I love Star Wars. The great thing about it is that it is an infinitely divisible piece of entertainment. There are so many ways to look at its story, characters, and themes that it boggles the mind. Today, I’d like to show how one of the best villains ever, Darth Vader, relates to something as seemingly boring as order management.
I have to admit that I’ve done this before. But that was a long time ago (in a blog far, far way) and this time I’m going to be even more ambitious by offering 15 Darth Vader quotes that directly tie into managing inventory. Let’s begin!
1. I’m here to put you back on schedule.
Darth Vader’s men might be more productive if they knew what they were supposed to be doing at all times (and if they didn’t have to line up and just stand around for hours on end every time a ranking officer pays a visit. Just saying). Planning jobs and doing them in the right order can help workers stick to a schedule. Also, having the right tools, such as barcode scanners and order management software, can speed up processes so you won’t fall behind schedule.
2. Commander, tear this ship apart until you find those plans!
You shouldn’t have to tear your warehouse apart looking for the right products. Whether you’re looking for astromech droids or kyber crystals, you should have a manifold somewhere that shows how many of them you have in stock and where they are located. Even better, you can use a wireless device to pick multiple orders in one go-around rather than having to do them one at a time. You don’t want to keep the Dark Lord waiting, after all.
3. Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve constructed.
Software and hardware can’t replace human ingenuity and hard work. Even the best order management system in the world is dependent on being properly set up and used in order to function properly. It’s up to you to make use of the tools you have rather than just hoping they’ll do the work for you. Otherwise, whenever problems arise you might start demanding someone else solve them for you, like C3PO: “Where is R2 when I need him!?”
4. The circle is now complete.
Think of your supply chain as a circle. You send purchase orders one direction to your vendors and they, in turn, send products in the opposite direction to you, which you receive into your warehouse. It’s a good idea to use order management software to track your orders and set up automatic reorder points so when products get below a specified level of quantity, the appropriate vendor will be alerted instantly.
5. Calculate every possible destination along their last known trajectory.
Use order management software to calculate how much inventory you will need at different times of year based on historical data about the “trajectory” of seasonal sales trends. This can get your business moving at light speed compared to how fast it was moving before.
6. If he could be turned, he will become a powerful ally.
Mastering your inventory turnover ratio can make your business powerful. If you’re able to sell all of your products and replenish them at the same rate so you’re not overstocking or running out, you’ll be in a position to rule the galaxy! Okay, maybe not, but you’ll feel on top of the world and your business will cruise along like a speeder bike.
7. Join me, and I will complete your training. With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy.
Don’t be like Luke Skywalker and leave halfway through your training to face a huge problem. Make sure you go through a full software training program before using order management software. That way, you can make the best use of it and avoid the pitfalls and problems that arise from inexperience. Luke can tell you that that extra bit of training can come in handy.
8. I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further.
No one likes working with someone who keeps changing the rules from one moment to the next. You need some stability. That’s why you should work out deals with vendors so you know what to expect from them. If they don’t meet specific terms of your agreement, such as on-time deliveries and pricing, you are free to revisit the terms or search for an alternate vendor who will be a better fit.
9. You are free to use any methods necessary, but I want them alive. No disintegrations.
There are several inventory control methods to choose from, as I’ve outlined in previous blog posts. Make sure the method you choose actually works and it doesn’t lead to misplaced products or other losses. One of the worst things that can happen to a company is to have its products constantly vanish into thin air, whether from theft or poor location tracking.
10. The Empire will compensate you if he dies.
Have an equitable return policy. If something goes wrong and a customer has a legitimate grievance with something they purchased from you, do your best to make things right by possibly replacing the dysfunctional item, offering a discount on a future purchase, or taking whatever other action you feel is appropriate.
11. I do not want the Emperor’s prize damaged.
If products are damaged or lost en route to your warehouse or retail store, you need to hold the vendor or delivery company responsible. That’s where the reconciliation process comes in handy. This is where you reconcile the amount you were billed for with what you actually received so that you can make adjustments and inform vendors of any damaged goods or incorrect amounts that were shipped. That way, you can make sure tremors in the Force don’t go unnoticed.
12. The Death Star will be completed on schedule.
Set a schedule and stick to it. Create a sequence of events that must take place in order to fulfill orders. From ordering to receiving to manufacturing to picking, packing, and shipping, you can make sure everything gets done in a timely manner. Use order management software to speed up all of these processes and instantly record when they are accomplished. Those pesky Rebels won’t stand a chance against your superior technology.
13. You are unwise to lower your defenses!
Stay vigilant because you can’t afford to let mistakes slip through the cracks. Order management software helps you keep a close eye on shipments, warehouses, products on shelves, expiration dates, and much more. With it, your defenses will never be lowered and you’ll be alerted faster than a blaster to trends and other situations that present opportunities and challenges.
14. Don’t underestimate the Force.
Market forces are powerful. Whether it’s customers pulling or vendors pushing, you’ll inevitably feel the tug of someone wanting you to change the way you run your business. You need to be flexible enough to keep up with these forces so that when demand changes you can respond quickly. If vendors are unable to keep up with your pace you can seamlessly transition to another. That way, you can allow the Force to bind your company and your customers together rather than tearing them apart.
15. Your skills are complete.
Running a business is a big challenge. There are so many things to keep track of and master in order to stay on top. By becoming an expert in order management and using software to help you along the way, you will tackle one of the biggest challenges your business faces on a daily basis: order management. Just don’t get cocky, kid.
Darth Vader may not be the ideal manager (especially if you value your windpipe), but he sure is effective at getting the job done. If you’d like to learn more about order management software and how it can help your company, check out Fishbowl Inventory. I have a good feeling about this.
The image of Darth Vader is the copyright of Lucasfilm Ltd.