Thursday, 19 July 2012

The Logistics of Contraception (18)


Swiss Toni (click for video)

In my university years there was a television programme called The Fast Show which I fondly remember as the funniest show on television.  One of the characters was Swiss Toni, he was a car salesman but he was always comparing life to “making love to a beautiful woman”.

Now I don’t want to categorize myself as a Swiss Tony but Logistics is alot like contraception. (oh no where is he going with this)  Yes, good logistics prevents you from running out of “stuff” in the same way contraception prevents you from having a baby.  Sure there are many ways to do it but having a system is the best way forward.  Not all systems are a like.
"top drawer or bottom drawer?"
I mean notionally it is a system to be scrabbling around in your bedside draw for a condom in the half light of your boudoir but it’s not what you were hoping for and it can get a little stressful if they are not quite where you expected.  There are systems which you can use such as pills, injections (for both sexes - no sexism here) which means thinking ahead, discipline but a lot less draw scrabbling.

The thing is you have to maintain the integrity of the system, it is no good sporadically taking a contraceptive pill expecting it to have a prophylactic effect.  In fact even one missed pill can be a recipe for parenthood.  If you don’t follow the system throughout your love life you will still find yourself scrabbling around for condoms in the half light but with less practice.

In the same way if you are building a logistics or supply chain system it needs to be harmonized across all your operations.  It is quite easy to designate an operation as different or special but in reality you doom that operation to be the thorn in your side.  It will be run with processes that people are not used to and will potentially create confusion for all your operations and lead to people creating their own little bespoke systems.  Harmonizing across operations of different characteristics can be tough particularly in remote, austere or post conflict settings as there are so many variables but unless you want to find yourself metaphorically scrabbling in a bedside draw in the half light trying to preserve the romance of the moment you need to do it.

The Logistics project can’t help you with your contraception and this blog in no way constitutes medically sound advice but should you need your systems harmonized, drop us a line! 

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