Conclusions and Applications of Sun Tzu Today
Sun Tzu provides a commonsense approach to leadership and supply chains. His words are as true today as they were 2,500 years ago when they were first written. Sun Tzu tells us that we must know ourselves. Getting out of the office and seeing what is really happening in our supply chains is the best way to accomplish this. You must also develop a detailed process map of your processes, which will give you a good tool for training your employees, as well as improving your supply chain and customer service. Know yourself and know your processes and you will be successful in supply chain leadership.
Throughout The Art of War, Sun Tzu lists the qualities of leaders and gives examples as to how leaders should act. He reminds us that supply chain leaders are truly the key to the success or ruin of a corporation.
When the successful supply chain leader discovers a problem, or a plan does not proceed as expected, Sun Tzu says an After Action Review should be conducted to determine why the plan didn't work.
Finally, what Sun Tzu shows us through his ancient writings is that, as far as we have come in the past 2,500 years with technologies and customer demands for faster service, the basics of leadership and root cause analysis for problems will still lead you to the top.
Colonel Joseph Walden, a CPIM in the U.S. Army, speaks extensively on supply chain management, including speaking at The Logistics & Supply Chain Forum.