Supply Chain

LEAN: Jim Blasingame on Quality and Profitability

For over ten years, Jim Blasingame and I have been having conversations on his radio program, The Small Business Advocate about how to make small businesses succeed. Most of them have been about how to implement quality for the quickest and highest levels of profitability.

He very generously wrote the Foreword to the 20th Anniversary Edition of my book, Managing for Quality and, now, has created a video that gets to the heart of the matter.

Take the three minutes.  He's definitely worth watching.

Why @thereformedbroker Never Sucks

Okay, so you may want to officially refer to this post as a Resource Alert - and it is - but it's more than that.  It's damned near a paean of praise - and about an investment advisor, for God's sake.

You may also wonder why I:

  • have such a different - shall we say snarky (at least for me) - style in this piece and/or
  • used such a strange title for this post.
Blame it on Josh Brown.  What can I say?  He brings out the snark in me...and I always enjoy it.

Mr. Brown (you see how I'm being polite again?) is an investment advisor who blogs - constantly - and never pulls his punches.  That being said, I don't always agree with his assessments - but I'm always challenged and informed by his writing.

Take his piece "June Swoon", for example, in which he refers to June being a "sucky month for stocks most of the time."  (You see?  My post title is an homage!)

On the face of it, that's a nice piece of information but wouldn't normally be given more than a passing mention.  Brown, on the other hand, takes an analytical, contextual look at it and, in so doing, provides you with better thinking material as you look at decisions you need to make.

His writing is extremely clear (even when he talks "gangsta"), in immediate and historical context, concise and always with workable information that assists in expanding his readers' thinking.  For that he's always great.

He's honest and courageous in his writing, too.  And while his blog is not designed to give specific investment advice, whether you're looking at your own portfolio or you want to have a better sense of where industries are going worldwide, he's your guy.

On the other hand (because this isn't a love fest and I have a need to take this one shot at him), in a recent post about Amazon's decision to establish a Kindle-based imprint publishing romance novels, he refers to the readership as "nitwits" before changing that reference to "buyers." 

Clearly, he hasn't read the domestic and international readership surveys that the competing publishing houses (which are not happy with Amazon's decision) have been taking for decades.  Had he, he would have known that those 'nitwits' are a highly educated, very accomplished population of men and women who read those babies.

(Don't get me going on this one - because I'll win.  I researched the business model when I was in graduate school and have kept up with the industry since then.)

Other than that, though, the aspect of the topic that he addresses (i.e., the distributor becoming a direct competitor of the content producer) was on target and does raise issues - in publishing and otherwise - regarding intermediation and disintermediation across industries.

It's not easy when your supply chain 'partner' suddenly becomes your worst nightmare come to life - and that's a future that Amazon's move brings to the present.

Josh is a really smart man and a really talented writer.  You want to follow him.  He's well worth your time.

Resource:



From UPS to Blue Nile: CNBC on Global Logistics

Here's a very interesting video on global logistics - not to be confused with supply chain - and absolutely focused on the customer and customer experience.  Because that's what's next - from the high seas to remembering your anniversary.

They've put together an interesting panel to discuss all aspects of how to make global logistics work in an increasingly globalized, customer-centric world.  Not all the answers are what you'd expect.

Even if you're not a global provider, this impacts you - and represents opportunities for you to pursue.

Enjoy!