April 11, 2019
Industry Summit Hot Topic: No Room for Weak Links
Weak links can exist anywhere. Andy calls in sick, and while Alex is on the job, she isn’t trained to cover Andy’s duties. Neither one of these people would be considered the weak link, rather it’s the lack of a procedure in place to have someone instantly step in and adequately cover Andy’s tasks while he’s out. Or maybe it’s that no one was cross-trained in tasks beyond their primary job.
Nowhere can a weak link be more costly than in an industry’s supply chain. Our industry’s own .22 rimfire ammo shortage a few years ago is a prime example. The ripple effect was wide. Retailers couldn’t get the ammo, which meant customers couldn’t shoot their favorite and most economical cartridge. But it also meant that customers weren’t buying firearms chambered in .22 or attending rimfire competitions or teaching a new generation of youngsters to shoot or even just heading to the back 40 to plink at some old tin cans.
Today, with .22 ammo in ample supply again, some will simply shrug and say that, like most things, it all came to pass. But a look at today’s consumer buying habits tells a different story: The most pressing problem with supply chain failures, increased competition and the age of Amazon instant satisfaction is that if you can’t deliver to the front-line customer, right now, they will move on to something else and you may very well never recapture their attention (or dollars).
Few understand the ramifications of supply chain breakdown more thoroughly than Vincent Boles, who will be presenting the session “Leveraging the Links in Your Supply Chain” during the 2019 NSSF Industry Summit. Boles was commissioned from the ARMY ROTC program at Niagara University as a Distinguished Military Graduate in 1976. He served in a variety of assignments over a 33-year career, to include command at every possible level and a number of combat deployments. His final Army assignment was as the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, G4, on the Army staff in the Pentagon, where he oversaw Logistics Operations and Readiness for the 1.1 million soldier force to include the surges into Iraq and Afghanistan.
Boles retired in 2009 with the rank of Major General, and today he runs Vincent E. Boles, Inc., a leadership and logistics consulting practice with dozens of high-profile clients such as Fidelity, USAA, Ernst and Young, AIG, The United States Secret Service and The Boy Scouts of America. He lends his vast experience to his Industry Summit seminar, where attendees will discover why four critical issues can sink or swim a supply chain of any complexity and size, including standards, the systems in place to support them, the people in charge of intersecting process points and metrics that divulge where things are running smoothly — or not. Most important, lessons to be learned can be applied across the spectrum of manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler or retailer, and regardless of operational scope.
Registration for the 2019 Industry Summit is now open, and Boles is just one of many dynamic speakers scheduled to address our industry’s decision makers. Don’t miss out, reserve your seat now. As a reminder, early bird pricing for the Summit is in effect through June 1, and those who complete their hotel room reservations at our host hotel, the Cheyenne Mountain Resort, by May 11 also receive a discounted rate.