Ashley Yentz talks about failed 2023 predictions; supply chain complexity; visbility, agility & planning; cybersecurity; & why AI is only as good as your data.

382: Failed Predictions, Bananas and a Supercharged Supply Chain

Last month on the show, we showcased a recent episode of Thoughts and Coffee, and it was so much fun, we’re doing it again!

This week, I was joined by good friend of the show, and VP and Supply Chain Strategist at Sleep Number Corporation, Ashley Yentz.

Ashley and I sat down to talk about some of the ways organizations can level up, create visibility, achieve agility and drive sustainability in the supply chain. And we had fun looking back and reflecting on which of the big trends for 2023 came to fruition – and which did not.

So grab that essential cup of joe, and prepare to dive into ‘Failed Predictions, Bananas and a Supercharged Supply Chain!’




[08.22] From recent episodes to a brand new edition of The Monthly Hustle, an update on what’s happening at Let’s Talk Supply Chain.

[10.30] An introduction to Ashley Yentz, and the latest at Sleep Number.

[13.28] Sarah and Ashley discuss a recent Let’s Talk Supply Chain poll – “How frequently do you update your personal cyber security measures?”

“Cyber security in supply chain is vitally important… if our movement systems get hacked and freight stops moving, that causes recession, disruption – we need to be paying attention.”

[18.33] A market update – Ashley shares her perspective on the retail industry, from labor to capacity, and how disruption is impacting organizations’ operational strategies.

“We’re working on optimizing our network to take out costs while our rates fluctuate… we’re focused on capital efficiency, and looking at what the consumer really wants.”

[20.47] Sarah and Ashley dive into a recent article about the banana supply chain.

“The complexity of supply chain is so overlooked, and we all got a boost during the pandemic because people all of a sudden started caring about it!”

[27.32] Sarah and Ashley discuss a report that names the three key investment areas for retail as agility, sustainability and visibility.

“We’re more focused on orchestration and planning… if we think about agility and flexibility, we have to have the ability to see changes happening in real time – and that’s what visibility is.”

[31.55] Sarah and Ashley reflect on failed predictions for 2023, and the trends to look out for in 2024.

“AI and machine learning is so dependent on where you are, as an organization, with your data. It’s only as good as your data… so it’s been overpromising and under delivering.”

[35.14] An update on upcoming events.




If you enjoyed this episode and want to hear more from ‘the best 30 minutes on a Tuesday’, check out Thoughts and Coffee – where the best industry players discuss breaking supply chain news over a good old cup of Joe!

Plus, you can hear more from Ashley Yentz on her episode of our Women In Supply Chain™ series, 315: Women In Supply Chain™, Ashley Yentz.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

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