Blame It On Sushi
Your optimized supply chain team needs defined roles & responsibilities
Update: Since I originally wrote this article, I finally made the trek to Key West, Florida to meet my namesake - AKA Sushi. She was easy to find (The 801 Bourbon on Duval Street) and delightful to both me and my family when I introduced myself as Gary Marion. Go ahead and enjoy the article below, but know going in that Sushi and I are now acquaintances. While I have still not made it to Key West during New Year's Eve, I now have a better story to tell when friends send me those links in December.
So if you want to optimize the roles and responsibilities in your supply chain, read on. And if you want to find out what optimized supply chain and the Grande Dame of Drag have in common, read on.
Original article: The emails always start about mid-December and trickle into the first few days of each New Year. Every email has a link like this one. Some emailers understand the coincidence.
For others, a coincidence like this one is just unfathomable.
The issue is Sushi. Not the lower case delicacy, but the upper case cabaret performer. On New Year’s Eve (every year since 1996!), cabaret sensation Sushi becomes to Key West what that crystal ball is to Times Square.
In case you’re not aware, the denizens of Key West (and thousands of tourists) count down the coming New Year by watching Sushi, in a very over-sized red high heel, lower herself from the roof of a Duval Street bar. It is, by all accounts, a fantastic way to celebrate.
I have never attended – contrary to what some of those emailing me during the holidays might think.
You see, when Sushi isn’t Sushi, she’s a gentleman whose name is Gary Marion. You might want to check this out, if you’re not sure why that’s apropos to this article. Again, I have never been to Key West during New Year’s Eve.
That's not me in the red stiletto.
What compounds this coincidence is that my mother is Korean, which gives me just enough Asian flavor to confuse folks. I mean, if Sushi had called herself Soufflé or Ciabatta, the connection between we two Gary Marion’s may not have been as head-scratching. So there’s a Gary Marion in Key West ruling the drag scene and another Gary Marion in California writing about supply chain. (And a couple dozen or so other Gary Marion’s between the two, according to The Google.)
At first, it was funny. Friends would email me and ask about how long I’d been going to Key West for New Year’s. Then – it became useful.
When someone perusing the internet would come across, I don't know... say, a rambling, incoherent toast at a wedding, I could say, “No, that’s a different Gary Marion.” And when a prospective employer would ask about that low-rez French Quarter video, “Blame it on Sushi” I’d respond.
The confusion about which Gary Marion did what and when shouldn’t be replicated in your optimized and integrated supply chain team. Team members’ roles should be clearly defined, even as purchasing, customer service and logistics departments are incorporated into a cross-functional environment.
Buyers may become buyer/planners and customer service reps might work with scheduling to prioritize plant requirements. But responsibilities need to be understood, so team members know who’s doing what and when. No one should be left wondering if it was him or her that was supposed to have done that critical task, or if someone similar was to have done it.
You want your supply chain to be optimized, which means getting your customers what they want, when they want it – and spending the least amount of money accomplishing that.
And if you’re not doing that, I hope you at least have a Sushi you can blame it on.