In February in the States is when baseball spring training begins. On the first day of training, all of the players congregate to practice in anticipation of a successful season. Even though all of these athletes have been playing baseball for most of their lives, they still start the season with spring training. This includes endless drills of warming up, throwing, catching, pitching, running, stretching, hitting, and more. Anyone who has ever played a sport will tell you it’s all about the fundamentals and such drills help to maintain them.
So why as a supply chain professional am I talking about baseball and spring training? Well, because like athletes, every professional needs to go back to the fundamentals. My boss tells me “if you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got”. Therefore, is what you’re getting good enough? Could you be doing things better, smarter? The answer is yes. Then, why not take a time out and go back to your basics?
At least once a year I try to attend an IBF event. Going to an IBF conference allows me the time to step back and think about some of those fundamentals. It helps me to reestablish those ideas and concepts that I may have forgotten. It allows me to hear from professionals who are not just “doing what they’ve always done “. But, hear from professionals sharing knowledge from newly improved processes, ideas, concepts, and techniques that work for them. At every IBF conference I take numerous pages of notes, trying to capture the essence of each presentation. I talk, connect and meet so many like minded folks, which is one of the best parts of attending. Many of these connections have become lifetime friends too. It’s learning, sharing and advancing, IBF’s new motto in just a few days. And when I return back to the office, I then try to think of that golden nugget, that game changing idea which can make all the difference in my process. For me personally, the IBF value has been instrumental and crucial to my knowledge and career.
And, that is why I am looking forward to attending the upcoming annual conference in Scottsdale Arizona. I highly recommend it to any demand planning, forecasting, S&OP, analytics, and supply chain professional. Also, the IBF is so much more than a conference producing organization. It is the one stop for a complete body of knowledge in this industry that includes:
- Conferences/ Tutorials
- On-line Training
- In-house training
- Chapter Meetings/ Webinars
- Benchmarking Reports
- Publication — Journal of Business Forecasting (JBF)
- Industry leading books
and so much more!
Again, it’s about maintaining the fundamentals, which I will be speaking on as a presenter in Scottsdale Arizona at the end of this month. Specifically, “Improving Demand Planning Performance.” Hopefully, I’ll get to connect with you there!
Take the time as it’s time for some spring training ….
Collaboration Planning Manager
Wells Enterprises, Inc.