness to see what they do. Appreciate it. Um, two quick announcements, we’ve been talking about these two events for quite some time. Uh, we’ve had an outpouring of participation on this webinar. We’ve got teed up tomorrow. It’s all about not just IOT, but the latest and greatest, um, cutting edge applications, practical, uh, bottom line results, driving applications of IOT. So check that out. We’ve got a link to the, uh, registration page on the show notes, making it easy. One click November 19th already tomorrow. Greg, have you already gotten your Turkey thought out?

Greg White (03:56):

Uh we’re we buy it on frozen as a matter of fact, but um, yeah, I’ve been contemplating a deep fried one, but I don’t think I’m going to get away with that this year. Okay. But one thought on this IOT thing. Yep. Uh, so if this, hopefully this is a motivating perspective. Consider that with IOT, we no longer have to use traditional forecasting methods to identify when, to position parts, replacement parts and new, uh, equipment in the supply chain. So think about it from that perspective. And then listen up.

Scott Luton (04:33):

I thought just for sh I thought for sure, you’re going to apply that to when you pull your, your Turkey out of the freezer and begin the thawing process, continue down that famous Turkey, Tom, Greg, we’ve got to embrace that theme at least for the next couple of days, right? Or a couple of weeks. Lots of Turkey saying which is cranberry sauce. No cranberry sauce.

Greg White (04:53):

Greg. No cranberry sauce. Yeah. I’m with you. I’m with you. Very, uh, I’m very basic when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner. Yes. Yes I am. It looks like mashed potatoes and dressing. That’s a battle. I care about

Scott Luton (05:07):

Climb the stakes at stakes at his house. That’s the tradition there. Uh, clay Clayton says unfrozen Turkey. Talk about nimble supply chain.

Greg White (05:20):

Well, I may, I may or may not have been doing business in the food, food and food service industry. So I might have a connection or two. Awesome. All right.

Scott Luton (05:29):

Well, Hey, uh, one other quick announcement for bringing in the one and only Mike Griswold, we’re really looking forward to the st. Picks 20, 20 safe mix virtual conference taking place next week. Uh, our role there, Greg is twofold. Number one, we’re going to be sharing a couple of our, uh, favorite moment, uh, you know, 300 plus podcasts. And lastly webinars here in 2020 as well as hashtag trivia is back. We’re going to be leading one of the most events, this side of the supply chain industry. So hashtag trivia is back looking forward to it.

Greg White (06:04):

Yeah, yeah, no doubt. I think, uh, I love the dichotomy of we’re the entertainment, but we’re also the authorities. So I think I said this before. I’m going to wear my tuxedo t-shirt yes, yes, but I’m also supply chain authority

Scott Luton (06:26):

Key with a tie. I love it. All right. Well, Hey, check out the event. We can’t say enough. Great things about st. Pick’s love what they’re doing to disseminate supply chain, best practices and leadership and forward looking leadership across the continent of Africa across all the, uh, the 40 plus countries that make up the continent. So check that out. The link to register is in the show notes. Okay. So Greg, I’m excited. I, I had to, I was on the sidelines watching you and Korean in October kind of pick Mike’s brains. Great to be back with him. So with no further ado, let’s welcome in Mike Griswold, vice president analyst

Scott Luton (07:04):


Mike Griswold (07:08):

Hey guys. Hey Mike, how you doing? Hey Angela. Well, thanks. I, I would, I would submit going down Greg’s Turkey line. The very first internet of things was a little thing that pops up on the Turkey to tell you it’s done. So I think they were ahead of the curve when it comes to IOT. And if you think about it, I mean, for, there are refrigerators that have IOT in them. Oh, you have to do is put something in the freezer that could identify how long it would take to thaw. Yep. I mean, there’s a way to do it. Yes.

Scott Luton (07:43):

The only thing we’re missing here is a Turkey’s perspective on exactly what they think, but regardless, Hey, great to have Mike Rosewall back. We’ve got a lot of, a lot of ground to cover, want to say hello to a few folks, uh, uh, Kayvon Keith Duckworth. Of course, Larry Sophia, uh, Reavis Herrera is back with us clay. Uh, David says bonus episode, and he’s going to grab his popcorn. It’s great to have you here. Uh, Dave, and, uh, so buckle up. This is gonna be a great session. All right. So let’s, let’s have a little bit more fun. Sure. Trying to keep it’s been so important to maintain a healthy sense of humor here in this 2020. So I appreciate your good sportsmanship here, Mike. So three quick lightning, lightning, round questions for you. First question. How many hours of masters coverage did you watch and who were you?

Mike Griswold (08:34):

Yeah, so, um, I, I’m assuming too much, isn’t a wrong answer. I watched it all. And in fact, I watched like a masters before and after. So, uh, it was, I watched it all. I had, uh, my brother-in-law runs a, you know, for entertainment purposes, a master’s pool that had about a thousand bucks in it. Um, I didn’t see any of that. I had Zander Schalfly and Collin Mara Markella who I thought were, you know, semi-intelligent picks going into this the way they were playing. Uh, it obviously didn’t turn out. I, I, I do the want to want to give it in some serious note, kind of a life lesson that I took from the masters, which is if anyone had watched it all or even if you didn’t watch it, I’m sure you heard about, uh, tiger woods, you know, getting a tan on a par three, for those of you that don’t golf.

Mike Griswold (09:23):

That’s not good, but what he said afterwards and what he did afterwards, I think is a life lesson for everybody which is in golf. And in a lot of instances, you have to find a way to pull yourself up. Right. You know, he referenced there is, you know, in golf, there is no sub, there is no replacement. He had to figure out a way to gut through and finish the hole. And then he managed to, I think birdie five of the last six holes. So I mean sports in general, I love cause they give life lessons golf in particular can give us all life lessons. And I think that was one from tiger. I did not see that was that on 12. Oh yeah, of course. I mean, if it was going to be on any hole, it would be, so you should go, go look it up. I’m sure there’s YouTube of it. It’s, it’s, it’s something that all of us that golf can relate to, but what we can’t relate to, at least from my game is, you know, when I get to seven, it’s like, okay, that’s the most I can take in this whole I’m outta here. You know, when you’re the masters, you can’t do that. You got to finish and he ended up with a 10. Yeah.

Scott Luton (10:27):

Also continued analogy everything’s within your control typically, right? You’re the only one hitting the ball. There’s no beef fence. No one can break your clubs except for you. Yes. Uh, so, so many life, uh, analogies there with the game of golf, uh, quick, want to say a quick, low, uh, and, and D a great to have you via LinkedIn. Thanks so much for joining us. Pre-teach is back with us. Pretyt welcome. Hope this finds you well. And David is a big fan of cauliflower soup during Thanksgiving. So it takes all kinds for sure. Different strokes, different folks.

Mike Griswold (11:00):

He’s already had his Thanksgiving, hasn’t he? Oh, that’s right. That was a couple of weeks ago. Monday. Yes. I’m aware that, um, many of our, of our emotional support Canadians are not aware of the timing of Thanksgiving because I’m sure, I’m sure you’ve seen that. Me. My, um, Sarah Barnes scheduled a board meeting for ships Tuesday late afternoon. And I’m like, man, usually I don’t work after like noon on Monday.

Scott Luton (11:33):

Uh, uh, you know, let’s keep driving. I’ve got two more questions, Greg, before this symposium that I want to pose to my next question, Mike, what is one habit or routine that you’ve picked up in 2020? And you’re grateful that you did

Mike Griswold (11:50):

Yeah. This and this is, you know, somewhat, I think probably we actually more on a serious note. And I think for people that work from home, um, it might be something considered, but it was something as simple as closing my office door, leaving my office door tended to allow me to wander in and out over the course of the entire day. It was like, I was never really disconnecting and shutting down. Uh, I know for people that, like for me in the analyst world, I’ve been working for hold forever, but for people that that’s relatively newer to, I think finding some way to, even if it’s just virtually closing your door, that was, that’s been huge for me. Um, and just being able to kind of separate, you know, the work stuff from the home stuff. So that to me was big. Just this idea of closing the door smart.

Scott Luton (12:38):

Yeah. The simple things tend to be cinema, more powerful things. So I love that answer, Mike. Uh, the last time I posed that in the last week or two also got some serious answers around a couple of executives that took up, uh, either gardening or some kind of, uh, gardening. And they, it was very therapeutic and very, they were able to, to, to really step back from the email and, and all the digital ways that our organizations get their, their hands around you. But love that answer. Uh, last question here is what is the last movie or TV show that you watched that you actually thought was worth the time?

Mike Griswold (13:15):

Yeah. So I’ll give you two. Um, I, my wife and I are we’re late to the Mandalorian party, but we watched the first season and absolutely loved it. Um, if you, if you’re into that whole star Wars kind of universe and the, and the satellite things that happened within that universe, Mandalorian was really, really good. Uh, and they just started, uh, launching season two. Uh, and then something maybe a little bit more closer to earth. My wife and I love Yellowstone, the Kevin Costner, um, series. If you have not watched season three, watch season three, be prepared for the season finale. It is brutal. I won’t say anymore, but man, I can’t wait for season four to start, um, with what a hanger. Yes.

Scott Luton (14:02):

The cliffhanger of all cliff fingers in the eighties when I was growing up was, was who shot jr.

Mike Griswold (14:06):

Dallas, right? This is booked.

Scott Luton (14:08):

Yeah, this is close. And by the way, it reminds me just how much of a fan I am of Kevin costs or I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bad movie or TV.

Mike Griswold (14:17):

Well, he’s Waterworld. I think if he sticks to westerns in baseball, he’s perfect. Um, when he strays, I mean the post man wasn’t, wasn’t horrible. It was better than Waterworld, but yeah, uh, I was chill. Let us not forget bull Durham. My favorite movie of all time.

Scott Luton (14:45):

Yes. And Greg has got every single, uh, uh, quote memorized and they, they come from time to time

Mike Griswold (14:53):

Constitutional amendment, the designated hitter.

Scott Luton (14:57):

Let me be transparent before we recognize a few comments and I’ve tossed over to Greg is, uh, we got one of our dogs, a home made thunder jacket, right? He’s he’s, he’s always anxious and whatnot. So my youngest outgrew a, um, outfit, let’s be honest, outgrew a jacket, and it happened to fit the dog. So now everywhere, he’s moving, you hear this, this vinyl scraping y’all may not hurt him. He just walked into the home studio here. And so I was texting, as you were talking about Mike, the value of shutting your door, I was fast and furiously texting my wife to shut the door. So there’s so much power in that. Um, right. So let’s recognize just a few folks here. I think I mentioned, uh, Aina DIA already to the via LinkedIn Mark held is tuned them via the logistics executive team and just Mark great interview with Patrick van home. Uh, who’s a great friend of the show that dropped yesterday. He had a great interview. So Mark cheers to you, Kim, the whole team there. All right. So Greg, let’s dive into this symposium and the wealth of information that took place there.

Mike Griswold (16:03):

Yeah. I mean, originally we wanted to schedule this at the time to be at symposium, right. So we have been dying talk about a cliff hanger. We’ve been dying to find out, you know, what, what new takeaways there are from symposium. So what do you got for us, Mike? Yeah. So what I have is I’ve got kind of six ideas, Greg. I thought I would try to, at least in my own brain logically group them. Um, and then maybe just see where between you and me and the other folks that are joining us, where this conversation goes the first two, um, you know, really in the future, the biggest, most powerful supply chains aren’t necessarily going to be the supply chains that win. I think that’s an interesting thing to think about. And the one that kind of, I think for me, when I think about the inquiries that I take and the people that I talk to when I look at our quantitative data, the second one, which I think is one, we want to spend a decent amount of time on the concern of supply.

Mike Griswold (17:03):

The concern for supply chains is that CEOs don’t have full confidence that their chief supply chain officers are actually ready to support the digital transformation. I think that’s huge. We’ve always battled as a supply chain to get in front of the C-suite and be part of that. Right. And the fact that our CEOs may not have full confidence in our ability to get us through that, I think is something that we all need to figure out, how are we going to deal with it? How are we going to change that perception? Yeah, that’s big. That’s surprising too. I mean, of all the things, there were a lot of terms going through my mind, as you said, the CEO does not have comfort with, I was going that we can

Greg White (17:50):

Handle another supply chain shock, but digital transformation did not come immediately to mind. So why do you think that is?

Mike Griswold (17:58):

Well, I think part of the challenge when I look at our research is there is in some ways, you know, we’re not helping the supply chain. Cause when I look at our data, we have anywhere from 60 to 75% of organizations telling us there’s a disconnect between the business strategy, the digital strategy and the supply chain strategy. And if I can’t align the business and the digital, it’s pretty unrealistic to expect my supply chain to be able to align with basically uncertainty. So I think it’s, it’s that definition of what does digital actually mean? Right. We know when you ask, you know, 10 companies, you’re going to get 10 different answers, which there isn’t anything wrong with that. It’s long, you know, what’s wrong is, or what’s the, what the challenge becomes is if an organization can’t articulate it internally, right? So when we say we are going to be a digital organization, what does that mean? Does that mean we’re jumping into the deep end of IOT? Does it mean we’re jumping into the deep end of automation? Does it mean as simply for a retailer? Hey, we’re going to do more through e-commerce. None of those are wrong answers, but all of those require different supply chain capabilities. And I think that’s where the dilemma, um, sits is, is what do we want to be when we grow up digitally? And then what do we need from a supply chain?

Greg White (19:17):

I could see that being a concern when you put it that way, where do you start eating the elephant?

Mike Griswold (19:23):

Yeah. Right. Exactly. All of those are options

Greg White (19:25):

To many entities. If you think about it with the number of manufacturers that are going, um, direct to consumer with, uh, and the e-commerce transformation that, that often it requires for them. When you think about how many, how many, um, functions need to move from paper to digital or from spreadsheets to applications or manual to automated, as you, as you think about, I could see why that’s probably not nearly as much an indictment of the chief supply chain officer, right. As it is more a recognition of the complexity of the business problem.

Mike Griswold (20:05):

Right. Exactly. And I think it also, Greg speaks to that first point, which is just because you have a large supply chain does not guarantee that you’re a going to survive. And B that you’ve understand, understood how to bring in resiliency and agility. Right. And those, those I’m sure for everyone that’s joining us are probably words that have made it to everyone’s supply chain bingo card. Um, and we frankly, even on a Gardner are trying to kind of not overuse those words. But if you look at organizations that are coming through this disruption, the pandemic on the other side, you know, in a better situation than when they started, it’s because they’re resilient and they’re agile and you know, size in some instances can help you with that. But also size in some ways can really hurt you in terms of your ability to kind of turn the ship and, and be able to be responsive. Agility is difficult on a big ship, right? Yeah.

Scott Luton (21:09):

So we’ve got a couple of comments from the audience, no reverse the order here, uh, entity, it says digital means transformation in process, business model, domain, and culture. And she also mentioned that she started, you know, we’re talking about new habits in 2020 start starting to create content for LinkedIn this year. Never imagined doing it ever before. So congrats getting out of your comfort zone, uh, and India and Keith says, uh, piggybacks. And one of the comments you made Mike, or does the technology with the supply chain mean using RFID and or blockchain for inventory management?

Mike Griswold (21:46):

I think that goes precisely to the dilemma you described. Mike is there’s yet another option, right? I mean, there are so many directions that organizations could go that, you know, it probably is manifestation of the, of the CEO’s own, own concern about what is the appropriate direction or appropriate first or next step. He, I, I think Greg, the challenge and Scott that here’s where the challenge becomes is, is the, the organization being able to articulate, you know, and I think most organizations can tell you, this is what digital means to us, right. We, I think we’ve, we’ve made a pretty good step in that direction. What we haven’t necessarily define then is how does that change the supply chain capabilities and the supply chain operating model? How does that need to change and what role do people process and technology play in that? So I’ll give you one of our, we’ve talked about it here in the past.

Mike Griswold (22:48):

L’Oreal from our supply chain top 25 that has evolved, you know, what digital means to them is personalized makeup. And what that, how that manifests itself is moving away from, you know, producing in incredible numbers, the same shade of red lipstick to now being able to produce potentially thousands of different shades, because customer a likes one shade and customer B likes another, right? There’s a huge capability and operating model change that needs to happen in order to support that digital strategy. And it’s being able to make those connections that I think in some ways is, is why chief supply chain officers, you know, are there, why they’re staying up late at night, trying to figure out what are those changes? And then how do I communicate that up to the CEO and those types of folks, you

Scott Luton (23:43):

Know, some mass customization only continues to grow and grow and grow, uh, and, uh, and, and D, and my apologies, uh, gentlemen, uh, my apologies there, so great to have you appreciate

Mike Griswold (23:53):

Keeping calls. I’m sure I get it. Yes.

Scott Luton (23:56):

Hey, one, one con you know, that running joke about Henry Ford when the model T first came out, all right. Yeah. You weren’t black or black in terms of the color of the vehicle. And it’s just so amazing. Of course, you’re talking to lipstick, not, not automobiles, but just the sheer scale of being able to get what you want when you want it, what shade you want it with this, this, this option, this option and, and how it’s so here to stay, you know,

Mike Griswold (24:21):

Cindy logged over a year ago, and then again, on a recent episode with her, the batch of one. Yeah, exactly, exactly. Yep. Yeah. I mean it’s, and, and, you know, the immediate thing that, that makes me think about is laser or, or, uh, or 3d printing printing, right? Yeah. Yeah. I mean, imagine you just sit there and watch your lipstick or whatever, in my case, probably more, more of a, whatever they call that foundation. Plus I’ve heard daughters, I should know that better. Uh, anyway, uh, I, I mean, I think that that is a very, that is one of many incredible complexities, so I get the trepidation there. All right. So go ahead. Yeah. It’s just my last thought on that, Greg is you raise a great point with, and the previous comment around RFID and blockchain. I think we, the, the chief supply chain officers and the supply chain teams, I think, need to be, uh, you know, much more pragmatic and targeted around where technology is going to help.

Mike Griswold (25:28):

Right. So, um, find where RFID is going to help you find where, you know, a use case for blockchain, you know, embrace technology like 3d printing and understand where it, how might that enable the digital journey. So there certainly is an AR technology alternatives. I think that the challenge for folks is fitting that, that technology finding the right home for it and not like we’ve done with blockchain, which basically said, which is the same conversation we had. Oh, by the way, years ago, with RFID, it will solve all of our problems. It will solve some problems very, very well. You just need to find what problem it is. Yeah. That’s right. Find the problem first. Yes. Don’t go around with a hammer thinking everything’s a nail, right? Exactly. Yeah.

Scott Luton (26:18):

Hey, a couple of quick comments here. Uh, entity a says, that’s why data is so important. It helps drive customer experience. Great point there. Michael Kinnaman says we still have too many supply chains that operate in silos. Kind of going back to your earliest point, Mike, and for digital supply chains operate effectively. We must eliminate the silos. And then one final comment here, this really conjures up a visual. If you really think about it, the first customization of colors and shades were done at the local paint store, the challenge is to take that personalization to a larger model that covers national and global supplies. Thanks so much for that key. Yep. And appreciate your comment on, uh, this week we’re celebrating the, uh, founding of, of, um, the city of Denver. And we referenced that and I, and I, this week in business history podcast for thanks for the call out there, Keith. Okay. So Greg here in those comments and, and it’s, you know, especially going back to where this started with the lack, you know, all the concern around the lack of alignment and, and, and, and how that hinders digital transformation. And when you think of that proverbial silo that we’ve heard about for so long, Greg, what comes to mind here?

Greg White (27:28):

Well, uh, now silos silos used to apply within your organization now, silos of information or supply chain segment that, that applies to enter enterprise operations. I mean, we have to think of the supply chain as global. There are no boundaries anymore, not corporate boundaries, not country boundaries, maybe not even planetary boundaries, but I mean, if you think, I mean, if you think about the supply chain in that perspective, then that adds yet another level of complexity. And now if, if we expect to be able to be agile right, and resilient, those are two words we’ve been saying since, uh, March 13th at 3:00 PM when the order came down. Um, but at least in Georgia, um, but that if you expect to be agile and resilient, then you have to be enabled to change. Not just, not, not just your internal operations, but your external operations, right?

Greg White (28:37):

You have to be able to switch from your, let’s say you accomplish near shoring. You have to be able to accomplish, uh, switch from your near shoring to your offshoring initiative or to an insuring initiative or to whatever other shoring initiative you might have. Because now if you’ve got a China plus one or X country or vendor plus one strategy, you still need agility to, to be able to switch, uh, production to, to that facility or sourcing to that facility. Right. So, um, you know, data process, people training of course, right. Exception handling. I mean, there are all sorts of aspects of that. It sounds really overwhelming when you re, when you talk about it like that, all of the things that have been said here in the comments, all, all highly intellectual and difficult to even type, but 10 times as difficult to implement

Scott Luton (29:35):

Great point. And of course, it’s our, well-informed an expert community that always bring it expanding what to do. Yeah. Well, so my

Mike Griswold (29:44):

Role becomes in how to get it done. Yes.

Scott Luton (29:47):

Well, so let me ask you a follow-up question, Mike. Um, are there any, you know, especially when we talk about in the larger organizations, that, that Greg’s kind of alluded to all on our planet, though, uh, for now, for the sake of the question, um, what, you know, when you think of clearly that’s a concern in the CEO office, right. And, and everything rolls up there. W when you think about the companies that have really done a great job creating that alignment, you know, uh, not eliminating the silos, but really breaking them down for the most part. So that they’re really, uh, really going down the path practically and successfully down towards achieving digital transformation. What any observations there, in terms of who who’s getting that facilitation, that alignment strategy,

Mike Griswold (30:29):

Right? Yeah. I, I think it, um, it comes down to really two things. You know, when I look at probably bring us back to our supply chain, top 25 companies, right? They’re, they’re the ones that are probably closest to having things around that alignment and so on. And w one of the things they share is into the earlier comment around how do you break down silos? Part of the way you break them down is to bring all the silos into one area like the supply chain. So if I look at top 25 companies and our masters, they all have a broader definition of the supply chain. Their supply chain is not defined as distribution centers and trucks. You think of it as more like the traditional score model plan source make, deliver customer service. All of those elements are within the supply chain run by let’s say, a chief supply chain officer.

Mike Griswold (31:21):

So now you have those individual slot silos are now all within the same team. It becomes much easier to facilitate those cross silo. Those cross-functional discussions. The other element they have though, is in order to ensure everyone is going in the same direction, you need a balanced end to end set of metrics, right? We need metrics that highlight for us trade-off decisions they highlight for us, right? Here’s the trade off decision you’re making. Are you making that consciously? You know, we have, um, and it will sound harsh. So I apologize. We have a metrics, maturity model, stage one is unconsciously incompetent. It doesn’t get much worse than that. Um, and, and that’s a case where you’ve got all these functional metrics running around the organization, and everyone is optimizing their own functional metric and, you know, doing high-fives or, you know, virtual high-fives, um, because their piece of the business is running great.

Mike Griswold (32:21):

Doesn’t matter that they’ve, they’ve hosed the whole rest of the business, right? So that broader definition of the supply chain in terms of the area of its responsibility and this idea of end to end metrics that facilitates conscious trade off decisions, um, I think is important. And maybe the last maybe subplot to that is a general understanding that, that we need optimization to happen. And that in optimization, quite frankly, not everyone gets what they want, the organization gets what it wants and needs, but I might have to incur some more costs to the DCS in order to create a better experience let’s say, in the stores. So those would be kind of the two, maybe two eight things I see Scott in, in organizations is they’re looking to work through that

Scott Luton (33:11):

Standing. Um, all right. So Greg, uh, there’s so much here and, and, and, uh, we’ve got to take full use of Mike’s time while he’s here with us. Where do we want to go next? We want to pick, uh,

Mike Griswold (33:24):

What else stood out to him? Yeah, let’s get down the list, right. I think we only got to two, right. We got a few more coming, so let’s hear it. So, so maybe in the interest of time, let me jump to kind of what I think is the next big one. And it does. Um, and again, we don’t rehearse any of this, but it does feed pretty naturally off the whole resiliency and agility discussion was really two points. Um, reverse logistics is becoming more common in other industries beyond just industrial. And secondly, and this, I really think speaks to your earlier comment, Greg, it will no longer be acceptable to create waste in a future supply chain. And I know that inherently, we’ve never consciously decided to create ways to the supply chain, but it is now even more important that we recognize where waste is, whether that’s, you know, trailer space, miles, even things broader than that, um, wasted how we design products waste in terms of what happens to products end of life, that whole idea around waste and reverse logistics. And I, and I’ll, I’ll certainly show my bias here. Reverse logistics is still a huge problem for retail. Uh, we, we still haven’t sorted it out, frankly. And, uh, until we do, particularly with the growth of e-commerce, you know, we’re going to continue to struggle with that as a capability. Yeah.

Scott Luton (34:49):

Uh, so you, you’ve got some fans of the phrase you used a second ago, unconsciously incompetent. Awesome. Yes. Tim says, we say promoted to a level of income encompass.

Mike Griswold (35:02):

So Peter principle, exactly. Tim, great to have you here.

Scott Luton (35:06):

We need to talk more healthcare supply chain really soon. Uh, key says Mike is hearkening to Dale, Carnegie training, unconsciously, and competent. The next steps are consciously incompetent, consciously competent, and then unconsciously competent try to say that 10 times.

Mike Griswold (35:23):

Well, it’s easier to type than it is to say that’s for sure. Right?

Scott Luton (35:28):

Uh, so much good stuff here. If

Mike Griswold (35:29):

You want to, if you want a good analogy that think about your driving, where you go from, can’t start the car to forgetting shifted through second and third year to get to fourth, right. That is unconsciously competent. Right.

Scott Luton (35:44):

All right. We should be asking as much fun as we’re having and so many great practical insights. Um, Greg, we should be asking about what’s next on the radar,

Mike Griswold (35:53):

Right? Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you know, now that, um, you know, that we’ve addressed, uh, I think a very important topic, which is reverse logistics. I wonder if that isn’t maybe not in your area so much, but I know that, uh, Tom in right, um, addresses this frequently, is that something that you all have or intend to put a greater spotlight on based on the findings from symposium? I think we’re going to have to, and I, and I think it, it, I mean, as, as one of our analysts pointed out, right, th this isn’t just an industrial problem, right. And industrial sector problem, I, man, it’s a problem for everybody. I think if you were to ask consumer products companies, right. And their interactions and working with retailers, you know, they’ve got issues with reverse logistics, healthcare, life sciences companies, I’m sure do as well.

Mike Griswold (36:45):

So it really is a topic that, you know, we need to figure out as a supply chain. You know, I think the first step is actually monetizing the damage that poor reverse logistics is doing, whether that’s, you know, in a retail environment where I have returns that are fully sellable, that I can’t get back into my inventory ecosystem. Right. There’s a cost to that. You know, whether it’s the physical transportation costs of, of moving product that is either returned or unsellable moving that someplace else to be processed, you know, th the impact it has when I bring that stuff, say into a traditional distribution center, the inefficiency that causes as people are trying to work through, you know, reverse logistics stuff, plus stuff that actually just came in to be shipped out. So there there’s just a ton of work. I think that could be done around, you know, what, uh, what’s the cost of inefficient reverse logistics. That might be the impetus that gets people’s attention when they actually see how much money are we again, it gets back to that waste discussion, right? How much money are we wasting? Because our reverse logistics processes, aren’t very good. And today in a lot of industries, you’re able to put the waste off onto someone else’s balance. Yeah. It starts to hit your own balance sheet. That’s when you’ll do something about it. So that’s a great point, Greg. You’re exactly right. Oh, sorry. I didn’t hear that very well.

Scott Luton (38:10):

Quick comment, little teaser. Uh, we look forward to reinvigorating our reverse logistics series in 2021. Not only because we love our partners there, but, but because more folks need to understand all the what’s taking place in that aspect of global supply chain. So a little teaser, more details to come. Yeah. All right. Greg,

Mike Griswold (38:31):

Any other events coming up for Gardner? I know you have kind of interesting event about next year, at least as of now, but yes. So we just announced that we’re doing our symposium events live next year. At least that’s the plan we’re doing Barcelona on September 20th through the 22nd. And we’re doing, excuse me, Orlando, October 25th through the 27th. So right now we’re putting a stake in the ground and saying, we’re going to be live, uh, with those events. I mean, this year, it was mind boggling, Greg pulling all this virtual stuff together as we’ve talked about, but we had for both, um, Barcelona and for Orlando, we had nearly 3000 people registered, virtually, um, and close to 2000 people popped in to multiple different sessions over the course of the three days. So still was a lot of excitement. It wasn’t, you know, frankly the experience that we had all hoped for, right. We love doing these things in person, just like you guys like doing live events in person, but we’re, you know, we are optimistic that we’ll be able to have, you know, live events, uh, in September and October. And we’re really excited about that. That’s impressive. Uh, as soon as you said Barcelona, I started checking my calendar.

Mike Griswold (39:55):

Unfortunately, Greg is still on planet earth. Um, I’ll let you know when we move SIM to the moon or someplace else. Well, you know, I, I could probably go out of the atmosphere and back in by Barcelona, you probably could look forward to being together in any measure. And I think by that time, right, it looks like with, with, uh, both the vaccines and, um, some reasonable mitigation efforts that we should be able to get there. Right. We’re all hoping. I know, I know we are on the gardener side. Yes.

Scott Luton (40:31):

Yeah. And we’re going to, we’re going to break through, uh, we’re going to break through, so yeah.

Mike Griswold (40:35):

If I have to die anywhere, Barcelona would be just as good a place as any, Oh. Talking about me.

Scott Luton (40:48):

Well, Oh man, Mike, we never have enough time when you, when you stopped by stop in, which is one of the reasons why I’m so glad that we have a monthly conversation with you. We’ve heard so much about these conversations and what you bring to the table that we’re really grateful to have you here. Uh, let’s make sure folks know how to connect with you and the Gardner.

Mike Griswold (41:06):

Uh, so Mike dot Griswell Um, I have a new year’s resolution to drag myself into the 21st century, at least to do more on LinkedIn. That’s about all I’ll commit to right now. Um, I’ll tell you, it’s just a quick side note. The worst thing that happened is is I, I have, now I now own the girls’ basketball program, Twitter account. It’s like the like guy. Yeah, exactly. So anyone that’s got Twitter suggestions, please send my way because

Greg White (41:34):

I am consciously incompetent when it comes to Twitter, take pictures of cats in team uniform and post them. And that’s all he needs to do on Twitter.

Scott Luton (41:45):

They have really entertaining names. There’s cats there. Mike, I’ll save that for another show, but Mike, uh, great to have you back really appreciate it. Um, looking forward already to December as we move into, um, uh, getting closer and closer to 2021 and, uh, we can all celebrate that, but thanks so much for your time, Mike Griswold, vice president analysts, but Gardner hope you and your family have a wonderful

Greg White (42:10):

Thanksgiving. Yeah. Yeah. Thanks so much. Good seeing you.

Scott Luton (42:17):

All right. So Greg, a lot of good stuff.

Greg White (42:21):

Oh, fast. Yes.

Scott Luton (42:23):

Well, yeah. Mike is one of the, um, you know, I won’t call it a short list because it seems like more and more folks, uh, you know, the list is getting longer, you know, uh, you can pose anything to Mike and he’s going to give you a well thought out, been there, done that data-driven research answer and informed, educated answer on what you pose to them. And that really we’ve had countless, um, uh, responses along that, along those lines. I’m, I’m jealous. I wish I could take a page out of the Mike [inaudible] book and approach conversations like he can’t. Huh.

Greg White (42:57):

Well, how about what he takes away from the masters? Not just that he watched the whole thing, but he takes away, you know, a life lesson from a 10 on number 12, which isn’t uncommon at the masters, by the way, just uncommon for tiger woods. That’s right.

Scott Luton (43:13):

Not uncommon for golf either. There’s so much, there’s so much, uh, so many life lessons to be found, especially play the game. It’s it’s, uh, it’s one of life’s most humbling, uh, sports and experiences

Greg White (43:25):

For sure. Mike, um, you know, first of all was a fantastic professional in industry and now he spends his time contemplating what can make the industry better, particularly from a retail and, uh, in a distribution in a, in a, uh, manufacturing, fulfillment, replenishment order optimization standpoint. And he’s just, I mean, he’s literally got his finger on the pulse of supply chain. I agree.

Scott Luton (43:54):

Agreed. All right. So I want to, I want to acknowledge some of the comments we had in the stream.

Greg White (43:59):

Tim’s about Mike’s pictures before we let Mike go.

Scott Luton (44:03):

I’ve got a different challenge. I want to pose the temps, a temp Ingram. If you’re still here, stick around for just a couple minutes, cause I’ve got a challenge for you. But for starters, I want to recognize a few of these other comments and India, of course, adapting the lean to eliminate the Moda. Uh, we needed a lot of the waste taken out of supply chain, waste, waste, a Japanese word for make waste. Okay. Um, Ehrenfried says I’m reminded of the Prussian officer, cause he corrected in a future message for types lazy and stupid, hardworking, and stupid, lazy, and smart and hardworking and smart four quadrants. You keep all, but the hardworking and stupid people because they’re going to muck it all up.

Greg White (44:48):

That actually that’s, I believe that’s, uh, what, um, the conscious and unconscious incompetence was adapted from is that if you read the, if I’ve read the books or review of the book, they actually attribute it to that. Yes.

Scott Luton (45:06):

And I always trust the European and particular Russian expert. They are. So yeah, well, yeah, small difference, but still, still geographically, here we go. Directionally direction. Right? Nick rumor, that rumor got his last name, right? That time is also a fan of tequila. Sunrise, Nick. Great to have you here as part of today’s live stream, uh, Keith says Aaron loved the model, the Prussian officer model. We just talked about our heard of that before, but forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder. Uh, tell you, Aaron is great at that. Let’s see here. All right. So Tim, I’m going to throw a challenge out. So Tim Ingram is with us and if I’m not mistaken, I could have this wrong. If I, if I have it wrong, the challenge will remain nonetheless. So Tim is in healthcare supply chain. If I’ve got that right. And if he’s not, at least he’s passionate about healthcare supply chain.

Scott Luton (46:05):

So Tim, I’ve got a challenge for you if, if you’re up to the task and if you have interest, I’d love for you to lead the assembly of a health of a diverse, uh, from different walks of life panel of healthcare practitioners, that will be interested in sharing what, you know, kind of the, the lay of the land right now from a healthcare supply chain standpoint, given all that that’s going on and, and where we’re headed. And for that matter, uh, having been a part of some, um, some continuous improvement programming at some of the larger hospital systems in my career, fascinating. It’s so fascinating, both the, the parallel challenges they’re solving and the very unique elements of that world. So, so Tim, if you’re interested, we’d love to tap and, and, and, uh, leverage your leadership to assembling again, a diverse panel that can share that expertise with our audience. So, Greg, do you think he’s going to take us up on the challenge?

Greg White (47:03):

I bet he will. And I’m going to make a suggestion for somebody you ought to talk to. And that is Paul Rose. Who’s the chief supply chain officer at Henry Schein. Um, if we consider Italian diverse, then he counts. But in any case, Henry Schein is one of the distributors that traditionally, uh, distributes the flu vaccine. So even though the fulfillment for the COVID vaccine is, um, is being conducted directly by the manufacturer, uh, Paul can speak very directly to the complexities of that, the distribution of a vaccine like that.

Scott Luton (47:41):

Let’s do both. Maybe we have a feature on Paul and maybe we put together a panel of folks are doing different things across healthcare supply chain. So, um, but Tim would love would welcome that. Uh, and, and that discussion T squared going back to reverse logistics says reverse logistics needs to be embraced just don’t asset recapturing. I think that’s certainly a big part, you know, uh, Greg, as we know,

Greg White (48:05):

And Stephens would agree with that you would, it’s difficult to recapture assets

Scott Luton (48:12):

Well, that, and that there lies in the, one of the greatest challenges of, of where we stand from a consumer expectations, uh, moment in history with the practical element of, okay, we’ll take it back, we’ll give you credit, but now what we do with it, you know, and, and, and how do we, how do we put it back cleanly safely and make, you know, the new consumers that may purchase it happy as well? I mean, it’s, it’s quite a fascinating, uh, dilemma that we have given, given the Amazon world we live in right now, you know?

Greg White (48:48):

Yeah. Undoubtedly, I mean, I got to tell you the biggest commentary, whenever a package comes to the house now is why did they put it in a box that big, or that much stuff in it? Or why is there a box within a box within a box, right?

Scott Luton (49:05):

Is there, it seems like, um, I don’t know Greg your experience, but it seems like the e-commerce providers have gotten better and better in the last, uh, picking a timeframe here. I’ll call it the last eight months, right. With at least what we’re getting. It seems like the exceptions of getting a small little, a Rubik’s cube in a package, the size of something, a big old, 50 pound bag of dog food will come in. It seems like I’m seeing that less and less, which is a great thing. Are you seeing something similar along those lines?

Greg White (49:36):

Uh, anecdotally I could say possibly I, you know, I’d have to think about it. I’m, I’m thinking about what we had delivered this week. Now there’s so many things that can be delivered in, uh, in bags that are, and you know, the, the benefit of, uh, of a protective bag is that it’s got those little bubbles you can pop for like the next four hours. And that’s, that’s nice as well.

Scott Luton (50:02):

Agreed. You know, we thought we, we thought Jenny fru may pop in and she’s doing just that to say hello again, folks, uh, vert 2020 say picks virtual conference right around the corner next week, open to any and all, and they’ve got some great programming. So Jenny hope this finds you well. And, uh, look forward to that next week. All right. So Greg so much good stuff here. Yeah. Um, let’s make sure know, Hey, again, we’re, we’re here to, to serve as the voice of supply chain and to serve the voice of supply chain. And that’s all the folks in the audience around the, around the world that keep industry moving forward. Right. And all think about all the different elements, uh, all the different nodes of global supply chain. So, um, if you enjoy today’s episode, you can learn That’s also a, it’s a great clearing house and we’re going be rolling out a new website really, really soon, but that that’d be the great clearing house for all the different shows we’ve referenced here earlier, of course, tequila, sunrise this week in business history, uh, the reverse logistics, uh, monthly series, which is going to be re-invigorated as soon enough, right.

Scott Luton (51:08):

Tech talk, you name it so much good stuff. Um, but you can find it there, or you can find any of their shows on their own channels and you can search,

Greg White (51:18):

Not kidding. Uh, listen to the latest this week in business history, um, about Rose knocks and Knox gelatin and all of the, just business general business disruption that Rose, uh, employed in, was it 1908 teen Oh eight, right. A woman took over a company in the United States and imparted a five day workweek. Unheard of both. Unheard of at the time. Right. Two weeks of vacation, also not allowed by the robber barons of the time. And, um, there were, there was so much more, I mean,

Scott Luton (52:00):

Um, so I, I did, uh, uh, I can never do videos, right. I’ll try to do a promo yesterday.

Greg White (52:06):

Really good. Well, you know,

Scott Luton (52:08):

I was so stopped in my tracks with how gorgeous it was outside. Um, and then that’s where, of course all the great lighting was, but I wanted to call attention to the episode because it’s one of those that you just, you get inspired by. And, you know, one of the things as I, as I, uh, put that promo out there, it dawned on me that in 1908, uh, I think I’ve got this right. And I’m sure one of our audience members will fact check me. I think there was only between territory, some States for territory at the time there’s only three or four States or territories where women could even vote in 1908, much less, take the reigns and call the shots, uh, and, and defy all the folks that told Rose Knox not to do that. So that’s one of those episodes that really is uplifting, inspires you and, and challenge you to do more and more and more so good stuff there. All right. So Greg, uh, as we are starting to wrap here, um, enjoyed our conversation with Mike Griswold as always, I want to find a supply chain Uh, we want to challenge our audience right, as always do good gift forward and be the change that’s needed.

Greg White (53:16):

Greg. We got in on me there.

Scott Luton (53:19):

I did, I did because we’ve got a new timing, uh, device on the back here. And this is the first time we’re using it as we kind of finish on a high note and not a cold note. Uh, so to all of our audience, Hey, y’all ha if we don’t talk to you before next week, unless you’re, if you’re here in the States with Thanksgiving, upon us, we’ve got so much, even in a year like this, we’ve got so much to be grateful for. You know, sometimes if you’re like me, you gotta stop and call Tom out and just kind of level set, you know, cause there’s no shortage of challenges, but man, we’ve got so much to be thankful for. So I hope you and your families have a wonderful Thanksgiving wherever you are, whatever you’re dealing with. And on behalf of Greg white and Scott loot and whole team here, we’ll see you next time on supplies.

Would you rather watch the show in action?  Watch as Scott and Greg welcome Mike Griswold to Supply Chain Now through our YouTube channel.

Mike Griswold serves as Vice President Analyst with Gartner’s Consumer Value Chain team, focusing on the retail supply chain. He is responsible for assisting supply leaders in understanding and implementing demand-driven supply chain principles that improve the performance of their supply chain. Mr. Griswold joined Gartner through the company’s acquisition of AMR. Previous roles include helping line-of-business users align corporate strategy with their supply chain process and technology initiatives. One recent study published by a team of Gartner analysts, including Mike Griswold is Retail Supply Chain Outlook 2019: Elevating the Consumer’s Shopping Experience. Mr. Griswold holds a BS in Business Management from Canisius College and an MBA from the Whittemore School of Business & Economics at the University of New Hampshire. Learn more about Gartner here:

Greg White serves as Principal & Host at Supply Chain Now. Greg is a founder, CEO, board director and advisor in B2B technology with multiple successful exits. He recently joined Trefoil Advisory as a Partner to further their vision of stronger companies by delivering practical solutions to the highest-stakes challenges. Prior to Trefoil, Greg served as CEO at Curo, a field service management solution most notably used by Amazon to direct their fulfillment center deployment workforce. Greg is most known for founding Blue Ridge Solutions and served as President & CEO for the Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader of cloud-native supply chain applications that balance inventory with customer demand. Greg has also held leadership roles with Servigistics, and E3 Corporation, where he pioneered their cloud supply chain offering in 1998. In addition to his work at Supply Chain Now and Trefoil, rapidly-growing companies leverage Greg as an independent board director and advisor for his experience building disruptive B2B technology and supply chain companies widely recognized as industry leaders. He’s an insightful visionary who helps companies rapidly align vision, team, market, messaging, product, and intellectual property to accelerate value creation. Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams to create breakthroughs that gain market exposure and momentum, and increase company esteem and valuation. Learn more about Trefoil Advisory:


Scott W. Luton is the founder & CEO of Supply Chain Now. He has worked extensively in the end-to-end Supply Chain industry for more than 15 years, appearing in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Dice and Quality Progress Magazine. Scott was named a 2019 Pro to Know in Supply Chain by Supply & Demand Executive and a 2019 “Top 15 Supply Chain & Logistics Experts to Follow” by RateLinx. He founded the 2019 Atlanta Supply Chain Awards and also served on the 2018 Georgia Logistics Summit Executive Committee. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and holds the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential. A Veteran of the United States Air Force, Scott volunteers on the Business Pillar for VETLANTA and has served on the boards for APICS Atlanta and the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance. Follow Scott Luton on Twitter at @ScottWLuton and learn more about Supply Chain Now here:


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