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Supply Chain Challenges

Big Hairy Audacious Supply Chain Goals

Ed Shoemaker | May 22, 2013

Big Hairy Audacious Supply Chain Goals

I participate in many strategy sessions at KANE.  One common theme in the meetings is how can we differentiate ourselves?  What can we do to set our solutions apart from our competitors?  These "open space" exercises are often used to flesh out ideas and new thoughts.

This way of thinking reminded me of the Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs) chapter in the book, Built to Last.  Preserve the core and stimulate progress is the foundation of this chapter, and it gives some examples of companies that took calculated risks in order to survive and grow in a tough market.

One example is Sam Walton.  In 1945, he had a goal of making his five and dime store in Newport the best, most profitable store in Arkansas within five years.  To accomplish his goal, he had to triple sales volume.  He did that, and it became the largest, most profitable store in Arkansas and the surrounding five states. In 1977, Walton's BHAG was to becoming a $1 billion company in four years (more than doubling the size of the company).  Again, he was successful. 

But it's not only companies that can have BHAGs.  Logistics professionals should also identify aggressive supply chain goals and logistics goals for their functional departments. 

Same day delivery…90% reduction in safety stock...perfect order, every time… These are supply chain goals that may be difficult; however, they would most certainly differentiate your business. 

BHAGs should be clear, compelling, and serve as a unifying focal point of effort.  Consider identifying your BHAG supply chain goal in your next planning meeting.  Fortune favors the bold.