• Operations Rx

Supply Chain- Footprints and Fingerprints

Updated: May 4, 2020

Supply Chain has experienced an exponential growth in technological capabilities. The ability to analyze and process transactions is mind blowing. Our ability to access data at unprecedented granularity should position Supply Chain professionals to better manage their business.  In many cases, companies plateau or experience only small incremental improvements due to missing the mark on usage of these processes and data.


Oftentimes, there is analysis paralysis or competing objectives that drive inefficient use of the tools and data to achieve meaningful improvements to a business.  This is where the concept of footprints and fingerprints comes in.  We can apply the most sophisticated algorithm known to man to any analysis, but the bottom line is we create efficiency and improve profitability by reducing the number of touches (fingerprints) and distance traveled for a given set of activities (footprints).  Using this approach as our guiding principle we can start by asking, “does a process or dataset lead us to conclusions that reduce footprints or fingerprints?”


When you apply this approach, conversations around strategy and processes can be easily understood throughout all levels of an organization.  Interrogation of data and processes can now focus on business drivers that improve overall company profitability since you are driving efficiencies based on actual movements within the Supply Chain.