OC Reilly Blog: Finding the Place Where It’s ‘Just Right’

By Mike Polaski, Executive Director of Supply Chain, OC Reilly Inc.


(April 5, 2015)–When you go back and think a little about the children’s story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” the kid really wasn’t asking for much.  She was a fairly smart business person, actually.

Too hot, too cold?  Nope.  Too hard, too soft?  Uh-uh.  Goldilocks wanted things just right.  Who doesn’t?

In the world of supply chain management and procurement programs, people feel the same way.  In many of our initial encounters with clients, they’re at a point where they may be doing too little along these lines.  They may not realize the tools at their disposal, or the areas of potential savings and corrections, and so they haven’t begun to address their supply chain spend in a meaningful way. 

Conversely, some clients may be doing too much – imposing inflexible restrictions or holding the financial reins so tightly, that opportunities for competitive advancement may be missed, patient care suffers, or employee satisfaction drops.

In the March/April 2015 edition of Supply Chain Management Review, an article titled, “Fostering a ‘Goldilocks’ Procurement Strategy,” reads, in part, “Look at how your procurement organization works today and honestly assess whether it is doing ‘too much’ or ‘too little’ or whether it’s ‘just right.’  This is, of course, a balancing act among risk, cost, and innovation for a particular category or supplier segment, as well as across the company.”

The best results can rarely be found at the extreme edge of any pendulum swing.  As in most things, when it comes to supply chain management results, the optimal outcomes usually reside somewhere in the middle – the place where things come into balance.

Not too cold, not too hot.  Just right.