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Dustin Johnson’s caddy and the crisis of historical data

Philip Vervloesem - November 20, 2020

Reading time: 2 min

Dustin Johnson’s caddy and the crisis of historical data

Many of you will have watched how Dustin Johnson won his first Masters title last Sunday. As usual, nerves of steel were needed to make it through that final round and become part of history. And the course looked amazing again, despite the absence of azaleas. Yet the circumstances were definitely different due to COVID-19. It happened much later in the year than usual, without fans, and without much cheering.

All this had a significant impact. While most of the senior caddies there had a track record of many years drawing out lines on the green to guide the pros to their million-dollar shot, the years of experience were of little use this time around. The conditions were different than previous years: the weather, the flowers in bloom, the temperature, basically everything that could influence a putt. The caddies needed to be agile to capture as much relevant data and information as they could, based on just a few hours experience. An unprecedented challenge, to be sure.


Responding instantly to (supply chain) events

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Accelerated planning cycles

This is exactly what is happening in supply chain planning too. Current circumstances have no precedent and you can’t just rely on historical numbers. COVID-19 is accelerating the trend of planning cycles becoming much shorter. Planning solutions need to respond instantly to events, carefully balancing all options with a clear view on the financial impact. That requires all planning layers and planning stages to be in unison all the time.

What does this mean in practice? Your response to events as they happen might impact plans that were set for the next few weeks or even months, depending on how extreme the events are. It is therefore essential to synchronize the cadence of planning so that your tactical, operational and execution plans remain reality-based.

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Synchronizing all planning activities

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That is precisely the promise of OMP’s Unison PlanningTM solution, with its embedded cloud-based architecture and its AI engines driving intelligence. The solution provides visibility and concurrency between what’s happening on the upstream side, in collaboration with suppliers, and downstream activities in manufacturing, delivery and demand. This dual synchronization means that you’re not forced to just rely on history, and that you can respond instantly to the risks and opportunities you’re facing.

Unison Planning solution

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As a golfer still needing to break the 80 barrier, I can’t afford a caddy with a track record like Dustin’s. But today’s situation would have put me on an equal footing, at least as far as access to historic data is concerned. Skills, of course, are an entirely different matter.

Want to learn how AI-based planning can handle unprecedented situations?

Philip Vervloesem

Senior Vice President OMP USA


With 22 years’ supply chain digital transformation experience in a whole range of industries, Philip currently leads OMP’s business and market development globally while heading up the company’s US operations. Focusing on vision, strategy, and global community building, Philip has a proven history of boundary stretching and thought leadership in supply chain planning innovation, building new markets, and growing and supporting high-performing teams on both sides of the Atlantic.

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