Develop a decisive eye for inventory red flags.

Welcome supply chain professional. I would like to talk about capturing that decisive moment in time when you make that first tour through an inventory center when you take on a new responsibility, or maybe even the regular workplace walkthrough of the receiving and warehouse you make on MBWA (management by walking around) treks.

My wife is a professional photographer; she has an eye for capturing the “decisive moment” with a model, on a nature shoot, or covering an event. She is of course good at managing the business aspects of being a photographer, as well as an expert in color management, composition, and a skilled technician with the gear and talented at making a connection with people. But what differentiates her from the very high performing amateurs is that ability to spot and capture the fleeting moment something turns a photo into a story.

CDR Gary Rakes, MSC, USN (Ret.) is the VP of Supply Chain for Aspirus, Inc. in Wausau Wisconsin; Gary coined the supply chain careism “we fill the hands that heal.” In fact, I knew him to paint those inspiring words over the door to warehouse locations he manages. Gary taught me that being able to conduct a red-flag style assessment of receiving and inventory locations is a high reliability approach to diagnosing urgent areas for key improvement in the inventory fulfillment process that fuels his mission to fill the healing hands with life-saving supplies and equipment. This makes sense since these areas are early upstream locations in the care site demand string.

To help develop a professional’s eye for the decisive moments of receiving and inventory assessment take a look at the featured image for this post to find a  simple mind map for 10 Inventory Warning Signals.

I am very interested in your thoughts on inventory assessment so please leave a comment, please hit the “follow” button so we will be sure to meet again in upcoming posts, and as always… keep filling the hands that heal!



  1. Doug Rees · February 7, 2016

    I like the simplicity attached to this post, it is a great starting point and I think we’ve all seen the opportunities created by focusing on the simple first. Nice graphic. I look forward to reading and in my head, hearing your voice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. barbara balatico · February 9, 2016

    “To help develop a professional’s eye for the decisive moments of receiving” are words to live by.. whether scm or in life as the signals are there but do we see them, take the time to register the meaning and act. Well done my friend!

    Liked by 2 people

    • outsideinsupplychain · February 9, 2016

      Thank you Barb, you certainly demonstrate an ability to capture the decisive moment. You have that nailed.


  3. Pingback: 5 things you need to know for quick-hit supply chain operational savings | N=5

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