Why rifle-shot solutions often miss their target when it comes to supply chain improvement
Updated: Oct 2, 2018
Of the many laws related to Systems Thinking, the diagram below is certainly a reminder that cause and effect in most instances are not closely related in time and space. Forgetting this principle can lead to wasted time and effort working on a supply chain point solution that will only make matters worse with devastating results down the line.
In the case above, a supply chain master scheduler made the decision to increase product wheel length to have less transition time and therefore more capacity to meet demand. The negative consequences of this small decision magnified over time despite leadership intervention and a sales SWAT team effort to keep customers happy. Without a systems analysis, this cycle will repeat itself endlessly and the business will be powerless to control it.
Going slow at first to understand the dynamics of the system needing adjustment, including how information flows, processes used by the organization, and policies governing actions will front-end load the root cause assessment and allow truly informed decisions on a solution set to improve the system rather than adjust one element that may on the surface appear to be a simple, straightforward correction, but may lead to even worse consequences.