In the fast-paced and ever-evolving world of supply chain management, it takes a keen and innovative mind to navigate the complexities of today’s global marketplace. Today we welcome Randy Wallets, Algo’s Consumer Brands and CPG SI & OP expert, as he sheds light on the transformative power of scientific thinking in revolutionizing supply chain business strategies.

A Journey of Supply Chain Evolution

For almost 20 years, I’ve been part of the supply chain world, witnessing how things have shifted and evolved throughout the years. I began by loading trucks and figuring out routes using paper maps and written logs. Back then, we had to be careful about drive times and work hours to stay within regulations 😊. Times certainly have definitely changed and now most of these processes are digital and tracked automatically.

Supply chains are like complicated puzzles, and no two are the same. These days, I spend my time helping global organizations understand the opportunities and risks in their own supply chains. I’ve been lucky to work with different organizations in various industries, which gives me a unique viewpoint.

Deciphering the Supply Chain Puzzle

When looking at today’s supply chain world, I read an article about Amazon. It said, “Amazon is set to deliver 5.9 billion packages this year—more than UPS or FedEx.” If someone told me this 20 years ago when I was ordering books from Amazon, I wouldn’t have believed it. Amazon has done things people questioned because they think differently and have diverse teams. It’s their fearless embrace of diversity and their willingness to experiment with new tools, technologies, and ideas. Most importantly, they are unafraid of failure, quickly moving on from setbacks in their relentless pursuit of innovation.

Science has given us a similar framework that Amazon uses as a way to work through problems, and everyone learns about it at some point. It’s called the scientific method.

Amazon’s approach bears resemblance to the scientific method, a framework that has proven invaluable for problem-solving:

  1. Ask A Question: Questions like How, What, When, Who, Which, Why, or Where are at the core.
  2. Do Background Research: Today, technology and data are just a click away, making research more accessible than ever.
  3. Construct a Hypothesis: This is akin to stating, “If I do this, then this will happen.”
  4. Test your Hypothesis: Rigorous testing involves changing one variable at a time while keeping everything else constant. Repeating experiments for confirmation is key.
  5. Analyze your data and draw your conclusions: The final step involves scrutinizing measurements to determine if they align with the initial hypothesis.

Throughout my career, I’ve applied the scientific method in various scenarios—analyzing regional trends for product assortment, experimenting with color-coded labels to simplify the shopping experience, and optimizing corrugate assortments to minimize store labor. Not every endeavor resulted in success, but each presented a valuable learning opportunity.

If the scientific method has proven beneficial in various aspects of life, why not adapt and embrace it more within the realm of business? Could this scientific thinking be the powerful tool we need to unearth new ideas and tackle complex problems?

Let’s bring more of this scientific thinking into our business world! 🚀🌍

SupplyChainExploration ScientificThinking InnovationInBusiness #SupplyChainAI

About the author

algo company logo on purple background


Combining human centered AI with deep domain expertise, Algo’s analytics enriched supply chain intelligence platform helps suppliers and retailers plan, collaborate, simulate and execute a more efficient supply chain.

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