4 Fathers Day Tips To Help You At Home And Work

By Richard Howells & Öykü Ilgar, SAP

This upcoming Sunday, like every 3rd week of June, is Father’s Day. So, when I was thinking about what to get him, I could not help bringing my work life into my personal life and saw several parallels.

To honor our beloved ones for this special day, let’s talk about not only how cool the dads are but also what supply chains can learn from our first male role models: Dads!

#1 He hates to waste money: “When I was your age, gas was 60c a liter”

I am planning to buy a gas gift card for my father, let me tell you why.

We had 3 cars in the household, but when my dad went to look for one, there was more chance that a tiny excavator could save the Evergreen from the Suez Canal, than of him finding one with more than half a tank of gas. He would always find the empty one sitting in our drive!

Now, with ever-increasing gas prices and sustainability being top of mind, dads are always looking for ways to reduce transportation costs and the CO2 level of the household.

This is no different in the business world where we want to optimize the planning of our logistics processes to optimize vehicle usage, reduce miles traveled, and minimize emissions.

#2 He can sense the actual demand: “I know you better than you know yourself!”

New grilling equipment is always a popular choice.

From what I can tell, when you become a dad, you are blessed with the ultimate grilling skills. You can forecast what everybody will want to eat based on past BBQs (history), the weather forecast, and the schedule of when everyone will show up (my uncle and his family are notoriously late).

Imagine this scenario: There is chicken on the grill, but dad’s brother that has 6 kids that will only eat hotdogs shows up 3 hours earlier than scheduled. Dad must change his production plans for food based on this new information and actual (vs. planned) demand.

This again translates to the business world, where supply chain planners are always trying to create a real picture of the actual demand by balancing historical demand with real-world changes from their customers, market dynamics, and external factors such as the weather and traffic delays in real-time, so they can deliver the right products at the right time. They need to factor in things such as what’s hot on social media. What is the color or flavor of the month? Is it going to be raining this week (which can impact buying patterns)? And they need to respond to disruptions to the plan and have risk mitigation strategies in place to sense, predict and respond to changes.

#3 He is always looking for the next new gadget: “In my day we had to stand up to change the TV channel”

My dad loves gadgets.

He had a brick that passed for an early mobile phone, which eventually got replaced by a smartphone. He got rid of his filo-fax the day that he saw the first electronic personal organizer, soon to be replaced by the second, then by a smartphone. His old Kodak camera was soon replaced by a digital camera and then (again) by his smartphone. And he was the first to replace his record collections with DVDs and then to a streaming service, oh yes on his smartphone. I am sensing a theme!

And similarly, we are seeing automation, and mobile devices increasingly dominate our supply chains. According to the IDC analysts, it was predicted that 50% of all supply chain forecasts will be automated through the use of artificial intelligence, improving accuracy by five percentage points by 2023.

Manufacturing is the leading the way when it is to automation whether it is individualized or mass customized products. We are seeing automation as a way of helping to address some of the labor challenges where mundane and repetitive jobs can be automated, and we can provide real-time data at the fingertips of employees on mobile devices (my dad loves that) to make more complex and mission-critical decisions.

#4 He knows how to collaborate to eliminate disruptions: “Go ask mom”

A looptop came to mind.

My dad is well aware of his limits and in situations that are out of his knowledge and control, and he is smart enough to collaborate to eliminate disruptions. Dads know well when to play the ‘Go ask mom’ card whenever something is missing (usually the car keys or a mobile phone), a drop-off is required at a friend’s, or we don’t have dinner plans. He also knows when to contact friends who have expertise in areas that he doesn’t. He learned that the hard way when we bought a self-assembly BBQ grill, and dad decided to totally disregard the instructions and was surprised to find he had two parts left after assembling it.

In today’s business world, customers have become increasingly more demanding, leading many companies to choose to focus on their core competencies and tap into a network of partners that can provide complementary business processes, services, and capabilities. So, we too are reliant on a network of “friends and family” in the form of suppliers, contract manufacturers, logistics providers, and other partners who need to share information and collaborate to meet our customers’ expectations.

We are living in a world where we wake up to a new disruption in the supply chains every other day and always looking for ways to run them more resilient and agile. Why not implement the best practices from our disciplinarian, protective but open-minded dads?

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

And if you want to learn how to enable a resilient supply chain, click here.