Supply Chain Personae - Lecture 2.1

A supply chain “persona” is a fictitious company. Yet, while the company is fictive, this fiction is engineered to outline what deserves attention from a supply chain perspective. However, the persona is not idealized in the sense of simplifying the supply chain challenges. On the contrary, the intent is to magnify the most challenging aspects of the situation, the aspects that will most stubbornly resist any attempt at quantitative modelling and any attempt piloting an initiative to improve the supply chain.

In supply chain, case studies - when one or several parties are named - suffer from severe conflicts of interest. Companies, and their supporting vendors (software, consulting), have a vested interest in presenting the outcome under a positive light. Moreover, actual supply chains typically suffer or benefit from accidental conditions that have nothing to do with the quality of their execution. The supply chain personae are the methodological answer to those issues.


  • An introduction to the study of Experimental Medicine, Claude Bernard, 1865
  • The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win, Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, George Spafford, 2013
  • Unsupervised Machine Translation Using Monolingual Corpora Only, Guillaume Lample, Alexis Conneau, Ludovic Denoyer, Marc’Aurelio Ranzato, 2018


00:00 Introduction

11:19 The story so far

13:39 Supply Chain Experiments?

19:21 Experimental methods: against case studies

20:50 On Big Names

28:14 On Taboos

35:03 On Job Prospects

37:51 On Pseudo-neutrality

42:59 On Vendors

45:57 Experimental methods: pro personae

46:54 Fiction vs Reality

52:19 Crafting a supply chain persona

55:26 Rejection criteria

01:02:33 Problem vs Solution, 1/3

01:08:53 Problem vs Solution, 2/3

01:11:41 Problem vs Solution, 3/3

01:16:13 Upcoming personae

01:17:06 Conclusion

01:18:29 Supply Chain Personae - Questions?