Supply Chain Now Episode 276

“Bad companies are destroyed by crisis, Good companies survive them, Great companies are improved by them.”

– Andy Grove, Former Chairman and CEO of Intel


This podcast marks the second installment of a new Supply Chain Radio Now podcast series: Supply Chain Today and Tomorrow featuring Mike Griswold, Vice President of Research at Gartner. He joins Supply Chain Now each month to share industry trends and observations. Mike specializes in retail, with a particular focus on forecasting and replenishment, and responsible for Gartner’s popular ‘Top 25 Supply Chains’ ranking.

In this podcast, Mike focuses on how companies can “win in the turns” as he puts it, setting themselves up for success in unpredictable business or economic conditions. He shares his advice with Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Scott Luton and Greg White in three pillars:

– Strategy: Always remember, if you are only looking at cost, you will make some bad decisions from a strategic perspective

– Cost: Even in tough times, companies must implement a cost management discipline that allocates resources and executes plans while spurring innovation

– Talent: Companies should aspire to be the place to work – especially in tough economic times

[00:00:05] It’s time for Supply Chain Now Radio. Broadcasting live from the Supply chain capital of the country, Atlanta, Georgia. Supply Chain Now Radio spotlights the best in all things supply chain the people, colleges, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.


[00:00:29] Hey, good afternoon. Scott Luton here with you, love Owen Supply chain. Now welcome back to the show Today Show. We’re continuing one of our newest mini series, Supply chain Today and tomorrow with Mike Griswald. Each month we’ve been spending time with Mike Griswald, who is with Gartner. Mike is has been sharing his insights and perspective on what’s going on in the world of Supply chain, especially from a retail perspective. Today, we’re gonna be sharing some of the key takeaways from Gartner research that will share some of what companies are doing to move ahead of the pack in today’s ever changing global business environment. So stay tuned as we look to increase your leadership IQ. Well, a quick programing note, like all of our series on Supply chain. Now you can find our replays on a variety of channels, Apple, podcasts, SoundCloud, YouTube, Spotify, wherever your podcast from. As always, we’d love to have you subscribe to the same thing. Let’s think a few of our sponsors that allow us to bring these best practices innovative ideas to you, our audience. They range from the Effective syndicate Vector Global Logistics Supply chain Real Estate dot com U.S. Bank more. You can check out each of our sponsors own the show note of this episode. So let’s welcome in my fearless co-host on today’s show. Once again, Greg White Serial Supply chain, tech entrepreneur and trusted advisor. Greg, how you doing?


[00:01:51] I’m doing great, Scott. I wish we had a camera on us so you could see how excited I am. Truly.


[00:01:59] I loved this time with Mike every month. You know, it’s just a great. Great point of view to get from not just one of the premier organizations, but in my mind one of the premier people who keep their eye on Supply chain round the world.


[00:02:14] So absolutely. And this is the second installment of the series and we had a lot of feedback and of interest in the first episode. So we’re going to continue that trend. And with no further ado, let’s welcome in our special guest, Mike Griswald, BP Research with Gartner. Mike, how you doing?


[00:02:33] Scott doing well, Greg. Thank you for that. Always good to spend time with you guys. And hopefully we did not turn anyone off after the first episode. I’m looking forward to episode number two, what country we as we thought we would.


[00:02:47] We had a lot of great feedback from our audience, including some Lu audience members that stumble across our channel based on this first episode. Looking forward to the second installment now. We’re going to dove right in. So, Mike, for starters, you know, all three people may not be familiar. Tell us more about the organization and what it does.


[00:03:06] Sheer. So Gardiner’s the world’s leading research and advisory company. We equip leaders with indispensable insights, advice and tools to achieve their mission, critical priorities and build the successful organizations that tomorrow. We do that through research, through inquiry, through our events and just through day to day interactions that we have with thousands of clients across the supply chain for sure. But also Gartner’s heritage is on the EITI side. The Supply chain practice, we just celebrated our 10 year anniversary from an acquisition perspective of the Amarr assets, which is where I came from. So we’re certainly excited to to be part Gardner and bring that supply chain insights to to people and organizations around the world.


[00:03:56] Wow.


[00:03:58] I can’t believe it’s been 10 years. That’s amazing.


[00:04:00] It doesn’t seem like we we said the same thing. Same thing, Greg, when we just kind of saw that in a in a company meeting the other day. It’s the time has gone by very fast. And when you think about the growth that the Supply chain business has seen being part of Gartner, it’s it’s pretty incredible.


[00:04:19] Yeah, a lot of great mechanisms that Gardner has in place to help our business grow. And I think more importantly, allow us access to Supply chain professionals and share the insights and the research that we have that hopefully people find helpful and actionable.


[00:04:37] I can tell you as a practitioner services and a technology provider all at different times in my life, I can tell you that it’s valuable really, no matter where you land in Supply chain. I mean, if you’re a manufacturer, retailer, source or sorcerer or you provide solutions to the industry, everybody can get a look at where things are, where things are going and what the market desires at any time. And, you know, you guys do a great job of remaining objective and neutral. So I really appreciate what you guys do and have done for a long, long time.


[00:05:15] Thanks, Greg. Appreciate that.


[00:05:17] Mike, before we dove into to start talking shop and in some of your insights, where do you spend your time in your role?


[00:05:24] So I have three main coverage areas. The first is forecasting and replenishment for retail. So my background is retail. I spend most of my time with retailers, so helping them with forecasting replenishment, inventory management, automated ordering, all those types of things. Second area, which is growing rapidly and my sense is at some point will be a topic for conversation amongst the three of us is the retail contextualisation of sales and operations, planning and sales and operations execution and in particular sales and operations execution has has really been taking off in terms of interest by retailers and really tried to align short term planning and execution. And then most recently, I picked up responsibility for our Supply chain Top 25 program. So the methodology methodology by which we create the listed and publish the results and talk about what those leading companies are doing and hopefully that will be a topic for us and maybe closer to the May June timeframe when we finish the research and we publish the results. So those are the three things that really occupy most of my time. Well, I’m an analyst here at Gartner.


[00:06:40] Outstanding. We know so clearly we’ve moved into the New Year. So many opportunities here in in. You’ve already touched on some of the really practical research that the Gardner organization provides and conducts a in our prep conversations. We talked a lot about the turns industry. So when you hear that phrase, what are some of things that come to mind?


[00:07:05] Well, it’s interesting, Scott Gregory, this this whole idea of winning in the turns from Gartner research perspective actually spawned out of some research that came out of the finance practice. So one of the one of the many benefits of being acquired by Gartner is not only that, the mechanisms that Gardner has in terms of building businesses, but also just the cross-pollination of ideas that happens from, you know, the I.T. side, the finance side and other elements of Gartner. And what the finance team started to research is this idea of a turn. And, you know, we talk a lot about turns from a financial perspective or an economic perspective. And those are pretty obvious. But turns can take lots of different forms. There could be geopolitical turns, environmental, social, competitive. I would argue, you know, eight, 10 years ago, Amazon created a turn in the retail industry. And I would argue people are still trying to respond to that. So what we’ve identified through this research are some things, some of which may frankly even be counterintuitive around how successful companies are navigating their way through these turds. You know, we have a quote from Andy Grove, who was the former global CEO of Intel. He said, Bad companies are destroyed by crisis.


[00:08:34] Good companies survive them. Great companies are improved by them. And I think part of what we’re trying to do in our supply chain winning in the turn’s is, is show people how turn’s certainly can be challenges and we’ll be challenges. But how can you get through them and and do more than just get through? How can we actually thrive? How can you separate yourself from the competition? How can you make your organization better in these in these tough times? And I think everyone recognizes that over the next three to five years there are going to be turns. We may not know what they are, but what our research has started to show is here are some things that you could do to start to prepare for the turns so that you become successful. So it’s it’s a fascinating time for us. You know, we’ve taken this research and really run with it. It’s the themes for the theme for hours. Our symposium conferences, it is at the essence of the top twenty five research that I’m doing. So we feel that this idea of learning how to win in the turns is going to be crucial for companies moving forward.


[00:09:48] So we will shift gears a little bit and then, you know, I know Greg has a few specific questions around some of that compelling research, in particular some of the finance media at Gartner has been conducting.


[00:09:59] Yeah. I mean, you talked, Mike, about that coming from the finance area and how it impacts companies when they assess their business from that standpoint. But as Supply chain is so tightly tied to to finance. Right.


[00:10:18] How are companies translating? That finding this concept of the turns right. This concept turns into I mean, maybe you can give us some concrete examples of how they’re turning that into similar action items. And in supply chain Sheer.


[00:10:38] Let me maybe take one Spatt one step back and just give you a factoid that is kind of at the crux of this idea of winning the turn. So, you know, as I mentioned, this came out of some deep research from our finance practice. And I think that the data point that resonates with me the most is over the past 20 years, only 60 companies across the Fortune 1000 and S&P exited.


[00:11:06] S&p Europe 350 had consistent year over year revenue and margin improvements and long term growth that exceeded their industry peers. So that the fact that Caillebotte. Exactly.


[00:11:21] So there have been lots of opportunities, I think, for companies to win in the turns, whether they recognize it or not, whether they saw them as turns, whether they defined them as a turn. Yet only 60 companies really took advantage of that. And I think to your point, Greg, what I want to talk a little bit about.


[00:11:40] Is what are some of those things that those companies did and maybe more importantly, what should people listening to this today start to be thinking about relative to whatever turn may be headed their way or whatever term they may be in right now?


[00:11:59] You know, lots of particularly in retail, I think it’s not hard to look through the paper and find headlines around retailers struggling, whether it’s closing stores, filing chapter eleven, you know, cutting costs, whatever it might be. So, you know, I think a lot of organizations in retail and even outside of retail are finding themselves in some form of a turn now. So what we’re hoping is that our advice can will resonate with folks and help them come to understand how can they get through these turn successfully.


[00:12:31] So share an example of somebody who if if not those those three criteria you just discussed before. Right. Growth, margin and long term growth is not there, but in some other ways are adapting to change in the marketplace, because I would argue that, you know, the terms that are coming, Adam, are not just the things you’ve described, but digital transformation and and customer expectation and and customer empowerment. Things like that. Right. So there are a lot of areas where companies can address those those changes in marketplace.


[00:13:09] Yeah. When we look at at the research, you know, what’s emerged across successful companies that are coming through the turns the way they want to. There’s really three pillars to this. One is around strategy. One is around cost.


[00:13:25] One is around talent strategy prepared to act confidently amid uncertainty. Well, I’ll talk a little bit about that in more detail. On the cost side, implement a cost management discipline to allocate and execute resources while spurring innovation. And that last piece, Gregg and Scott, is critical. How often have we read or heard from companies when things get tough? What’s the first thing they do right? They go right to the costs line. And, you know, hiring freezes and all those types of things. ECGs. Exactly. You know, to me, the sub key to this particular pillar around cost is, is the focus on spurring innovation. And what we see in companies that are successful coming out of the turns, you know, R&D as an example is not defunded. In fact, leading companies accelerate funding in R&D because they recognize that that may be one of the things that accelerates them through the turn it maybe one of those things that creates differentiation. The other area. Gregg, to your point that you just made that third pillar around talent position, talent to sustain progress and transformation. So people are being much more proactive in the search for talent. They’re looking for potential talent in competitors that maybe aren’t as nimble in the turn. Right.


[00:14:56] How do you become the place to work in tough times? How do you become the company people want to come and work for when things are tough because they know the organization is working on trying to get better through these turns? So those are the three pillars, Greg, that have emerged strategy cost in talent. And happy to talk about those a little bit more detail if you’d like, if if you’ve got a question around those in particular.


[00:15:24] Yeah. I mean, what is particularly interesting is just earlier today just recorded a session about innovation with one of the innovation centers here in Atlanta. And one of the key things that they talked about was talent and the attraction of talent and culture, a culture of being adaptable to change and innovation, creating an environment where people want to work. And I think I think so many people recognize that things are changing and that the well, this is always workforce before answer is even less acceptable now than it ever has been.


[00:16:04] So.


[00:16:06] I would love to hear, particularly on the talent front, and particularly because we’re in such a tight job market, right, the the the job seeker is in more has more options before them than they ever have before. How are companies and I don’t expect you to name them, but how are companies creating an environment where that’s attractive or how are they in other ways? Winning that war for talent if.


[00:16:39] Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, we we probably would. And I think as I think about this moving forward. Right. We may even want to position the order of of these pillars. Right. Because I would argue with our talent. It’s difficult to execute the strategy. And if you are only looking at cost, you will make some bad talent decisions from a strategic perspective. So in many instances, Greg, I agree with you completely. This is the place to start. I mean, the turns, as I just mentioned, they present an opportunity for companies, you know, to revisit, to revamp the playbook around how you think about hiring, develop in performance management. You know what? To your question, one of the things that these leading companies are doing, they’re doing an assessment of, you know, current state talent gaps and who outside of the organization may have some resources that can fill those gaps. So things like identifying your talent, competitors that are struggling, who in your market maybe isn’t as response of the turn as you are and start looking for their best talent. Right. The best people want to be on a winning team and they’re more likely to move during this time if they don’t see their company behaving as aggressively or as progressively as they’d like. You know, they also ask themselves a couple of questions. One is, you know, it does a little bit come back to strategy, which is are we aligning our resources to where the business will be investing? So in return, companies aren’t necessarily hiring everybody everywhere.


[00:18:25] They’re much more pragmatic around where the business investor is investing in. Do we need to augment resources in that very tactical area? So rather than, you know, where you see some companies, you know, we’re not going to fill any vacancies. Right. We have a hiring freeze that’s always popular. These leading, leading, winning the turns. Companies are saying, hey, you know, we may not hire as much as we did in the past, but we’re going to continue to hire and we’re going to hire very specifically for these needs that align with the business. But probably the biggest thing I see in these winning in the turns companies, Gregg and Scott, is they recognize the quest for talent does not switch on or off as economic cycles change again. How often have we seen as people start to struggle, you know, that idea of we’re not going to bring anyone due at the organization. All those things start to happen. And leading companies recognize, hey, we need to keep looking for talent regardless of the economic cycle that we’re in. So when we talk to companies, you know, one of the things we ask them to think about doing now is look at your internal strengths and weaknesses. Do it analysis. And how quickly and easily can the organization respond to some of these turns and achieve the goals with the talent you have and if you don’t have the talent to go find it. I think the other things that other thing that Keith companies do really well.


[00:19:53] Is looking at what if scenarios, right? If we’re if the company is going to go in this direction during a turn. What do we need from a talent perspective? If we’re going in a second or a different direction, you know, what kind of talent do we need that that does certainly tie into the pillar around strategy and having a couple of different strategies at being flexible, being able to pivot and those types of things. But again, you can’t not do that without talent. And I think if there’s one takeaway for the listeners and hopefully they’ll be more than one, but the one right now is, you know, if you find yourself in a turn, you need to resist the urge to cut the talent side, because at the end of the day, I think if we were to do a deep dove of the research, those 60 companies that I mentioned, my sense is none of them cut that talent. They were very pragmatic around where they invested. But it’s a huge element, Gregg.


[00:20:54] We talk with companies including recruiting professionals that are waiting there in the trenches with this war for talent air that we live in, in in those discussions and with a lot of the leaders from those companies. One of the aspects of talent management that can often get lost in the shuffle and Greg mentioned it because it gets lost in the shuffle a lot when we go through a big negative economic downturn. And that’s talent development. What any insights or observations from your research and from your conversations that you’re seeing those companies that take talent and ongoing talent management seriously? Anything you’re doing that stands out from a development standpoint?


[00:21:40] Yeah, it’s a great question, Scott. I think a couple of things jump out. One, they recognize that development is important, that they would continue to invest in internal skill set upgrading for four associates. They would continue to fund higher education aspirations. They would continue to fund those self development initiatives that that baby attracted people to the company initially. Right. I mean, I often hear, you know, companies kind of, you know, this isn’t public. It’s the back channel of, hey, you know, we’re going to suspend tuition reimbursement for a couple of years. Right. To we kind of get the ship righted or, you know, if you were able to take, you know, six, you know, six out of the company training classes, now you can only take one. Right. It’s those types of messages that that are that that are sent that people really glom on to and say, wait a minute, if they’re not going to continually invest in my development, maybe I should start to look for a company that is doing some of those things or at least continuing, you know, what what they had been doing. So I think there there’s a lot of messages that people can send either consciously or unconsciously in some of these decisions they make. And I think it’s really important that as companies, you know, are experiencing these turns that they do whatever they can to send the right message around. Hey, we still need to invest in talent. We still need to acquire skill sets. We still need, you know, quality people to move us forward, to get us through the turn and hopefully have a spit out of the turn. You know, a better company than we were when we entered the turn. But, you know, if you don’t continue to invest, if you don’t continue to acquire, that just isn’t going to happen. Because one of you know, one of several things will happen.


[00:23:48] One, the the existing employee base will tend to grow stale because they will not have been exposed to do and emerging skillsets and or you’ll see a talent drain. Right. To my very first point. Right. sub1 that’s been doing their homework is going to reach into your organization, pull your best people and give them a better story around how their organization is going to move them forward better than their current state and they’re going to leave. And I think what happens is at some point you wait. If you don’t if you aren’t proactive and you aren’t investing, unfortunately, I think you get yourself into a tailspin that you can’t necessarily get yourself out of, because as people start to leave and you’ve already decided we’re not going to feel any people that leave or we’re not going to feel any open positions, that tailspin starts to happen. And you wake up some morning and you’ve got, you know, a skeleton crew that can’t keep the business moving. So, you know, Greg, I’m glad we started with this because I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to keep your eye on talent when you’re when you’re in a turn.


[00:25:03] I agree. And I think you’re you’re going to a really relevant point kind of in it inverse to the initial part of the discussion is you. It’s not only necessary to be aware of the talent that you have and to continue to motivate them. But it’s a great opportunity to upskill your team, right? Not not just through training. Right. And that sort of thing. But to consider who are the high performers and really create an environment where you retain those high performers and go and get additional high performers, possibly even shed some of your lower middle tier performers during this crisis time. For those companies that do take their eye off the ball from a talent standpoint, and it’s a great opportunity to really position your company from a proactive standpoint to be even better equipped than your competition.


[00:26:02] Yeah. Greg, you’re exactly right. I mean, a couple of companies that we work with, something as simple as they went through and they doubled the the the employee referral bonus. So, hey, go find someone to come work for us. And you know what? Here was what we were doing. We’re now going to double that because we recognize the need to acquire some of this talent. So subtle things like that reinforce the importance of bringing good people in. I think to your other point, Greg, you know, companies. You know, I think almost every company has some type has done some type of evaluation around their existing resources and said, hey, these are high performers. These are the high potential people and so on. I think that the what leading companies do, especially as they’re either in return or trying to get ahead of a turn they see on the horizon is that they start to create a, you know, must not lose list. Right. And they start to think about how do we continue to keep these must not lose people.


[00:27:11] And I think the other thing that’s interesting and I’ll and I’ll certainly date myself by this comment, what we’re finding in some of the research that we’re doing from a supply chain talent perspective, as we look at younger generational workers coming into the supply chain, this idea of retention, this idea of, you know, must not lose is becoming less and less monetary and more and more experiential. So in the past, maybe in my generation, you could throw money at this problem. I think today’s generation. Yes. They’re not going to work for free. But there’s so much more that they’re looking to get out of their work experience than just a paycheck. And I think that’s an area that all companies, I think really need to evaluate. Is is how how flexible is my overall compensation strategy and how generationally savvy is it? Because a lot of this talent acquisition is going to happen through a younger workforce.


[00:28:20] So that’s something that they’re motivated by their focus. Right, by a higher purpose, by the ability to create an impact. They’re motivated, motivated by companies with a clear cut and demonstrable vision. And companies that are into fair play. Right. So those companies that recognize the needs of of the incoming generation are positioned much, much better to win than those that just try to keep people by throwing the check out. Not that anybody’s going to turn down that check, but it’s not it’s not a differentiator anymore.


[00:28:55] I think you’re exactly right, Greg. And think about what that means around how this potentially ties these other two pillars together. So if you think about coming through and out of the turn, you think about your strategy. There needs to be an element in your strategy around. How are we going to position ourselves as a place people want to come to work? Right. So there’s that element to strategy. And then on the cost side, it’s like, OK, I may need to spend some money, maybe even in other areas. I may need to start to invest, for example, more in sustainability, CSR types of activities, because I know it supports the strategy and I know it’s what incoming talent wants to wants to hear and see demonstrated by a potential employer. So this all does start to come together. It needs to be, you know, a cohesive thought out strategy that links all three of these pillars. I think that’s the other I think that’s the other element that came out of the research is, yes, there are three pillars, but there but they are so intertwined in how strategy, cost and talent work together that you really you can’t think about them in isolation. Right there. There is it a there isn’t just a strategy for winning in the turns or is it just something you do around cost and there isn’t something you just do around talent? You really need to do all three. I think that’s what we’ve seen out of those 60 companies or so is their ability to bring all three of these pillars together successfully and to fit their particular environment.


[00:30:42] I mean, there’s not a playbook, right? There might be the ability to create a playbook for the. Condition the game you’re in in that turn for your company. But there’s not a you can’t go get a seven step list from somebody, so. So since we’ve talked about talent and how that empowers organizations, in a turn, I kind of go this direction. There are a lot of mixed signals in the economy right now. Right. The stock market is up, but transportation is foundering.


[00:31:14] To put it kindly, manufacturing is under pressure. Costs are getting higher. The retailer or I’m sorry.


[00:31:22] Consumers have have a lot of enthusiasm. But retailers have a lot of trepidation. You know, and it seems, though, and we’re hearing a lot more often it’s not if but when the next economic downturn or some would even argue prices is coming.


[00:31:38] So, you know, as we talk about these turns and companies that are particularly well positioned or getting themselves well positioned or know how to get themselves positioned in these turns, what are your thoughts on that?


[00:31:51] Is this one of or the next coming big turn?


[00:31:58] From an economic standpoint, yeah, I think Greg not being an economist, nor do I want to be an economist. I I I do think. I do think it’s more a win than if I think just because there seemed to be I don’t know if I would call them natural cycles, but there seem to be cycles that, you know, that that there is economic prosperity and then there are economic challenges. And I think the other or an other element to the winning in the turns research is to help people understand that most likely in the lifespan of an organization, you will face multiple turns. Some will be bigger. Some will be smaller. Some may be specific to your industry. Now, you know, you could have argued if I go back to Amazon, you could have argued, you know, eight, 10 years ago that retail was the only segment that was experiencing, let’s call it an Amazon turn. I if I think if you were to ask that question today with with all the things that Amazon is able to do, I would argue that they are they are either forcing or had the potential to force other industries into their own set of turns. And the only reason I bring that up is what I’m hoping is that through our winning in the turns, research organizations can start to plan ahead and not have to try to digest this research while they’re in the middle of a turn.


[00:33:33] Rather, they can digest the research and the learnings and the observations and start to ask themselves the question, is there a turn on the horizon for us and what is it and started to do. If we think about, you know, what I touched on a little bit in that strategy pillar, which is let’s start doing some scenario analysis, let’s start doing some what if? I mean, I think if companies were paying attention, not saying they weren’t, but leading companies would have already bid modeling as soon as the tariff discussions started. Right. As soon as that word was uttered, leading companies would have said, OK, tariffs could be a turn for us. What do we need to start doing now? Do we need to start finding alternative sources of supply? Do we need to start talking to our customer base and figure out, you know, if there’s going to need to be cost transference to our customer? However, we define him or her. How much are they willing to absorb? Right before they’re going to look for for another source for the product. So, you know, part of, I think, the mindset that people really want to get into it.


[00:34:48] What I’m hoping people will take away from our discussion today is, look, if you’re in a turn right now, here’s some things to do. The best way to not get in a turn is to get ahead of it. And here’s some things to be thinking about, you know, from an advanced planning and advanced scenario building, you know, what are those some scenarios that you could foresee yourself facing and how are you going to respond to those so that when one of those were to crop up and become a turd, you know, you already have your playbook built. It’s not going to be perfect. Right. That’s the other thing people have to recognize. I mean, I think was Mike Tyson said everyone has a plan until they get hit. Right. People are going to get hit. You’re going to get hit. Your organization is going to get hit. It’s the degree that you’ve prepared for that I think will be a key element to people’s success moving forward. So, you know, that’s that’s what our research is hopefully going to help people do, is, you know, get ahead of this. Be prepared. And then, you know, create a platform by which you’re going to continue to succeed and push the organization through whatever turn you might face.


[00:36:04] Like that is what makes you an outstanding analyst.


[00:36:08] As the diplomatic ability to dodge the economic question and still turn it into valuable information for companies.


[00:36:18] No, I think that I think you make a very good case. The economic crisis is just the big turn on people’s minds. And I think. Because of, you know, people having their eyes on certain. A parent or legacy type type turns, they might not have their eyes on the ones that are can impact them because look, the last economic downturn was so painful.


[00:36:47] This is the longest hangover of any economic crisis that I’ve ever seen in my life.


[00:36:52] And I think people are still sensitive and and hesitant to have that that unbounded enthusiasm that we had in the past. And because they are looking so hard for an economic downturn, they might miss other turns.


[00:37:10] So you’ve got to keep your eyes on, as you just said, a multitude of things, not this singular thing.


[00:37:17] And I think that’s you know, that’s an important understanding for companies to have. I really appreciate you really bringing that out. You know that your people are coming at you from all directions.


[00:37:29] Yeah. Here’s here’s the thing. Greg and Sky. And I’m a I’m a military history buff. I. I read a lot about military history.


[00:37:36] And I think it was MacNamara during the Vietnam War who said we have knowns and we have known unknowns. And I think it’s really important for companies either in return or trying to prepare for the turn that they don’t get there. You know, wrapped around the axle worrying about the known unknowns. Right. They are out there unknown for a reason. So what successful companies do is they invest a lot of energy in the knowns. They expend some energy in the known unknowns and they create the flexibility and the responsiveness to deal with those known unknowns. Too many, too many times. You know, companies, you know, spend 80 percent of their energy trying to predict stuff, which is a complete waste of mental energy, focus at what you feel confident, you know, create plans for what you know, you don’t know and then beeper, then, you know, create flexibility, responsiveness. That’s what successful companies are going to do.


[00:38:39] It sounds like forecasting. Doesn’t it, Mike? I mean, that’s really what it is. Yes.


[00:38:43] If you think about it, you have to predict what you can predict, what you think you can, and then prepare to respond to those things. You know, you can’t predict.


[00:38:53] Exactly. Just be flexible, as you’re saying, and and have a fleet of foot culture and operational methodology that allows you to respond quickly. Yeah, that’s great. Great guidance.


[00:39:07] Well, back to planning. It doesn’t have to be perfect in terms of being prepared to navigate through the turns. You know, reminds me of you mention military history. I love General Patent’s quote that a good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week. Exactly. Yes. Switching gears here we start close the interview. Love this stuff. This is exactly what we had in mind when we launch a series. Mike, so appreciate your time. You know, one of the great places where you can you can go find very practical insights and perspective and fellow leaders and gather these observations and best practices is that some of the Gartner events that take place globally. And Mike, you’ve got a big conference coming up right around the corner. Tell us more. We do.


[00:39:55] So for those of you that you know, listen to the to the podcast and are familiar with our events, you’ll know that for a number of years we’ve had our our big Supply chain conference in Phenix, Arizona. Because of the success of that event, we’ve elevated it to now a Supply chain symposium, which is the flagship event across all of Gardner folks that are familiar when the I.T. side will know that the size and the scale and the depth of I.T. symposium, you know, we’re going to start to bring that into the supply chain. So we have two of those, May 11th to 14th in Orlando in June 15th through the 18th in Barcelona. And, you know, people might be asking. So I’ve been to your Supply chain conference for years. You know, how is this different? So we’ve elevated the content. The the the symposium series are geared and really targeted for chief supply chain officers and their direct reports. So we’ll have specific content specifically for chief supply chain officers. We have two tracks of content just for them and then we’ve got content for their direct reports and planning, sourcing and procurement Logistics manufacturing. We also have content in some more cross cross process areas around supply chain technology, sustainability and the customer experience. So the lots, lots of content. So, you know, we we are expecting.


[00:41:31] Probably close to three to three and a half thousand people. It is. You know, we’d like to think of it as, you know, the must attend event if you’re interested in the Supply chain.


[00:41:41] And we’re really excited to be able to take this to to Orlando and really showcase what we have. As I mentioned, I think at the top of the podcast, you know, the theme for the for the symposium is Winning at the Chance. So we’ll have a lot of insights for, you know, similar to what we’ve just talked about in our short time together around you. How can Chief Supply chain officers think about getting their organization ready to win at the turns? But what I think is as valuable is those functional areas. So if I am the head of planning, how does my organization need to adapt to be able to win in the turns? From a planning perspective, do you know, does my approach to planning need to change like some of the things Greg and I talked about? So there’s just a lot of really good content for for supply chain leaders at both of these events. So we’re really excited.


[00:42:37] Absolutely. We are, too. And in general, if listeners want to reach out and connect with you or learn more about Gartner, what’s the easiest place to direct them to might share a part of that?


[00:42:51] The two easiest ways. Gardner dot com. All right. That will give you access to everything. That’s Gardner. There’s an advanced tab if you want to talk. Look at events probably for folks that are interested in reaching out. To me, it’s just Mike Griswald at Gardner dot com.


[00:43:05] Well, Mike, once again, what a great second episode we look forward to. Let’s go ahead. knock-out. Number three, we really enjoyed the conversation and Greg has as well. And to Greg. The hits keep on coming in the series, right?


[00:43:20] Well, look, I mean, when we have such quality guests on the show, you know, we’re gonna get this kind of content. I think it’s tremendously valuable. I believe that particularly what Mike is talking about is really timely right now, because the opportunity for you to create turns in your business or turns to come at you are so plentiful right now that you have to create a fleet of foot stance in your company. And this these are even just this small amount of information is tremendously helpful in creating a foundation for you to do that in your company.


[00:43:57] Absolutely great wealth that we’ll put there, Greg. So big. Thanks. Mike Griswald, Vise president analyst with Gartner. Thank you for joining us once again here today. Might we look forward to the third episode and to our listeners? We’re going to wrap up just on a quick announcement. If you want to see some of the events we’re gonna be at, we’d love to have you come out in person. You go to the events tab at Supply Chain Now Radio If if there’s something that was said here today, you can’t find whether it’s on the Gartner Web site or our website. You can shoot us a note to our CMO. That’s Amanda at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com as best we can. We’ll look serve as a resource for you.


[00:44:36] So, Greg, we’ve got a lot of things coming up. We’ll be in Vegas in a couple of weeks. But one event in particular we won’t touch on is mutex 2020, which is coming up in March, right?


[00:44:45] Right. It’s the 9th to the 12th in Atlanta, Georgia, World Congress, Congress Center. That is thirty five thousand of your closest friends in Supply chain.


[00:44:57] And you know, it’s a great show. Lots of companies displaying their wares there.


[00:45:02] They are literally building small materials, handling tiny little warehouses in I say tiny. They’re 50 feet by 50 feet or whatever they are. So it’s a great opportunity to see what’s going on, what kind of technology is moving goods through the supply chain these days. And it’s it’s fascinating to look at us like I’ve told people before. It’s like Tonka toys for Supply chain Gates.


[00:45:26] Well, we’ll be streaming throughout the four days there at Moto X, the week of March 9th here in Atlanta. Maddox is also hosting our 2020 Atlanta Supply chain Awards. Nominations, registrations and sponsorships are all open for that Tuesday, March 10th. There with mutex as the backdrop. We look forward to featuring Christian Fisher, president and CEO of Georgia-Pacific, as our keynote mutex is free to go to go to mutex show dot com for more information. MDX showed up com and for more information about the awards program. Atlanta Supply chain Awards dot com. Looking forward and all of the events we’re gonna be at. You can check out on our Web site Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. Mike, thanks again. Really appreciate your time. Hope you have a wonderful weekend and week ahead, Greg. Always a pleasure. To our audience. Be sure to check out other other upcoming events, replays of our interviews, other resources at our Web site, Supply Chain Now Radio. Find us an Apple podcast, SoundCloud, Spotify, wherever else you get your podcast from. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss great perspective like you’ve heard here today on behalf of the entire team. Scott Luton here wishing you a wonderful week ahead and we will see you next time on Supply Chain Now.  Thanks everybody.

Mike Griswold serves as Vice President Analyst with Gartner’s Consumer Value Chain team, focusing on the retail supply chain. He is responsible for assisting supply leaders in understanding and implementing demand-driven supply chain principles that improve the performance of their supply chain. Mr. Griswold joined Gartner through the company’s acquisition of AMR. Previous roles include helping line-of-business users align corporate strategy with their supply chain process and technology initiatives. One recent study published by a team of Gartner analysts, including Mike Griswold is Retail Supply Chain Outlook 2019: Elevating the Consumer’s Shopping Experience. Mr. Griswold holds a BS in Business Management from Canisius College and an MBA from the Whittemore School of Business & Economics at the University of New Hampshire. Learn more about Gartner here:
Greg White serves as Principle & Host at Supply Chain Now Radio. Greg is a founder, CEO, board director and advisor in B2B technology with multiple successful exits. He recently joined Trefoil Advisory as a Partner to further their vision of stronger companies by delivering practical solutions to the highest-stakes challenges. Prior to Trefoil, Greg served as CEO at Curo, a field service management solution most notably used by Amazon to direct their fulfillment center deployment workforce. Greg is most known for founding Blue Ridge Solutions and served as President & CEO for the Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader of cloud-native supply chain applications that balance inventory with customer demand. Greg has also held leadership roles with Servigistics, and E3 Corporation, where he pioneered their cloud supply chain offering in 1998. In addition to his work at Supply Chain Now Radio and Trefoil, rapidly-growing companies leverage Greg as an independent board director and advisor for his experience building disruptive B2B technology and supply chain companies widely recognized as industry leaders. He’s an insightful visionary who helps companies rapidly align vision, team, market, messaging, product, and intellectual property to accelerate value creation. Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams to create breakthroughs that gain market exposure and momentum, and increase company esteem and valuation. Learn more about Trefoil Advisory:


Scott W. Luton is the founder & CEO of Supply Chain Now Radio. He has worked extensively in the end-to-end Supply Chain industry for more than 15 years, appearing in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Dice and Quality Progress Magazine. Scott was named a 2019 Pro to Know in Supply Chain by Supply & Demand Executive and a 2019 “Top 15 Supply Chain & Logistics Experts to Follow” by RateLinx. He founded the 2019 Atlanta Supply Chain Awards and also served on the 2018 Georgia Logistics Summit Executive Committee. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and holds the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential. A Veteran of the United States Air Force, Scott volunteers on the Business Pillar for VETLANTA and has served on the boards for APICS Atlanta and the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance. He also serves as an advisor with TalentStream, a leading recruiting & staffing firm based in the Southeast. Follow Scott Luton on Twitter at @ScottWLuton and learn more about SCNR here:


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