30 minutes later, and the miracle that should have turned the pile of tracks, connectors, glass shades and spot lights into the beautiful ceiling fixture pictured on the box was yet to happen.
By now, the instructions had become a source of provocation. What the leaflet should really have said was: we have supplied you with screws and wall plugs but, chances are, they will not be suitable for your type of ceiling. And check the tracks carefully, as you will probably need to reassemble them correctly before use.
Finally, there should be a warning saying: ensure you buy a spare connector as you are bound to damage the one included here during your repeated attempts at assembling this light fitting.
Anyone supporting you in the implementation of a new supply chain planning process owes you the same honesty and clarity.
Sure, some people will design your new demand planning process upfront with a series of very pretty flowcharts. Or they will extensively document each step of your new sales and operations planning process. But that's just the instructions leaflet.
How will you deal with a colleague who is obstructing the changes you are driving through the business? How will you adapt the new process when you discover some insurmountable IT obstacles? How will you evolve the process when helpful suppliers present you with unexpected opportunities?
The support you will really appreciate is the on the ground: support during the testing times of your process implementation. Thanks for the instructions leaflet, now get me a real electrician on the phone.
Hugh Williams is founder of supply chain planning specialist consultancy Hughenden. www.HughendenConsulting.com