Israel and Hamas

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

What’s up with housing?

By Jeff Speakes

Housing is traditionally a very volatile sector of the economy. It tends to lead the business sector (indeed, some economists like Ed Leamer of the UCLA Forecasting Group say that housing IS the business cycle). Housing is subject to booms and busts. A case in point is the major housing boom of the early and mid 2000s, that ended up as a major bust between 2006 and 2010. The boom was marked by a huge run-up in housing prices and substantial over-building.… READ MORE

New Books for Your Bookshelf

By Lora cecere
new books New Books for Your Bookshelf

This year, we will publish two new books: Supply Chain Metrics That Matter and The Shaman’s Journal. We are adding these two new books for your bookshelf to stand beside Bricks Matter which published in December, 2012. In 2015, it is our goal to publish another new book, Lessons in Supply Chain Leadership. Each book takes a new twist on the old topic of supply chain excellence. It is our goal to publish meaningful books for the supply chain leadership team.… READ MORE

Creativity Hack

Here are four well-known ways to boost creativity:

1. Work near crowd noise, such as in a coffee shop.

2. Take a walk (alone)

3. Drive a car to a familiar destination (alone)

4. Take a shower (yeah, alone)

I've experimented extensively with all four methods and I can report that doing any one of those activities has a huge and immediate impact on my quality and volume of ideas. This is purely anecdotal, but the impact on idea flow is so immediate and dramatic that something good is clearly happening.… READ MORE

When a Distribution Center Makes Sense

By Jon Schriebfeder

Last week we received an inquiry asking when it makes sense to set up a regional distribution center rather than having suppliers deliver all products directly to the branch or warehouse that will sell them. Distributing products from a central company location generally makes sense when one of the following situations exists:

• Your vendor requires you to place large overall orders for their products. For example, you might have to order full truckloads or containers from the vendor while your individual branches or warehouses don’t sell large volumes of these products.… READ MORE

Scott's Book Cover Design Challenge

Many of you told me that the uninspired artwork I did for the cover of my book How to Fail Almost Every Time and Still Win Big was suppressing sales. You might be right. No one ever accused me of talent in that department. Here was my cover art:

So partly for fun, partly as an experiment, and partly to improve the product, I thought I would invite all interested parties to submit a better cover design for the upcoming soft cover release.… READ MORE

Judging Supply Chain Improvement: Campbell Soup Case Study

By Lora Cecere
food 2006 20121 Judging Supply Chain Improvement: Campbell Soup Case Study

Over the course of the last two years, we at Supply Chain Insights have worked on a methodology to gauge supply chain improvement. We have found that supply chain metrics are gnarly and complicated. We named it the Supply Chain Index. Over the course of the last two months, we have been interviewing supply chain leaders to get their views on the methodology.

We believe that a supply chain leader is defined by both the level of performance on the Effective Frontier (balance of growth, Return on Invested Capital, Profitability and Inventory Turns) and driving supply chain improvement.… READ MORE

Information is the Cure for Privacy

There are only two reasons to have privacy and both of them involve dysfunction. You might want privacy because…

1. you plan to do something illegal or unethical.

or

2. to protect you from a dysfunctional world.

I think we can agree that if the ONLY reason for privacy were to make it easier to get away with crimes and unethical behavior, society would be better off without privacy. So let's ignore the first category because it is only useful to criminals and scumbags.… READ MORE

The California Economy: A Strength VS Weakness Breakdown

By Bill Watkins
watkins vigor 4 300x224 The California Economy: A Strength VS Weakness Breakdown

Previously published on July 11, 2014 on NewGeography.com

Part two of a two-part report. Read part 1.

The problem with analyzing California’s economy — or with assessing its vigor — is that there is not one California economy. Instead, we have a group of regions that will see completely different economic outcomes. Then, those outcomes will be averaged, and that average of regional outcomes is California’s economy. It is possible, even likely, that no region will see the average outcome, just as we rarely see average rainfall in California.… READ MORE

The California Economy: When Vigor and Frailty Collide

By Bill Watkins
watkins vigor 14 300x221 The California Economy: When Vigor and Frailty Collide

Previously published on July 10, 2014 on NewGeography.com

Part one of a two-part report

California is a place of extremes. It has beaches, mountains, valleys and deserts. It has glaciers and, just a few miles away, hot, dry deserts. Some years it doesn’t rain. Some years it rains all winter. Those extremes are part of what makes California the attractive place that it is, and, west of the high mountains, California is mostly an extremely comfortable place to live.… READ MORE

The California Economy: When Vigor and Frailty Collide

By Dan Hamilton
watkins vigor 11 The California Economy: When Vigor and Frailty Collide

Previously published on July 10, 2014 on Newgeography.com

Part one of a two-part report

California is a place of extremes. It has beaches, mountains, valleys and deserts. It has glaciers and, just a few miles away, hot, dry deserts. Some years it doesn’t rain. Some years it rains all winter. Those extremes are part of what makes California the attractive place that it is, and, west of the high mountains, California is mostly an extremely comfortable place to live.… READ MORE