As an engineer, Tim Gray was frequently frustrated by the failure of companies’ supply chains, so he came up with a solution!
What’s your story?
I undertook an Engineering degree and worked in the field for many years. I kept seeing companies struggling with blind spots in their supply chain – they couldn’t see which problems would disrupt their ability to best supply their customers. So I decided to design a solution set that would liberate manufacturers from their blind spots and give their team true clarity and control of their supply priorities and consequences of their planning choices.
What excites you most about your industry?
We liberate our clients.
When we help our clients transition from having siloed and reactive supply chains, through to informed and synchronised supply chains their operations become harmonised with their customers needs and they begin to dominate their market.
Our clients literally go from being weighed down and smashed, to becoming liberated as they begin to see repeatable ways they can provide their customers with impeccable service.
What drives you in business to push beyond what other people consider normal?
I know how hard it can be to work in businesses where the processes and systems are not designed to keep you supplied with the information you need to do your job.
In every engagement we put our heart, our soul and our reputation in to ensuring our clients have access to the best information when they need it, in the format they need it. The result is that they can make faster, more informed decisions.
What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?
When facilitating improvement we must spend time to listen to and observe our clients’ issues. We must ensure that our clients know that we have heard them and we understand and are working with them.
Sometimes the best thing we can do is to lead and demonstrate a way forward.
Knowing when to do, and when to listen, is both an art and a learned skill.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
If you can’t explain your clients problem simply, then you don’t understand their problems well enough yet.
Who inspires you?
His ability to summarise complex decisions, capture the situations in visual drawings, and then use these drawings to choreograph awareness and understanding in his audience is sublime.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
If you spend just a few minutes a day planning what your future self will be doing, you will be that person before you know it.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Spend less time on telling myself what I wasn’t good at, and spend more time on focusing on what was important for me to be doing.
How do you unwind?
Fishing! I love to get out on the water and try to land a nice catch for dinner. I also enjoy getting recipe inspiration from Masterchef and spending Saturday nights cooking up a lush menu for friends and family. We often entertain at home and no two dinner parties are ever the same (though they do generally end with a nice single malt!)
What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your business?
I used to believe that having software optimised operations was the end game for any business. I now know this was naïve. Optimisation is a tool, not king. Despite the marketing hype associated with AI and machine learning, algorithms can only solve problems with the data they have and solve to the targets they are given. Planners still need situational awareness which is more subtle and nuanced than the binary inputs required, so it is imperative for them to see and manage the consequences of their planning and scheduling choices in real time.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Planning 4.0 – Beyond the Digital Revolution – Tim Gray.
Shameless plug for your business:
Prophit Systems develops and implements the best manufacturing supply chain management software in the world. Our Prophit Impact System ensures your business will move from chaos and reactive through to optimised. Our systems pay for themselves within 12 months and the ROI typically exceeds 450%. Having our systems is like having google maps for your business decisions. You see every supply pothole and decision pitfall before you’re in it, and the consequence of every choice you make, so you can serve your customers impeccably, all the while optimising your cost to serve.
How can people connect with you?