Saturday, October 2, 2021

Wednesday, September 15, 2021




The Terrorists Have Not Attacked the Supply Chain Yet Vary Your Inbound Ports Now

Many terrorist attacks focus on the spectacular, spreading fear and taking as many lives as possible. One of their purposes is to have governments spend enormous amounts of money for terror prevention and to demoralize the populace.

1.     Why haven’t terrorists focused on the supply chain which could be much more disruptive?

First let us look at little history. During the American Revolutionary War, Francis Marion (the Swamp Fox) understood the impact of attacking the British supply chain and was a pioneer in this type of disruptive supply chain warfare.  He attacked two particular “choke points” on the supply lines on the Santee River near Charleston and the Black River near Georgetown. He also attacked British forts which were in essence also supply depots. This was very effective.  Note that on average it took a sailing ship 6-7 weeks to sail the Atlantic one way. So British resupply with manufacturing and procurement in England conservatively took 18-20 weeks! Many terrorists lack a historical perspective or do not understand the importance of the supply chain.

2.     What about now, is our supply chain secure especially container ports?

The Southern California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach led the North American inbound container trade with a combined volume of 7.6 million TEUs (Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit) is the unit of the capacity of a container ship, representing 30.3 percent of the overall North America inbound container trade. If terrorists decided to disrupt these two ports the impact on the United States would be almost immediate. Two of the most obvious ways to disrupt the ports would be to mine the ports or plant a container or multiple containers with hazardous materials either biological or radioactive.

3.     So what is the point here for supply chain professionals?

With the expansion of the Panama Canal, the time is now to not only consider the new costs of logistics, but the risk of a major container port being shut down! Supply chain professionals should consider using multiple inbound ports to alleviate this risk. Currently many supply chain professionals’ factor in the risk of natural disasters to supplier selection and backup suppliers. This is commendable, but there is more work to be done.

Again, the time is now, with the expansion of the Panama Canal, to look at the entire inbound logistics network and alleviate the risk of a major container port or ports being shut down; by judiciously dividing up your inbound flow between container ports of arrival.




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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

About Leadership by Storytelling by Dr. Tom DePaoli



About Leadership by Storytelling by Dr. Tom DePaoli

Can you become a great leader by storytelling? Unequivocally! Dr. Tom DePaoli wrote a book to prove it. With his book Leadership by Storytelling: The Best Way to Learn Good Leadership Principles, he reveals some authentic principles of great leadership. The principles are demonstrated with compelling leadership stories that support the beliefs. Dr. Tom provides twenty-six principles of successful leadership. He notes that the oldest methods of passing down knowledge was storytelling. A tribe storyteller would be the keeper of the stories and then pass them down to other tribe members. He recommends the storytelling method for leaders. The stories are original from his and others careers. Each principle has a story to help illuminate the principle. The book has cogent and humorous illustrations for the stories. He urges the reader to gather and share their leadership stories. He believes the growth in leadership abilities will be stronger and quicker via the use of leadership storytelling.

Buy the book, and follow the author on social media:
Learn more about the writer. Visit the Author’s Website.
Buy the Book On Amazon.


Learn to lead by stories. #leadership

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How to Transform an Organization into a Supply Chain Centric Model. It Starts and Ends with People. Why not use Pay-For-Knowledge?



How to Transform an Organization into a Supply Chain Centric Model. It Starts and Ends with People. Why not use Pay-For-Knowledge?

By Dr. Tom DePaoli

For more leadership stories on transforming organizations try my book Leadership by Storytelling on Amazon.

          Most supply chain professionals are familiar with the best practices of a supply chain organization and how to transform purchasing into a lead strategic partner in a company. These usually include a thorough spend analysis to focus on the major areas of materials and services.  Another aspect includes the rationalization of suppliers and the formation of a few key partnerships with important suppliers. The institutionalization of a comprehensive sourcing methodology is also crucial. The area that is often overlooked or neglected is the investment in people!

          Many purchasing professionals have been rewarded for bureaucratic and tactical behaviors for many years. The culture of risk aversion is prevalent and roles are particularly well-defined and limited. They focus on a particular material or service and become “experts” on these items. Often, they work in silos and have no real connection with operations. It is usually not their choice but the expectations of the culture or of their organization.

          The retraining of supply chain professionals begins with developing the capability to lead cross-functional teams not only in sourcing, but in process improvement activities such as Lean and Lean Six Sigma. Most need to reach the level of at least a green belt in a process improvement approach, and to reinvent themselves to be total product experts not just a particular material expert.  You have to be a product expert to understand the Voice of the Customer (VOC) or what is really important to them. This requires striving to become an expert in an entire industry not just a narrow material. It also requires a dedication to understanding and working with operations. Performance reviews need to be tied into how well they do in predicting the market trends of their particular industry and meeting or exceeding the VOC.

          All too often this training is piecemeal, unorganized and uncoordinated. Fortunately, there is a comprehensive approach that has been around for forty years that works in many industries particularly ones where employee knowledge is highly valued like the chemical, oil and process industries. The approach has been called pay-for-skill or pay-for-knowledge. Employees are paid more for each skill or knowledge area that they develop, and demonstrate their proficiency in by job performance.  It does require a significant monetary investment by the organization in training employees and the organization evolves to a continuous learning campus.  The word campus is critical because many organizations partner with local technical schools or universities to jointly provide the comprehensive training and courses.

Unfortunately, many organizations have disinvested in training employees and would rather outsource for many skills or functions. This is deadly to the supply chain concept and process improvement, which must strive to constantly improve the entire supply chain from start to finish without breaks which may or may not be performed better by an outsourced entity.

          The major objection to the pay-for-skill approach is the cost and the length of time for payback from the employees improved knowledge. Once in place, however; the power of this employee intellectual capital, and the momentum of continuous improvement, establishes a supply chain centric organization that is nearly impossible to beat competitively.

People transform supply chains and organizations not technology or best practices.

Dr. Tom DePaoli, (Dr. Tom) is currently an independent management consultant, the Principal of Apollo Solutions, which does general business consulting in the human resources, supply chain and lean six sigma areas. His organization was self-founded in 1995. He retired as a Captain from the Navy Reserve. In other civilian careers, he was a supply chain and human resources executive with corporate purchasing turnaround experience and lean six sigma deployments. He has worked for over ten major companies and consulted for over fifty organizations throughout his career. Some of his consulting projects include: information systems projects, re-engineering organizations, transformation, e-procurement, e-commerce, change management, global sourcing and negotiating. His industry experience is in the chemical, paper, pharmaceutical, IT, automotive, government, consumer, equipment, services and consulting industries. He has been published extensively in journals, magazines and books. He is the author of eleven books all available on Amazon.  He has instructed at six education facilities in numerous roles. He is active in supporting the YMCA, Wounded Warrior, and the prevention of the bullying of children.    = Dr. Tom’s Amazon author’s page  = website of Apollo Solutions his business  = more information on Dr. Tom’s books  = LinkedIn home page



Learn how to use the supply chain centric model #supplychain


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