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There is a famous anecdote about Volvo car dealers heavily discounting green models because consumers preferred other colors. Volvo’s manufacturing plant, seeing the resulting spike in demand for green models, perceived it as consumer interest and upped the production. That’s right…even more green cars! Ouch!!


It’s a sad story that’s often repeated, and a story that begins with a demand-shaping strategy to offload unwanted inventory. It’s a prime example of how a dealer’s {read distributor’s} behavior can create confusion and lead to unnecessary increases in a manufacturer’s inventory holdings and, by extension, the stock of its suppliers, too.  

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In my July post, I introduced the ‘Hierarchy of Supply Chain Metrics’, which is a framework of supply chain metrics conceived by Gartner, the world’s leading information research and advisory company.  The model provides 3 tiers of integrated metrics to assess, diagnose, and correct supply chain performance, and is a great example of what constititutes a supply chain scorecard.



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Since 2010, Gartner, the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company, has been publishing an annual report entitled ‘Gartner Supply Chain Top 25‘ which ranks organizations that demonstrate leadership in supply chain management.  In each of these reports, the ‘Hierarchy of Supply Chain Metrics’ is positioned as the ideal set of metrics to measure supply chain operational performance.  To emphasize Gartner’s stance, the subtitle reads: ‘The Metrics We Wish We Had’.


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Hard to gain, easy to lose, and widely discussed in supply chain management in healthcare. Typically, trust is limited, and the lack of it is limiting our ability to work together. So how do we, as supply chain participants, create it? The answer is multifactorial; however, one key component is communication. An easy channel for communication is data and metrics, and heaven knows we have data!


A good starting point in building trust is sharing data via demand planning or forecasting. By sharing your anticipated demand of a product or group of products, you become a more active participant in managing the healthcare supply chain. What does this mean?


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