Monday Milestones #3 – Analytics “Sparked” by the SunDevil Trifecta

By Ron Williams July 19, 2021

The recent announcement of the unprecedented 3-peat as CodeLaunch Seed Accelerator semifinalists, wasn’t the only trifecta of events that has had a significant impact on the DucieClub journey.  There were three events from 2004-2005 that happened, while in Graduate School at Arizona State University (ASU), that sparked the thought processes and research behind some of the analytics of our “secret sauce”.

One event happened while I was listening to a guest speaker from Khimetrics.  The company that pioneered price optimization software for grocery stores/retailers and eventually was acquired by SAP.  During the presentation I thought back to my days at Texas A&M University, as an Industrial Distribution student, when our professor mentioned the difference in the amount of time it takes for new technologies/techniques to be adopted in the Business to Consumer (B2C) and the Business to Business (B2B) industries.  Having just left a successful B2B career to attend grad school, I saw where this new method of pricing products would impact other parts of the supply chain that weren’t ready for this movement.  This event started the proverbial clock in my head of just how long I had before the unintended and yet inevitable opportunities that would be created as this new technology and methodology was being adopted would come about.  Will say this much, this is one time showing up to and paying attention in class as an undergraduate and graduate student paid off.

Another event lasted just as long as it took for you to read this sentence.  Yep, it happened just that fast.  One sentence (more like a footnote) from one of our reading assignments filled in an important part of an equation to model a theory about how to proactively move massive amounts of inventory.  Theory came about a handful of years prior during a conversation about mutual funds with someone who worked for a very specialized company that created economic models and business cases for some of the world’s top companies.

Finally, an innocuous comment during a conversation about Honeywell’s company structure, gave much more clarity of how to quantify the low hanging fruit of the “black hole” of inventory in the B2C environment.  The comment about Honeywell pertained to something totally different in the world of B2C than in B2B. Not unusual for companies to be created and inspired from a tangential example of another company they would never compete with and/or in an entirely different industry and focus.  Our journey is no different in this regard as well.

The moniker, “LeBron James of the Supply Chain” was coined before it was mentioned in the CodeLauch DucieClub Blog Story.  It’s a great modern day example illustrating just how unusual and rare a  combination of skill sets and experiences in both B2B and B2C worlds I’ve acquired.  From cart attendant and delivery driver to working with and/or in various organization units all the way up to the CEO level, in both worlds.  All of which began at age 4.  Wasn’t until I attended Texas A&M that I would meet others that also were curious about the supply chain.  Even then there weren’t any I remember that had been mesmerized by inventory and all the moving parts it took for an item to go from conception to disposal and in some cases recycled, since they were 4 years old.  You can read more about how my intellectual curiosity about inventory was born in last week’s Monday Milestones #2 – Age 4 Introduction to Inventory.

Thanks for taking the time for reading my blog about the “Journey of a Lifetime” it has taken putting the pieces of the puzzle together forming DucieClub.  Of course don’t forget to comeback next week for the 4th installment of Monday Milestones.