Jeff Metersky talks about decisioning; the risks in using your gut; embracing a VUCA world; and why GAINS is putting a focus on configuration and optimization.

385: Make The Right Decisions For Your Supply Chain, with GAINS

Today I’m joined, for the second time, by GAINS – a long-standing supply chain tech company that is on a mission to democratize supply chain planning, with a platform that helps businesses large and small to move forward faster with greater agility, resilience, confidence, and sustainability.

GAINS is the supply chain performance optimization company. Its platform drives faster, smarter decisions everywhere inventory matters. So, with GAINS, supply chain teams can make all the right decisions – at speed and scale – to right-size inventory, strengthen performance, and fulfill customer promises.

Today Jeff Metersky, Vice President of Solution Strategy at GAINS, joins me to talk all about decision-making in supply chain. We’re going to dive into exactly what decisioning looks like across the industry right now; the risks inherent in taking an intuitive approach; embracing volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity; and how GAINS is driving better decision-making for its clients by putting a focus on configuration and optimization.

Guest Bio:

With over 35 years of experience in applying advanced analytics to improve supply chain performance, Jeff is a passionate and seasoned leader in the field of supply chain design and optimization. He has helped hundreds of organizations across various industries and geographies adopt and implement supply chain design and planning principles and technologies, delivering value and impact on their bottom line and competitive edge. As the VP of Solution Strategy at GAINS, Jeff leverages his extensive industry, software, and consulting background to enhance the strategy, positioning, and vision of GAINS’ solutions, which enable data-driven decision-making and continuous improvement for supply chain operations. He also builds and mentors a high-performing team of consultants and analysts, who provide best-in-class services and support to GAINS clients. Jeff enjoys sharing his knowledge and insights with the wider supply chain community, through speaking engagements, publications, and partnerships with professional organizations and universities, and his mission is to evangelize the need and the benefits of developing supply chain design and advanced analytics competencies in today’s dynamic and complex business environment.




[06.54] An introduction to Jeff, his 35 years of supply chain experience, and his role at GAINS.

[08.07] An introduction to supply chain design – what it means, how it’s changed, and why supply chain professionals are putting a greater focus on supply chain design than ever before.

“Classically, people have thought about supply chain design as strategic network design, and it’s been all about infrastructure. But design is also really about the policies that govern and guide planning and execution… it’s more of an ongoing continuous process.”

[10.05] Why the pandemic showed that, as an industry, we were neither equipped for disruption, nor set up for agile, strategic, effective decision-making.

“If you look at the supply chain planning processes that have existed for the last 30+ years – they were developed in an environment where things were relatively stable, and relatively predictable. Supply chains were short, not as global in nature or as interconnected.”

[11.54] Why supply chain professionals often lean towards making decisions with gut instinct, and the risks inherent in this approach.

“Complexities of supply chain have grown tremendously… but humans make decisions intuitively because we simplify things – we look for patterns and assume that our past actions and performance hold true today.”

[15.18] A closer look at what typical decision-making in supply chain currently looks like.

“People talk a lot about processes – we really should be talking about the decisions we’re making.”

[17.21] Why supply chain decision-making needs to improve, and why organizations have been trapped in an environment of stagnation.

[19.35] Why we’re living in a VUCA world, and what that means to organizations as well as to the industry.

“There’s more disruption, more uncertainty, more complexity in our supply chains – but we’re still using old techniques to solve them.”

[24.21] Why the age of building supply chains around cost is over; why resilience has taken center stage; and how organizations are balancing their many and varied considerations and objectives to change that focus.

“Cost is the number one driver in our decision-making, and it’s no longer efficient.”

[29.53] The importance of having a CORE mindset, and putting a focus on configuration and optimization, rather than responsive execution.

[34.39] Why taking a CORE approach will start to change the industry and take it into the future.

[35.49] The ideal client for GAINS.

[39.03] Jeff’s final words on developing better decisioning and reducing variability across supply chain.




Head over to GAINS’ website now to find out more and discover how they could help you too. You can also connect with GAINS and keep up to date with the latest over on LinkedIn or X (Twitter) or you can connect with Jeff on LinkedIn.

If you want to hear more from GAINS, check out episode 374: Achieve Supply Chain Optimization In Record Time, with GAINS, where co-founder Bill Benton talks all about GAINS, its evolution over the years and vision for the future; how supply chain decision-making has changed; the impact of machine learning and AI on the industry; and why GAINS is committed to democratizing supply chain.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

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