My Twenty years of Supply Chain Operations, Consulting and Business Management drew to a close in the Spring of 2014 as I elected to take a break from my career and invest 100% of my time into family. It’s been a fairly wild journey which consisted of operational roles in warehousing and logistics across Europe followed by a consulting and business management career that had me employed by companies headquartered in London, Paris, Virginia and Bangalore.
What did I miss during my sabbatical?…Well to start with, not very much! Increased responsibility in my corporate roles taught me a great deal about how large enterprises get stuff done, particularly my last four years in India. But I couldn’t help becoming frustrated at how my employers had largely traded agility for scale and despite some impressive growth results, could have achieved more if the innovation capital of their employees could have been better leveraged.
I missed customers. I’ve worked with many of Gartner ranked Top 25 Supply Chains and I missed being involved in major supply chain initiatives: Supply Chain Segmentation, Cost-to-Serve, Planning transformations and I was lucky to have played key roles in some of the few genuine end to end supply chain transformations that exist.
As the summer started drawing to a close and R&R cleared the fog, I woke up Monday August 18th with an answer: I missed helping customers, I wanted to be around innovators and be an innovator myself. I wanted to help large corporations bring back the agility needed to help themselves quickly implement the innovation that already exists within their own organizations. Bingo! Not 48 hours later and I entered into a dialogue with AIMMS, a company that is enabling innovation at half of Fortune’s Global Top 20.
AIMMS works exclusively with organizations and business divisions that already have a good understanding of the innovation that they wish to realize but are frustrated by the long odds of ever making their idea executable. AIMMS is one of the enablers to allow frustrated innovators to quickly transform ideas into business execution without the configuration constraints and compromises that are so necessary in major ERP implementations – they live side-by side with ERP.
AIMMS and its partners bring flexible tooling and supply chain knowledge on themes such as S&OP and Supply Chain Segmentation. AIMMS clients are able to get started quickly and soon realize that the flexibility of the tooling allows them to express their innovation and execute their differentiation as a source of competitive advantage. They create highly sophisticated optimization models that are unique to their business. AIMMS is a tool that allows them to differentiate without technology constraints and gives highly talented client analytics and optimization teams a toolset to rally around and expand across the supply chain as the team’s talent continues to grow.
When organizations want an industry standard solution that allows them to bring themselves closer to the level of the pack or duplicate a business area that is not and will not be a strategic differentiator, then they don’t call AIMMS. Instead, they call SAP or Oracle as their software and partners can do an outstanding job of bringing technology and industry templates to fruition. The organizations that look to AIMMS are seeking tooling and partners to quickly support the realization of their particular secret sauce in an area of their business that they may not wish to share with the industry.
To top it off, AIMMS as a company positively encourages innovation and the talented workforce is fully engaged in innovation and great suggestions are acted upon and implemented quickly – they eat their own dog food. Having met the team I’ve been humbled by the depth of talent and the opportunity to re-sharpen my own innovational capabilities.
So there it is. A story of learning, digesting and creating the opportunity to learn again.
Of course I accepted the job at AIMMS – who wouldn’t want to be back in the business of innovation.
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