I Wrote This Entire Article While Standing

Sitting is the new smoking. Don't be a SLOb!

Stand Up. Getting Images

Sitting is the new smoking, or so I’ve been informed.  While I’ll admit that sitting may not be great for your health – and might actually be bad for you – as a supply chain pro, I need data and benchmarking to triangulate the potency of the 21st century’s latest killer.

I want to compare sitting, smoking and another crippling disease factor that could be draining the (financial) life from your company – slow moving/obsolete inventory.

  Also known as SLOb. 

Let’s start with smoking.  Okay, first the negatives.  Let’s just put infinity in that check box.  Any positives?  A British businessman once told me that he would sometimes use a draw on a cigarette as a delaying tactic when he needed to come up with a lie.  So there’s that. 

On to sitting.  Okay, it’s bad for your circulation.  It’s bad for your muscle tone.  It’s bad for your back, if done incorrectly.  We’re five minutes away from “No Sitting” sections of airplanes and restaurants.  Soon after, workplaces will go sit-free.  Beaches, park and malls will follow suit (even for loyal husbands who follow their wives into the Unmentionables Department of Nordstrom).  Finally, minors will be prohibited from sitting and will have their ID’s checked before they plop down on their bottoms.  Will they need to be 18 or 21 to sit?  (Old enough to die for your country, not old enough to sit!)

Yes, the future looks bleak for sitters.  But I’m a metrics guy.  So indulge me. 

According to worldwide web, it takes anywhere from 4 to 7 minutes to smoke a cigarette.  I’m going to round that up to 10 minutes of sitting is equivalent to one cigarette.  That means one hour of sitting equals 6 cigarettes.

I sit about 15.5 hours per day.  This surprised me.  But I did the math.  I’m awake about 17 hours every day.  I’m sitting for 70% of that.  At my desk, in meetings, driving, eating, watching TV – it adds up.  That means my sitting equals 93 cigarettes!  I’m a 4 to 5 pack-a-day sitter! 

Gaak!  But is that worse than holding SLOb? 

SLOb commits two crimes at once – it kills your company’s bottom line and robs your company of its cash.  The reason CFO’s get apoplectic over SLOb is that it costs real money to acquire.  And then it just sits there, costing more money.  Taking up valuable warehouse space and getting insured, but not earning its keep.  Rigorous demand planning is needed to prevent against future SLOb.  Also, understand the correlation between your batch sizes (or your suppliers’ batch sizes) and your customer’s demand.  You’d be surprised to find out how much SLOb is created because your customer wanted 80 but you had to order 110 from your supplier.  Also, regular cycle counting and inventories will help identify what inventory is close to becoming SLOb.  Finally, run inventory movement reports to see when inventory was transacted last.  That can help you get out in front of SLOb.

  And it’s always better to be in front of SLOb instead of behind it. 

To summarize, in order to maintain proper physical and fiscal health:

  1. Don’t be a slob.
  2. Prevent SLOb from getting into your company.
  3. Don’t smoke.  (Please don’t let that be the first time you’ve heard that.)

Okay, so I’m poking fun at the anti-sit-ites out there.  But, yes, 15.5 hours each day is way too much time on my keister.  No more recumbent bikes for me at the gym!  I will cut back.  But, right now, I need to take a load off.  My feet are killing me.