Podcasts are one of my favorite ways of learning, especially when driving. If you obey the laws of statistics, that is probably true for you too. There are quite a few podcasts about supply chain management and some of these focus on optimization, in some way and to varying degrees.
Here are my top 3 favorites at the moment. Before we get to the list, let me give you a short description of my selection criteria.
What makes a supply chain optimization podcast great?
First and foremost, I want to learn about real-life solutions to actual supply chain optimization challenges. It could even be about failed attempts at solving some problem – those hold great learning potential. Since people prefer to talk about successes, however, it is unfortunately very rare to find lessons from failures in podcasts.
I want solution details but also the big picture: why did this solution make sense from a strategic perspective? How did it improve the business, customer satisfaction, profitability? How was the human element taken into account and how did the company and/or provider manage to implement the solution effectively?
Trend discussion can be great too, if they are specific and actionable. For example, digging into what DDMRP means and why it’s going to matter in the future is infinitely more valuable than someone stating that “artificial intelligence is going to have a big impact on supply chain management” and leaving it at that.
Most podcasts use the guest interview format. I prefer a good mix of supply chain leaders, industry analysts, consultants, practitioners, and optimization experts at the guest microphone. Specific podcasts may do more of one than the other of course and that is fine, as long as the guests have a good story to tell.
Production quality is usually fine across most podcasts, although there are a few where even the host audio is bad. That means the content quality demands go up if the odds of me continuing to listen are to remain unchanged. They are just harder to enjoy – so please, podcasters, get your pop-filters and such in order. There are excellent supply chains for those.
And the winners are…
Without further ado, as they say – here are the top three supply chain podcasts for the SC optimization enthusiast.
Number 3: Let’s talk Supply Chain
This one is pretty heavy on providers, but mostly in a good way. For example, episode 67 of season 2 featured Amjad Hussain, CEO of Algo, talking in some depth about their SaaS offerings that employ deep learning. Good stuff. Hosted by Sarah Barnes Humphrey, episodes relevant for supply chain optimization are far between. But there are some good ones if you care to search a bit, so the #3 spot goes to Let’s Talk Supply Chain.
Number 2: Supply Chain Next
Hosted by Requis co-founder Richard Donaldson, this podcast features interviews with big names in SCM like Daniel Stanton, author of “Supply Chain Management for Dummies”, and John Gattorna. The recent episode with Lora Cecere was enlightening; she talked about AI and predictive analytics within a deep strategic mindset. Speaking of – Lora’s own podcast, Supply Chain Insights, is excellent. The only reason it didn’t make this list is because it seems to be on hiatus, since June 2018.
This podcast is not focused on optimization but it still takes the #2 spot. It is relatively new and I’m hoping for more AI/optimization content to come.
Number 1: The Digital Supply Chain
Our number one is hosted by “SAP innovation evangelist” Tom Raftery, so you can kind of guess what most of the topics will cluster around. But it’s not all SAP and even those episodes where the guest is a SAP leader, the discussions tend to be pretty general and useful. For example, check out the IoT/edge computing with Elvira Wallis. The recent episode with Lorcan Sheehan of Performansc was “SAP free” and the discussion about risk and resilience improvements in this COVID-19 era was enlightening. Tom is a great host and most of the episodes are interesting, even if many are not directly about supply chain optimization.
So there we go. Three great SCM podcasts to stimulate your optimization impulses.
Did I miss a podcast that you think belongs on this list? Let me know!
Bonus podcast for vikings
If you happen to be a Danish speaker, or you enjoy podcasts that you can’t understand a word of, here is a bonus podcast for you: the Supply Chain Leaders podcast by Dorthe Finne. Brand new, only three episodes so far – but so far so good!
Now why don’t you make yourself a warm cup of coffee or tea and enjoy an episode or two of one of these nice podcasts. I think I will.