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Gaining a Supply Chain Edge

The Great Comeback, Part 10: Defining Your Comeback Plan

To recap my series of posts on the Great Comeback, I've outlined a five-step plan. You can see all five steps here and get more details:

Steps 3-4 relate to this blog post, so I will recap them here: The results of Step 3, Comeback Expectations, will be a series of Comeback Scenarios of the future sales volumes of your product.

The results of Step 4, Organizational Analysis, will be the opportunities to upgrade processes to meet the sales volumes and to enhance your competitive position. See more here.

Step Five: The Final Part of the Plan

The purpose of Step 5, Define Your Comeback Plan, is to determine which process upgrades you should pursue and according to what time schedule. Taking this essential step allows you to not only recover from the recession, but also to grow and prosper.

Defining a Comeback Plan is part art and part science. Certainly, there are process upgrades that should be pursued strictly from a capacity perspective, others that should be pursued from a ROI perspective, others from a working capital perspective, and others that should be pursued from a competitive positioning perspective. However, there will also be several process upgrades that are not as clear, but are required to achieve growth and prosperity.

Expect different opinions on:

* The reality of the Comeback Scenarios

* The competitive benefits of some of the process upgrades

* The responses to be expected from your competition

* The necessity of pursuing certain process upgrades to achieve certain benefits

* And more

The clear thing that you must be prepared for is recovery, growth, and prosperity.

Often, the lead times for the implementation of the process upgrades are such that you most likely need to begin the upgrades before your organization has felt the uplift from the "bottom" of the recession. This presents leadership with a real challenge, since being too cautious or too slow to act as your organization begins to pull out of the bottom could dampen the magnitude of your Comeback.

Research on prior recessions has shown that companies that are too timid or too late to act often fail to maximize their Comeback and the creation of value. Therefore, with the depth and global nature of the Great Recession, the time is now for organizational leadership to step up to this challenge with a bold, proactive, Great Comeback Plan.

Once the high-level Comeback Plan is defined, it must be developed into a series of full project plans, expectations, schedules, and due dates. This set of project plans will fuel your recovery, growth, and prosperity as you move forward.

The timing of a company's rejection of the "recession funk" and the return to investing in the comeback of the business is very important in terms of sharing in the upside of stock market gains. But it is even more important in terms of gaining long-term, sustainable and end-to-end supply chain excellence for market leadership. The real winners in the next 2-4 years will be those companies that get the Great Comeback message and act on it accordingly. It is time to begin Comeback Planning today no ifs, ands and buts. Have questions or comments about your industry or your company? Leave them below and we can talk about it.


Tompkins Associates

TAGS: Supply Chain
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