Transcript: What the Duck?! Episode 49

What the Duck?! Episode 49 Transcript

FROM PERISHABLES TO PROFITS: Creating Effective Cross-Department Communication with Dennis Garvey

Welcome to What the Duck?! A podcast with real experts talking about direct spend challenges and experiences. And now, here’s your host, SourceDay’s very own manufacturing Maven, Sarah Scudder. Thank you for joining me for What the Duck?! Another Supply Chain Podcast brought to you by SourceDay. I’m your host, Sarah Scudder, and this is the podcast for people working in the direct materials part of the supply chain. I’m @SarahScudder on LinkedIn and @Sscudder on Twitter.

Today, I’m going to be joined by Dennis, and we’re going to discuss how to create a process for effective cross-department communication. If you work for a manufacturer and are struggling with your departments working in silos and lacking consistent communication, then this episode is for you. Dennis has worked in manufacturing and distribution as the CEO overseeing procurement departments for several years.

Welcome to the show, Dennis. Thank you, glad to be here. We are melting away here in Austin; I think the high today is 104, and it’s crazy humid. So I’m hoping you’re enjoying some better weather on the East Coast. Yeah, we actually are, for a change. We’ve been pretty swampy and rainy for the last couple of weeks. Just yesterday, we got our first nice warm sunny low humidity day, and so I’m enjoying it as long as I can.

Talk about when you first started your career and how you got into Manufacturing. Yeah, so I was coming out of the service. I spent a few years as an officer in the Marine Corps and was trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grow up, and I sort of looked at myself, saw myself as very operationally astute. I knew I was good at leading and managing people and processes, and so I saw manufacturing logistics as sort of an extension of those skill sets. And at the time, coming out of the service, for whatever reason, I had the view of sales as being somewhat used car salesy, so I really didn’t have any desire to go into sales at the time (that kind of came later).

But I hooked up with a company called Arrow Electronics, which was a Fortune 200, very large distributor, value-add provider company that does semiconductors, computer products, systems, etc. And now, since then, they’ve actually expanded into reverse logistics and a variety of other areas, but great company, great company to get a good foundation for. I said I was there with them for about nine years through a variety of roles, started off in logistics and manufacturing and actually morphed over time into sales roles, which was kind of a story unto itself. So started my career in sales, appreciate what you just said about a negative stigma and thinking that being in sales is really sneaky and you’re pushing things on people, which is not always the case. And hopefully, if you’re listening to this and are in sales or have been in sales, you didn’t have that experience as well, but I do think you learn a ton from being in sales and it can help you be a lot later in any capacity that you do decide to go into if you do decide to pivot from sales.

Dennis, how did being in sales help you be a better manager for supply chain and procurement teams, which you’ve had responsibility for several times? Yeah, you know, it’s interesting. I really sought it out after being in the business with Arrow for a while and having a lot of interaction with salespeople, getting a little bit of a different perspective on what that role was and wanting to challenge myself in different directions. At the time, I really didn’t want to be sort of pigeonholed as just one specialty in logistics, and going into sales and having that experience was really eye-opening in the sense that I think there’s nothing more fundamental in business, in many ways, than that customer interaction.

And I think, certainly, being in a situation where you have to deal with customers, sometimes not happy customers, you know, both in forms, you in managing your operations, because it gives you a much deeper understanding of what it takes to close that deal. And, I think likewise, it also gives you, when you have the understanding of the operations side, it also informs your ability to make promises and commitments to customers, because you have a better understanding of what’s doable, what kind of promises you can keep, and what it takes to get there. So, and I think it also encourages you from that experience to ensure that you’re communicating to the operations side because having been on the operation side, you probably know what it’s like when you don’t get that kind of communication, you know, when you find out something you know at the last minute, you’ve got to jump through hoops because somebody, you know, did a deal and you know didn’t do the do the background work, and I’m sure anybody who’s been on the operations site can probably cite experiences like that. And I would also say, I think you have more appreciation for what your suppliers are going through, and you can be a better partner and collaborate more and be more open and share more data and insight than somebody who has not been in sales before. Yeah, absolutely, I think you know, I feel that having had the operational leadership experience, coming into a customer, I often know what their challenges are as a business, you know, in some cases, you know, close to as well as they do, just having managed those different challenges myself, and so I think you can both anticipate, empathize, and bring a sense of, you know, understanding to the customer that, you know, what they’re dealing with. And I think you talk about, you know, like made the joke about the used car salesman, but I think ultimately what I learned going into sales is that it’s, it’s like anything else, in the sense that what makes a good salesperson is the same thing that makes somebody good in any other part of the business, it’s being reliable, trustworthy, somebody that you can, you know, know you can Bank on when you know things are going to be difficult, that they’re going to be attentive and on top of their business, and you know, I think like everything else, I’m a big believer that, you know, trust, I heard of saying that trust is the only legal performance-enhancing drug, and I think that, you know, that’s what all relationships are built off of, not just business, so yeah, I think it definitely empowers you with a much broader understanding.

So you were general manager of sales for Aero Electronics, and then you transitioned into becoming a CEO for another company. So, how did you make such a massive transition? Well, I went from being sort of a medium fish in a very, very large pond to being a bigger fish in a smaller Pond. I guess the thing that I was really attracted to, and I was exposed to the opportunity because some people I’ve known for a long time, personal one and professional relationships, were putting together a group to take this company out of bankruptcy, and it gave me, I saw it as giving me an opportunity to tie together the different pieces that I had. I had responsibility for in a larger corporate setting, you know, I managed distribution facilities and operations manufacturing operations. I’ve had, you know, the sales operations side. I actually went out and carried a bag as a sales guy before taking over as a sales leader again.

And so, it was really the opportunity to have a chance to manage all those pieces and more together. So, you know, it was really a tremendous opportunity, and you know, from the standpoint of you know the size of the leap, yes, and the complexity of the role, but you know, we took the company out of bankruptcy, it was, you know, we took it out, it was 11 million dollars back at Arrow. I had individual customers that were, you know, two to three times that big. And so, you know, it goes to the point too that, you know, it’s not always the dollar amounts that drive the complexity and challenges of the jobs, it’s, you know, the scope of responsibility and the complexity of the business, and you know, it gave me great opportunities at U.S Cavalry too because it was, you know, it was an omnichannel business, we had e-commerce. I hadn’t had a chance to really play too much in the e-commerce space, so that was a great way to stretch myself there, and we also had the brick and mortar retail stores, so it was an opportunity to kind of get some experience in that part of the business. But the biggest challenge and the most fulfilling part of that was coming into a company that was really just in chaos after bankruptcy, and you know, morale was pretty much in the toilet, a lot of the good people had left, and you know, it was the challenge of reinvigorating the environment, the culture, rebuilding the team. So yeah, it was a big leap, but I had this probably the job that I enjoyed the most out of all the ones that I’ve had.

Oversized or soft, so they were a function that reported into UScol. Hard to get suppliers to want to work with you when they likely did not get paid or had a pretty bad experience. So how did you focus on rebuilding supplier relationships? I feel like this is something that’s relevant to really anyone who’s in a capacity or role interacting and working with suppliers in a manufacturing environment. Yeah, it was, it was probably one of the biggest challenges because, you know, being a distributor primarily focused distributor in that business, you know, you really, your suppliers can really make you or break you in many ways. They’re certainly make it a whole lot easier, and you know, when we came in, it had gotten so bad the previous owner had literally taken the accounts payable phone line and put it in a closet because he wasn’t even answering calls. And so I think the first and biggest lesson was rebuilding communication, go back to that issue of trust again, you know, it doesn’t happen overnight, you know, anybody’s been through that, you know, it’s got paid out 20 cents on the dollar, particularly when you’re dealing with a lot of private companies, smaller businesses, that it’s not just a business issue, it’s a personal issue, and so it was really about sort of a slow, methodical, persistent effort to build those personal relationships and prove yourself through both proactive communication and performance. And at the end of the day, you know, some people came along much easier than others, some suppliers wouldn’t, you know, wouldn’t sell to us except cash in advance, you know, for a couple of years. But ultimately, when they start to see that you’re running a business properly, that you’re delivering on your promises, and ultimately also when they see that you’re driving your sales and they see all their competitors getting the business that they’ve walked away from, people’s attitudes eventually change, and I think we saw that pretty much across the board. But, you know, likewise, you know, they remembered the previous ownership, you know, paying them out 10 cents on a dollar or whatever it was, you know, we also tended to remember those people that got behind us because we weren’t that we weren’t the old owner, we’re a new group, you know, give us a chance to show we can deliver, but it took some time.

So one of the things that stands out to me also at your when you were at the U.S Calvary stores is that you were able to achieve inventory accuracy of over 99 and drastically increase average inventory turns. How did you do this? Because that’s quite an impressive number in general, but in particular for a company that’s coming out of bankruptcy, very, very impressive and hard to do. Yeah, I mean it didn’t happen overnight, but you know, I think the inventory accuracy piece, you know, again going back to Arrow, I was fortunate in having been through an organization that was, you know, had this sort of type of business down to a science, and so I inherited a lot of knowledge of best practices from there and really just applied them to the specifics of what we were dealing with. You know, the inventory actually is primarily driven by Warehouse performance, and it’s really, you know, I tend to believe these things in their Essence are fairly straightforward when you bring product into the warehouse, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it, there’s only one right way that you’re gonna, you know, that you’re allowed to perform that. It’s about making sure that processes are clearly designed, clearly communicated and trained, and then you know supervised and enforced. You know, and I think ultimately having good process discipline in your Warehouse combined with a rigorous cycle count procedure to verify and Report out, it has to be something, you know, it’s kind of like some of these other things you get into and and trying to drive Improvement in measurable areas like safety, it can’t be something you look at periodically, it has to be something you look at every day. And so, you know, every day we would do cycle counts and the next day you’d be looking at the results and somebody has to answer that, so a relentless pursuit of managing your business to the data points that are the indicator indicators of success, and you know, we had, you know, multiple flavors of of cycle counts just trying to be efficient with it, you know, built it into the process and you know simple things like whenever you would zero out a location it would generate a cycle count, so you know you automatically knew right there that if you were taking the last piece out of the warehouse out of that location and it didn’t generate a cycle count, you knew that you your inventory was off because it should it should ask you to verify zero, right? And so, a lot of things like that, you know, you can focus cycle counts on your high dollar issues, but I think most most of it is that’s sort of the evaluation part, the key in the warehouse side is a rigorous clear and well-defined processes well communicated and trained documented in Sos and and supervised and enforced.

And one of the other things that you did when you were CEO there is you drove continuous innovation in customer interactions and internal efficiency gain, so big big focus on you for you and your team was on efficiency. How did you do this and why was this so important to your business, and the reason I’m highlighting this is I think it’s really important for people working in manufacturing to realize the importance of the customer interaction and what is that experience for your customers.

Yeah, it was as interesting. I was thinking about this in preparation for, you know, discussing this, and I think the a lot of the stuff that we spent our energies on, system-wise, on internal efficiency gains also bore a lot of fruit in the customer relationship side. For example, managing inventory not just from an accuracy standpoint but from a uh from an availability, making sure that you had, particularly in an e-commerce space where, you know, you’re a click away from losing a customer if you don’t have the inventory to sell that you’ve advertised. So I think, you know, being increasingly effective at making sure we had the proper inventory levels in the items that we’re selling, making sure that it was accurate, so when somebody went to pick it, they’d have to go back to the customer and say, “Well, actually, we don’t have it anymore.” The ability to balance inventory between e-commerce and the retail stores and contract sales. We also had a contract sales side of the business that, you know, could sell, you know, the same items that we’re selling on e-commerce, you know, one at a time could sell out what would be, you know, 60-90 days worth of usage on e-commerce in one sale at in contract sales.

So it was a fairly complex Inventory management challenge to make sure that you didn’t wipe out your inventory and leave your e-customer e-commerce customers hanging, etc. Likewise, you know, we did a lot of stuff with internal to build our user interface on the website, making it as smooth functioning and quick as possible. We did a lot of A/B testing on every feature on the website you could imagine. It always amazed me getting involved in e-commerce, you know, that the sizing shape of the button you click on can have a noticeable difference in how much traffic you’ll get on that particular item. We did a lot of, so for example, using analytics on the website to really be able to dig down into where we were getting traffic, where we were losing traffic, and adjusting accordingly. Really just kind of, you know, we did some internal stuff, for example, contract sales, we used to have guidelines for the salespeople on, you know, margin limits of what they could sell on a large sale, and so we set up something internally through customization of our ERP system order entry that if a salesperson put in an order that was outside those specs that it would drop into a review queue for the managers to look at and that if it was over a certain amount, you know, it required to sign-offs electronic sign-offs to release the order, so we had a double check to make sure that someone didn’t go out and sell something that either sucked up too much inventory or, you know, was selling something beyond the margin guidelines that we had sent without getting approvals.

And so it was a lot of stuff like that, a lot of it was brought about by the fact that we had done an ERP implementation and spent a lot of effort customizing the products to, you know, our specific needs. You know, I cringe when I hear customization, I know the pain that can go along with that, very, very can be very expensive as well. Well, you know, we had a when I first arrived there, we were actually using outsourced IT consultants, and, you know, and this was just in the initial phases of getting the system to function at a basic level because coming out of the box, this is again one of those experiences where when I first arrived there, it was day two of implementation, I didn’t get there until after they’d already put the new ERP system in, and one of the things I had been through this situation an arrow where, you know, it’s, it’s really one of those things you have to do a lot of work up front, or you’re going to do a lot of work after the fact, but you’re going to do it in a rushed and panicked fashion because the system’s not performing the way you needed it to. And so, you know, for what I was paying, you know, to when I was paying IT consultants who were moving very slowly, I was able to hire, you know, two of my own programmers and go in and, you know, two programs for a year for what I was paying in two to three months, and so we decided to bring some IT sources in-house, and that’s what drove a lot of our customization because, again, going back to the solution, the system solution you choose is one of the things that goes into choosing an ERP system is how much ability do you have to customize it because a lot of them you don’t, and I would never go down the trail with an ERP system I had to go back to the manufacturer to customize.

So next career move for you is you were responsible for manufacturing at a company called Silicone. What was the most important supply chain challenge you and your team were able to solve there? Honestly, Silicone was a fairly simple supply chain. It was a sort of a very focused product line, you know, building these very highly engineered cylinders for the rotogravure and flexographic printing industry. And so, you know, if we were buying these rather large steel tubes from a steel tube manufacturer, and there weren’t a lot of items in the Bill of Material to build these things, it was really just the same product in different sizes, and the spec really drove into, you know, the engineering part of it and the manufacturing portion, which was really where our biggest challenges were. So I’d like to be able to claim some significant accomplishment there, but quite honestly, supply chain was really the procurement side was really the simplest part of it. It was really about gaining some efficiencies in the manufacturing process and also it was a unique business in the sense that it was in a very niche business, and Silicone had about 80% market share, so, you know, which was good in the sense that, you know, they say be the first in the last out because you can command some very good margins.

We also, I also spent some time because we did some value additive functions on the cylinders used to have to coat them in Copper. We had a lot of, you know, very expensive Capital Equipment in the business, and, you know, was trying to find ways to grow sales into different market segments because the printing industry and that specific type of printing was, you know, anticipated to eventually go the way of the dinosaur, so it hadn’t happened yet, but that was really my focus was more on the manufacturing and sales side of the business at Silicone.

Okay, so next stint for you was serving as the general manager of a company called Metal Sales Manufacturing, which is the nation’s largest manufacturer of metal roofing, wall panels, and Building Systems. So near and dear to my heart, my uncle is the CEO and founder of Scudder Roofing, so he owns a very large Roofing and Solar Company in the Monterey Carmel area, so I know a little bit about Roofing. So you when you were there, you managed their largest manufacturing facilities, so they had several, but you were in charge of the highest producing facility. What was the hardest part from a supply chain perspective when you were running that manufacturing facility?

You know, we had a separate procurement department that ran out of corporate, and they did a pretty good job. They’re fairly well organized. The biggest challenge from my facility standpoint because we had to service not only the business that we were going out and selling and booking, but we had to be ready to service sales that were being booked in various other regions, which we didn’t necessarily have very good visibility on, and so it did create extra challenges to ensure that you had the right inventory mix of raw material, which in the case of this stuff is rolled steel, sheets that we were doing to roll formers and such. And I think that was probably the biggest challenge, was working with procurement to try and make sure that we had the appropriate mix of inventory to support the variety of business needs that we were servicing. And that was really one of the things, you know, my time at Metal Sales was somewhat limited, and that was one of the challenges because we also, I think mentioned that we were doing an ERP conversion there. And, you know, that provided something like an ERP conversion, are you meaning a upgrading existing or were you implementing a brand new system? Now implementing a brand new system, and, you know, that turned out to be somewhat problematic because, you know, again, I arrived, I had actually when I went to interview with the company, I had interviewed for a different role, and the president of the company saw my background and asked me to take over as the GM of this facility because they were going to be leading the effort on the ERP conversion. And it also that facility had gone through a couple of different general managers in the last few years, so I accepted and went to work there. But the ERP system that we were converting to was already selected, and, you know, I was a little bit concerned as soon as I saw the organization that was selected because it was somewhat of a smaller niche software company, didn’t have a very large install base, and it was also one of these situations where, as the user, you didn’t have any access to the source code, so translation, you can’t do any of your own customization.

And so when you did the implementation, you would work with the computer, the software company, to customize whatever you needed at that time. But then once you said, “Okay, this is done,” you had a certain amount of time that, you know, they were very responsive when you’re installing, but then after you sign the check, trying to get something fixed and things kept breaking that it turned into a bit of a problematic conversion. So once again, I think reinforcement on some of the lessons of spend the time up front, you know, as the old carpenter saying is, “Measure twice, cut once.” When you know choosing software packages, it pays to spend a lot of time making sure that it’s a good fit up front and making sure that when you go to implement, you do a lot of the work before you actually install because once you’re in it, it’s hard to get out and expensive. So yeah, I host a women in ERP show. We actually have a show tomorrow. So every month I bring ladies on to share their experiences, and ERPs are not easy, and unless you’ve actually lived either upgrading or implementing a new one, it’s hard to understand how much complexity there is and how hard the change management pieces.

Yeah, and, you know, it’s not just the system side, it’s the people’s side of it, you know, I’ve, I’ve again, I’ve been through a variety of these types of changes, and just getting people to abandon what they become comfortable with and jump into something new and challenging has to be managed with the sensitivity to the impact on people. And, you know, so there’s that training element to it, the training and the testing that if you, you know, if you don’t take the time to equip people so that they feel comfortable, you can have the best system in the world, but if you’re not preparing the people for it, it can be a disaster, you know, vice versa, I’ve seen very poor systems work well when you have people that are proficient and know how to use it and make the best of it. But yeah, I’ve been through several conversions, and I’ve walked in shortly after a few have been done, usually not very well, and yeah, it’s not something you want to be part of if you can avoid it because it takes a while, even under the best of circumstances, it takes a while for people to get used to the new system. Yeah, often it’s not when it comes out of the box, most systems, you know, you may be taking a step backward, I think it’s not uncommon at all from a functionality standpoint, you know, you’re leaving a legacy system where you’ve spent a lot of time customizing it and you know how everything works and you’ve gotten the functionality that you need. Now you go to a new ERP system, and if you don’t do that work up front, now you’ve got all these people that are also pissed off saying, “Why do we spend all this money buying something that is less capable than what we have, and it doesn’t work how my old system did, why?” Right, right.

Role where you had procurement responsibility, you worked at a company called Fancy Foods, and working in an industry where you have time-sensitive things makes the fly chain and procurement much more challenging. So what were your biggest challenges when you were at Fancy Foods?

Yeah, I think just to that point when you’re dealing with perishable inventory. Now, we were selling fresh meat, protein, fish, perishable inventory, all of which have, you know, different clocks on them as soon as they come in. Chicken is different than pork is different than beef, and you’ve got commodity pricing on top of that. So whatever you purchased yesterday maybe, you know, you may be purchasing it at a different price tomorrow, and even in some cases with the beef market, for example, you know, we would see prices actually change more than once in a day. So, you know, that can be a great thing when your prices are going up because now you own inventory that just got more valuable, but vice versa, you can, you know, wind up having inventory that has lost value. And so, and you’re already in the food distribution business, usually operating on pretty thin margins, so commodity pricing, perishable inventory, and thin margins make for a rather challenging procurement business. And I think like, you know, every other business, but perhaps a little bit on steroids with this sort of environment, is you have to be on top of your numbers, you have to be and you have to have some process disciplines in place so that if you wind up in a situation where you’re long on inventory in a particular area that it’s not moving, you have to have a process in place that says, “Okay, what’s our discount policy? What’s our action steps that we’re going to initiate on day X to start to move this out the door in one way, shape, or form?” Because every day, you know, particularly if you’re selling into retail, for example, you know, if you’re selling chicken to a retail store, they want to have out of a 12-day shelf life, they want to have six or seven days at least for themselves to sell it. So you now have half the shelf life of the product that you have to get it out the door, whereas if you’re selling it to a food service organization that may, you know, cut it and cook it that night, you have a little bit more leeway.

So it’s everything from, you know, being on top of your numbers on what inventory levels you’re driving to having, you know, good process disciplines so that when a product is not moving as fast as it should be, you have steps that you take to maximize your remaining profits and also knowing your customers and your sales channels so you can push product in areas you know. And part of that, you know, action items for when you’re moving product because, you know, you may have longer time if the window for retail is closing, you know, you can turn around and maybe move into a food service customer or something like that.

So yeah, it was, it was probably one of the most challenging procurement environments I worked in, and it’s a balancing act too because one of the challenges I had in trying to also be responsible for sales there is that, you know, one of the problems is that if you get too tightly focused on never throwing out any inventory or never having to discount inventory, then you’re not bringing enough inventory into sell, and so you’re sending salespeople out there to go sell, sell, sell, but I don’t have enough inventory in these areas because the buyers are too afraid of, you know, something going below margin. So that was also one of the things we did with the business to try to align people with the company’s goals. We changed the incentive programs for both sales and procurement, so, you know, procurement used to be incentivized on what they got for a cents per pound, for example. Well, you know, if that’s what’s going to drive a big portion of my check, I’m going to hold my price on this item, but then I’m making it harder for salespeople to sell or I can’t discount it to move it, you know, all that sort of, you know, interactions between, you know, what works for the company as a whole should be what works for all the individual pieces, and I think we were, when I came in there, we were kind of at loggerheads, and everybody was looking to cover their particular incentive or their particular piece of the pie, and it wasn’t aligned towards the goals of the company, so that was some of the challenges there, but…

So all of these different experiences that you had, GM, COO, sales leadership, one of the themes that I think about when I think about you and your career is being really, really strong in communication, especially across departments, which is not always easy to do, especially when you’re working in an environment like manufacturing. So much of your focus when it comes to direct materials and procurement has actually been managing it as a part of a larger business. What has been your approach? I’d like to have you kind of walk me through your strategy and how it’s been so effective for you.

Well, I think the first piece goes to, you know, putting in place data capture and KPIs and sort of designing what are the elements that you want to measure for evaluating your performance. And so, you know, when it comes to inventory or procurement side, you know, breaking your inventory into categories, you know, fast movers versus slow movers, you know, managing, you know, having the information to look at any particular SKU and see, you know, what’s moving, what’s not moving, and build that into a reporting system that, you know, gets looked at, you know, every week. You know, the purchasing director may be looking at that every day, but, you know, I would, you know, generally have a weekly staff meeting where everybody, you know, had their KPIs to report out on, and, you know, if everything was flowing smoothly and the numbers are going in the right direction, it was a relatively easy conversation. But if the numbers are not going in the right direction, there had to be some answers as to why, and there had to be accountability for actions to, you know, make corrections. But I think a lot of it flows from, you know, having the data available to be able to look at and evaluate how you’re performing on the numbers. If you don’t, you know, firm believer, if you don’t know your numbers, you can’t know your business. And then, you know, by doing that in a staff meeting, even at a top level, you know, over, I try to keep, never try to have a staff meeting go beyond an hour, where at least there’s an accountability process there that, you know, if it needs to be dealt with in more depth, it can be taken offline.

“But what it starts to do, I think, is also formulated appreciation between the different department heads for the challenges that each other is facing, and an opportunity. You know, that was one of the other rules of a staff meeting: try to keep things focused on what you know, in this conversation about those impacts, more than just you. If it’s just you, we take that outside the meeting. But if it’s something that impacts other departments that you bring that to the table, even if you are not quite sure how it’s going to impact the other departments, so that they can start to have a sensitivity to that and have a chance to comment. Because, again, I think going back to some of those formative lessons, having even at our Electronics, having a very professional, well high-functioning procurement Department, that at one point without communicating to the warehouse decided they were going to be driven to incentivize performance on inventory turns and carrying charges. So, without communicating to the warehouse, they went out and purchasing practices, and they started buying more frequently in smaller quantities, and you know, all of a sudden, without any warning, we started seeing the number of receipts going through the roof, almost doubling, and it just drove the cost in the warehouse up because all of our transaction volumes and labor requirements went up significantly. Now, it may still have made sense for the business if we’d had that conversation beforehand, but nobody had the conversation, so we didn’t know. And I think you assume in a large Professional Organization that those sorts of things happen, but you know, even in the best organizations, they don’t happen by themselves; they have to be orchestrated. And I think that’s the key: you have to make sure that there’s an appreciation across departmentally for the challenges in each other deal with and a respect to make sure that we all have an obligation to find the solution that’s best for the whole, not for any mental individual part.

Well, thank you for discussing how to create a process or effective cross-department communication with me, Dennis. Where would you like to send people to find you if they want to chat or learn more about you? I can be found pretty easily; I don’t think there are too many Dennis Garvey running around out there on LinkedIn, so you can find me on LinkedIn. That’s the primary social media platform I’m active on these days. So, if you missed anything, you can check out our show notes. You can find us by typing in “What the Duck?! Another Supply Chain Podcast” in Google to have optimal search results. Make sure to add “Another Supply Chain Podcast” to the end of your search to ensure you don’t miss a single episode. Make sure to follow this podcast and subscribe to us on YouTube. I’m @SarahScudder on LinkedIn and @SScudder on Twitter. This brings us to the end of another episode of “What the Duck?! Another Supply Chain Podcast.” I am your host, Sarah Scudder, and we’ll be back next week.