How do I get some ROSCO?

Over the millennia, supply chain – that ancient and magical art – has confounded common business folk.  Since the 26th Century BC, when Ramses “Bill” Khufu emailed his limestone supplier in China and found out its 45 day lead time was about to slip (with the launch of the Great Pyramid of Giza less than 6 weeks out!) and Bill’s grout supplier’s minimum order quantity meant that he was going to have to hold two dynasties worth of grout inventory, supply chain has mesmerized those not practiced in its mystical conjuring.  Bill realized he needed to optimize his material purchases with respect to his drachma budget (anachronistic and geographically inaccurate, I know) and his forecasted usage – and supply chain management was born.

With their storied history, it’s tempting to lump supply chain professionals in with the Da Vinci’s, Marie Curie’s and Harry Potter’s of history. But with a few simple steps Supply Chain ROSCO can demystify the process and help you on your way to optimized business operations.

Getting started…

How do I tell if I have a supply chain and how do I get rid of it?  If your company sells a thing that ends up at a customer, chances are you have a supply chain.  And while these supply chains tend to cost money, they are really hard to get rid of since they basically are the process by which you get those things and deliver them to your customers.  Don’t get rid of your supply chain.  Like those sans-a-belt bell bottoms in your closet that have come back into fashion, tailor your supply chain to fit your needs and wear it proudly.​

I own a small business and do all the purchasing and inventory management myself.  Why can’t I keep doing that?  For the same reason you wouldn’t wear an orange shirt to Home Depot.  Eventually you’re going to get tired of being asked questions that someone else should be answering.

If supply chain is so awesome, why haven’t there been any movies about it?  Excuse me? What do you think Scarface, Goodfellas and The Untouchables were about?  Mob movies are, in fact, supply chain movies. They are about organizations who need to optimize getting their products to their customers at the right price.

Okay, I’m sold.  I want one of those supply chains and I want it now.  How do I put one in my shopping cart and check out?​  Whoa, hold your bantha, young Padawan.  Just like your light saber, supply chains come in a variety of shapes and colors.  To find out if ROSCO is right for you, take the following ROSCO quiz.


1.    $500 million in gross revenue is:

a.    Someday… someday

b.    Last fiscal year

c.    Tuesday

Answer:  a.  Chances are, if you’re a medium-to-large company, you’ve got a capable supply chain guru lurking somewhere in your corridors.  If not, or if you’re a smaller company looking to break through, shoot me an email.

2.    “From stump to rump” describes:

a.    The toilet paper industry’s supply chain

b.    How a pirate measures his inseam

c.    The original title to Broadway’s “Hedwig And The Angry Inch”

Answer:  b.  or c.  Again, ROSCO is all about helping America’s backbone, the small business.  But if you are toilet paper or want to go where toilet paper is going, let me know.

3.    LBJ is:

a.    The 36th United States President

b.    The greatest basketball player of all time

c.    The second greatest basketball player of all time

Answer:  c.  This question is a sanity check.  Six for six in the Finals?  No one in the modern era will ever touch MJ.  By the way, if you chose a., congratulations, your dial up modem still works.

4.    A six sigma black belt might visit my company and say:

a.    Implement a kaizen event to optimize your workflow.

b.    That will be $400 per hour plus travel and lodging.

c.    Sweep the knee, Johnny.

Answer: c.  If you have no idea what six sigma black belt is, you’re in for a treat.  ROSCO thinks like one but doesn’t charge like one.

SCORING:  If you answered 0-4 questions correctly – Supply Chain ROSCO is right for you!  You can learn more here!


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