This is the second half of our exploration of yoga and the supply chain. If you missed the first half and have no idea what I’m talking about, go ahead and be surprised here I think the pattern is pretty obvious now, both yoga and the supply chain require both movement and flexibility. By taking a look at yoga, we can see the variants of each characteristic and how they apply to supply chain management.
So, as you sit there reading this, take a deep breath. Go on actually do it, I’ll wait… Hatha: Static Movement Though it may sound contradictory, the static nature of Hatha moves the body in a positive direction. Hatha is a yoga used to build the foundations of a body, to limit the risk of injury. The use of stretches refines the body, constantly improving a stable platform of flexibility from which all else flows.
How does this relate? Process Flexibility By decreasing risk in other areas, Hatha teaches us to be wary and limit our weaknesses. Driven by the fundamental need to minimize inventory risk and avoid losing orders to competitors, Companies ought to take their time to continuously refine their supply chain process: 1. Minimise the impact of complexity. Harmonise product specifications and delay customisation strategies to lessen the need for large batch sizes. 2. Make sales and operations planning more responsive to the market through fast escalation of significant issues to top management, clear communications of change across the chain, and a speedy resolution. Focus your chitta and get ready for the last stage.
Viniyoga: Customised Movement Viniyoga is based on an individualized approach to each student, creating a practice that suits his or her unique stage. It is situational, What can we gain from its mastery?changing as the student requires it, accommodating differences. Flexible Strategy Just as the yoga changes based on the needs of the individual, the supply chain should change based on its needs.
Flexible supply chain approaches should be customized based on the type of product: 1. Get a good understanding of customer needs. Know the answers to critical questions about customer demand. How do numbers of customers, commercial incentives, ordering process and channel structure drive demand? What is the required delivery frequency and order lead time? Know the answers. 2. Categorise products by customer demand and apply appropriate supply chain strategies for each category. 3. To accommodate product differences, companies may need three or four supply chain variations. Ensure your chain matches your product.
You’ve made it! Who would have thought it? Around 1000 words of supply chain lessons from yoga, of all things! Which other unlikely sources can teach us lessons about our industry? Rather than simply reducing manufacturing costs and inventory levels, try to differentiate from your competitors. Take some advice from yoga and develop flexibility in multiple aspects of the supply chain to maintain a competitive advantage.