In one of his many great books, The New Technology Elite, and in particular, Chapter 2, The “Industrialization” of Technology, highly noted enterprise software sage Vinnie Mirchandani mentions the superior global supply chain fulfillment capabilities of high tech and consumer electronics providers Apple and Hewlett Packard.

In one excerpt, Vinnie writes:

Apple raised the bar by showcasing a new product, guesstimating likely demand, and tuning its supply chain day by day and hour by hour.  It broke traditional rules of demand forecasting- because there was little historical data to forecast from for a version 1.0 iPod or iPhone or iPad.  It balanced the risk of overproducing or increasing buffer inventory and taking write-offs versus underproducing and losing customers to the next competitive product just a few weeks away.”

In a past discussion, Vinnie asked me why these highly recognized supply chains can consistently fulfill our endless customer orders for smartphones, tablets and laptops without a noticeable major interruption. I was honored that he invited me to pen a guest commentary to respond to the following question: Do these companies underpin their supply chains with traditional demand planning and forecasting techniques?

The answer is an obvious no.

Supply Chain Matters readers are welcomed to view my response guest commentary on the highly cited deal architect blog.

Bob Ferrari