Dilbert.com: Call for Content

The new Dilbert.com site design is nearly ready for beta testing and I am doing an open call for aspiring creators who would like to join the new site on a shared ad revenue basis. You don't need to be a cartoonist. Any content that a typical Dilbert reader might enjoy would work.

Perhaps you write funny articles, or you create your own unpublished comics, or you write movie reviews for nerds, or you collect links to funny animal pictures or offbeat stories.… READ MORE

Industrial engineering and the inception of "supply chain"

By Haresh Gopalan
IE timeline 20141016 inforgraphic Industrial engineering and the inception of "supply chain"

By Haresh Gopalan and Billy Hou. Supply chain management has come a long way and nowadays, companies run increasingly complex operations systems and deploy analytics which run in minutes to make sophisticated decisions. We owe this to the engineering discipline called Industrial engineering which deals with the optimization of complex processes or systems and has had a large influence on supply chain and operations in the last three centuries.

In order to see how far we have come and study the history, we have listed out chronologically a few of the most important innovations and ideas which shaped the landscape of modern industrial engineering from the early days to the 1960s.… READ MORE

ISIS Puzzle

Warning: This blog is written for a rational audience that likes to have fun wrestling with unique or controversial points of view. It is written in a style that can easily be confused as advocacy for one sort of unpleasantness or another. It is not intended to change anyone's beliefs or actions. If you quote from this post or link to it, which you are welcome to do, please take responsibility for whatever happens if you mismatch the audience and the content.… READ MORE

Unraveling Demand Planning: The Importance of Capability in Modern Supply Chain

By Sandra Labinjoh
sandra 300x285 Unraveling Demand Planning: The Importance of Capability in Modern Supply Chain

Nearly four years ago, I landed my dream job. I was named the Demand Planning Capability Manager for Global drinks giant Diageo. A few months later I arrived in HQ full of enthusiasm for transforming the Demand Planning function with an SAP APO implementation and a killer training program.

Soon after I arrived however, I started to think about what was really meant by the term ‘capability’. Was it enough to just train the planning team and give them a cutting edge forecasting tool?… READ MORE

The Silver Lining in Advice Articles

By Jon Schriebfeder

Some months ago, I discussed some bad advice that was being promoted by some industry experts. Your response was overwhelming. Many of you described other situations in which you did not receive realistic solutions to your problems. But sometimes even bad advice can get us thinking. And the process of thinking can result in good solutions. Whenever I read any business article I always ask:

• Does this subject apply to our situation?
• Does it adequately address the issues that my company faces?… READ MORE

Adding Context to the News

Warning: This blog is written for a rational audience that likes to have fun wrestling with unique or controversial points of view. It is written in a style that can easily be confused as advocacy for one sort of unpleasantness or another. It is not intended to change anyone's beliefs or actions. If you quote from this post or link to it, which you are welcome to do, please take responsibility for whatever happens if you mismatch the audience and the content.… READ MORE

Compression at the top

By Jeff Speakes

One of the major stories of recent years is that of rising income and wealth inequality, whereby the rich are supposedly getting richer and the poor poorer. A primary piece of evidence for this is increases in the shares of income and wealth accruing to the top 10% of the distribution, the top 1% of the distribution, and the top 0.1%. This effect seems to be stronger the higher you go up in the distribution. That is, the share of the top 1% is growing faster than that of the top 10%, and the share of the top .1% is growing faster than the share of the top 1%.… READ MORE

Dilbert Movie Update 3

The Dilbert movie script is coming along nicely. You can see in this picture that I am putting notes on the timeline as I think of scene ideas.

One of the themes throughout the movie will be that simple things are hard to accomplish in our dysfunctional world. One of those simple things will involve Dilbert trying to get a much-needed meeting with the CEO. As a lowly engineer Dilbert won't be able to schedule time directly, so he will have to go at it indirectly.… READ MORE

Foresight/SAS webinar October 30 on temporal aggregation

By Mike Gilliland
ArisSyntetos110 Foresight/SAS webinar October 30 on temporal aggregation

On Thursday, October 30, 11 am ET, Aris Syntetos delivers the next installment of the Foresight/SAS Webinar Series, “Forecasting by Temporal Aggregation.” Based on his article in the Summer 2014 issue of Foresight, Aris provided this preview:

When we attempt to improve forecast performance we usually consider new or alternative forecasting methods. However, how about not changing the forecasting methods but rather changing our approach to forecasting altogether (by keeping the forecasting methods the same)?

Have you heard about, or ever considered, forecasting by aggregating demand in lower frequency time units (say weekly into monthly demand)?… READ MORE

Significant Digits in Business Forecasting

By Mike Gilliland
Principles of Forecasting Significant Digits in Business Forecasting

My favorite dog trick is the group hug. This is achieved by taking a dog’s bad habit (rising up on strangers who don’t really want a 70# dog rising up on them), and “flipping it” into something cute and adorable. It’s all a matter of controlling perception, and that is something forecasters are good at in the abuse of significant digits.

Do You Really Need All Those Digits?

In “The Forecasting Dictionary,” Armstrong1 cites a 1990 study by Teigen2 that showed more precise reporting can make a forecast more acceptable, unless such precision seems unreasonable.… READ MORE

Is Your Success with an IT Project the Same as a Flip of the Coin?

By Lora Cecere
Meets Business Objectives1 Is Your Success with an IT Project the Same as a Flip of the Coin?

Throw a coin in the air. There is a 50% chance of heads and a 50% probability of tails. Today, based on a recent study with 113 process companies, an organization’s probability of success with an IT project is almost the same as the toss of a coin. Based on a recent study of 113 process manufacturers, only 58% of companies report that their projects meet their business objectives. So, within manufacturing organization, the chances of an IT project meeting successful business outcomes is about the same as a coin toss.… READ MORE

3 Pitfalls to implementing Supply Chain Analytics

By Zhiheng Ivan Xu
d7875dd9 54ae 4e85 9902 e81840012e35 3 Pitfalls to implementing Supply Chain Analytics

In the last few years, companies have realized the importance of data-driven analytics for operations and invested significant resources to develop these capabilities.

As we mentioned in supply chain analytics and imperfect data, a big challenge to implementing these methods is access to consistent high quality data.

Some of the concerns with data-driven analytics, such as the validity of the algorithms can usually be adequately diagnosed by users. However, the real reasons for the lack of success in achieving the promised value of analytics are sometimes hard to discern.… READ MORE