The NFL Draft drew in sports and supply chain fans a like to see which teams were gaining its newest members.
The NFL drafting process is simply a supply chain. Each year, NFL coaches are given to opportunity to re-evaluate their teams and make needed changes to fill skill needs and position gaps. While coaches start preparing in January, it's a never ending process for office personnel, team managers and associates.
Coaches go through player interviews, the NFL combine, stats, scouting and background checks to form a baseline of each potential pick. While it may seem excessive, supply chain managers are doing the same thing by scanning their field and searching for players who can execute "game winning plans." Just like for talented football players, skilled supply chain managers are hard to find, stakeholders have varied interests, disruptions are a threat and the constraints they work under are constantly changing.
Look at this way: colleges are the suppliers and players are the products. The NFL personnel experts act as procurement managers as they not only "buy" player segmentation strategies, but they're also doing it while trying satisfying stakeholders (the ownership, coaches and fans). The NFL personnel experts are saddled with budgets and have to take into account of a risk quotient. To round up this process, there's actual profitability of the player to consider. Will they deliver significant, additive, bottomline impacts to the supply chain.
With so much data available for the NFL draft, predictions are often wrong while supply chain managers get it right, at least it seems that way.
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