What is going on with the supply chain? + 9 Tips on using software when presenting

Over the last few weeks, I’ve given a brief presentation to my customers on what is going on with our supply chain. Albeit, a simplified version, but if you want to sound smart at the Thanksgiving table this year it will be worth having a simplified understanding. Also, this week in my Toastmaster’s club, I have to give a speech using some form of software. After the supply chain summary, I’ll share a copy of the presentation + explain why it is formatted the way it is.

  • Increased spending on goods vs. services / experiences. Squeezing supply.
  • The global supply chain is a complex network that is delicately balanced, any kink in the chain has far reaching ripple effects. Part of the fragility comes from the over-optimized “just in time” production practices.
  • Major supply drivers: factory shut downs, port labor, flight reductions, container ship challenges.
    • Factory Shut Downs
      • Factories have had a tough time managing outbreaks. This leads to bottlenecks in production. If upstream manufacturer is delayed this cascades downstream.
    • Labor
      • Some ports have also experience shut downs, and most have labor restrictions to prevent outbreaks.
      • Anecdote: father has been a truck driver for 40 years. He told me how it has never been so tough to fill openings + workforce is old, having trouble hiring young truckers.
    • Flight reductions
      • 50% of air cargo flies on passenger flights. With international travel reduced there was a reduction in air cargo.
    • Cargo Ship Challenges
      • Each delay compounds and means containers are not traveling to their next destination.
      • Ocean freight demand continues to outpace capacity.
  • Net impact:
    • Sharp shipping and production price increases, shortages and massive delays.

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9 Tips on using software when presenting:

  1. Don’t write your script on your slides.
  2. Use a thoughtful image or data set that will enhance your words.
  3. Keep whitespace on your slides (do not to over-crowd it). This increases legibility.
  4. If in person, don’t turn your back to your audience by looking back at your slide.
  5. When you do include text, keep it brief & large. Use one font per slide when you have text.
  6. Test the software you are using ahead of time. If it in person, set up early. If it is online, practice sharing over whatever platform you will be using a head of time.
  7. Consider using a blank slide when you want the viewer to focus all their attention on you and/or to build up to the next slide where you want to bring their attention.
  8. In Summary: software should enhance the speech, inform the audience, have the same template throughout, use complementary colors, include white space, one basic font, and contains high-quality images when used.
  9. Lastly, specific to virtual presentations, check out Seth Godin’s equipment / tips for being better on zoom. Personally, I recently started incorporating an LED light & logitech camera. Both have made a tremendous difference.

The slide deck I will be using during Toastmasters can be found here. Not included are the recommended solutions my company will be following. Two useful resources I have found on the topic of supply chain lately include Huntsman & Sal Mercogliano.

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