Login



For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Not a PLUS+ Subscriber?

Become a PLUS+ Subscriber today and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access
  • 7 Magazine Issues per Year
  • Companion Digital Editions
  • Digital Edition Archives
  • Bonus Email Newsletters

Subscribe Today!

Premium access to exclusive online content, companion digital editions, magazine issues and email newsletters.

Subscribe Now.


Become a PLUS+ subscriber and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access. All feature articles, bonus reports and industry research through scmr.com.

  • 7 Magazine Issues per year of Supply Chain Management Review magazine.

  • Companion Digital Editions. Searchable replicas of each magazine issue. Read them in any web browser. Delivered by email faster than printed issues.

  • Digital Editions Archives. Every article, every chart and every table as it appeared in the magazine for all archive issues back to 2009.

  • Bonus email newsletters. Add convenient weekly and monthly email newsletters to your subscription to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

PLUS+ subscriptions start as low as $109/year*. Begin yours now.
That's less than $0.36 per day for access to information that you can use year-round to better manage your entire global supply chain.

For assistance with your PLUS+ subscription, contact customer service.

* Prices higher for subscriptions outside the USA.

PLUS+ Customer Service Support


Customer service for all PLUS+ subscribers is available Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm Eastern time.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-800-598-6067 (1-508-663-1500 x294 outside USA)
Mail: PO Box 1496, Framingham MA 01701-1496, USA



You have been logged out of PLUS+


For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Need to access our premium PLUS+ Content?
Upgrade your subscription now.


Our records show that you are currently receiving a free subscription to Supply Chain Management Review magazine, or your subscription has expired. To access our premium content, you need to upgrade your subscription to our PLUS+ status.

To upgrade your subscription account, please contact customer service at:

Email: [email protected] Phone: 1-800-598-6067 (1-508-663-1500 x294 outside USA)

Become a PLUS+ subscriber and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access. All feature articles, bonus reports and industry research through scmr.com.

  • 7 Magazine Issues per year of Supply Chain Management Review magazine.

  • Companion Digital Editions. Searchable replicas of each magazine issue. Read them in any web browser. Delivered by email faster than printed issues.

  • Digital Editions Archives. Every article, every chart and every table as it appeared in the magazine for all archive issues back to 2010.

  • Bonus email newsletters. Add convenient weekly and monthly email newsletters to your subscription to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

PLUS+ subscriptions start as low as $129/year*. Start yours now.
That's less than $0.36 per day for access to information that you can use year-round to better manage your entire global supply chain.

This content is available for PLUS+ subscribers.


Already a PLUS+ subscriber?


To begin or upgrade your subscription, Become a PLUS+ subscriber now.

For assistance with your PLUS+ subscription, contact customer service.

Sorry, but your login to PLUS+ has failed.


Please recheck your login information and resubmit below.



For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Lessons from Leonardo da Vinci We Can Apply To Supply Chain

We should take some time to consider the big picture and design new kinds of supply chains with fresh ideas and a vision towards what is coming next. We must learn to add art to our science

By ·

Latest News

Third Party Risk: Too Close for Comfort
The State of the DC Voice Market
DHL launches Global Trade Barometer
Get the lay of the land with Modex 2018 show map
Breaking Through On Yard Visibility
More News

Latest Resource

Third Party Risk: Too Close for Comfort
You’ve got a handle on many of the potential supply chain "disrupters" that can paralyze your business. But the real risk is embedded in areas you may have overlooked.
All Resources
By ·

I have been reading and thinking about Leonardo da Vinci, perhaps the most famous engineer, inventor, painter, and sculptor in history.  Da Vinci was the illegitimate son of an Italian notary and a peasant woman. Because he was born out of wedlock, he was not allowed to get a formal education other than some basic mathematics.

The key to da Vinci’s genius was his ability to integrate art and engineering. It was a kind of harmony between analytical and creative thinking. Just about everything he did started with a scientific investigation of how the human body moved and worked, how things were measured, how light and shade should be used in painting, and a calculation of angles and relationships of one thing to another.

For example, consider Vitruvian Man, a naked male in a circle and square, with relational and proportional measurements. What he learned from his study of the human body, and displayed in this drawing, was the basis for his paintings of people. He studied the muscles of the face before he painted the Mona Lisa. He studied light and angles before he painted the Last Supper.

We Are Analytical Thinkers

As supply chain professionals we can certainly learn and take inspiration from da Vinci. Successful supply chain professionals are by nature, mostly analytical thinkers. We have established business metrics and we love to quantify our business strategies. We evaluate our successes by cost savings and shortened cycle times and order fulfilment cycles.

But what could we accomplish if we added some right-brain creative thinking to our processes? Starting from our analytical bias, as da Vinci did with his research and engineering, we have the potential to then layer on some light and shade. We should take some time to consider the big picture and design new kinds of supply chains with fresh ideas and a vision towards what is coming next. We must learn to add art to our science

Mixing Light and Shade

This is harder than it looks.  Some of us excel at supply chain execution, e.g. moving freight, warehousing, and logistics. Others may be driving top-level strategy, e.g. where are we going and what should we achieve? But it is the integration of strategy and execution (light and shade) and the blurring of these two lines that can really make a difference. To be creative in supply chains we must build on the execution, and break through with new ideas. As da Vinci said, “Reality should inform, not constrain.”

The reality of our every day supply chain lives must not stop us from introducing new ideas and ways of solving our supply chain issues to be the very best we can be. We need an integration of execution and strategy to be successful at both the art and the science of supply chain.


About the Author

Rosemary Coates
Ms. Coates is the Executive Director of the Reshoring Institute and the President of Blue Silk Consulting, a Global Supply Chain consulting firm. She is a best-selling author of: 42 Rules for Sourcing and Manufacturing in China and Legal Blacksmith - How to Avoid and Defend Supply Chain Disputes. Ms. Coates lives in Silicon Valley and has worked with over 80 clients worldwide. She is also an Expert Witness for legal cases involving global supply chain matters. She is passionate about Reshoring.

Subscribe to Supply Chain Management Review Magazine!

Subscribe today. Don't Miss Out!
Get in-depth coverage from industry experts with proven techniques for cutting supply chain costs and case studies in supply chain best practices.
Start Your Subscription Today!

Latest Whitepaper
Third Party Risk: Too Close for Comfort
You’ve got a handle on many of the potential supply chain "disrupters" that can paralyze your business. But the real risk is embedded in areas you may have overlooked.
Download Today!
From the December 2017
This is a comprehensive guide to services, products and educational opportunities targeted specifically to supply chain professionals. As with years past, we’re also featuring several articles we trust will offer food for thought in your supply chain throughout the coming year.
Transportation Trends: The last mile, history repeating
Economic Outlook: A Complex and Uneven Scenario for Global Supply Chains
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!


Latest Webcast
The Perfect Formula for Determining the Right Amount of Inventory
This webcast explains how the science of theoretical minimums, a new approach to inventory optimization, provides a simple and elegant way to reduce cost and increase customer service levels by monetizing time delays across the extended supply chain.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Atradius Issues New Report on Supply Chain Risk in North America
The U.S. shows strong economic performance, but the looming risk that leadership in Washington will...
2018: The year we make meaningful progress on digital transformation
Perhaps it would have been better to describe it as a digital evolution – more of an ongoing...

Industrial and Supply Chain Real Estate Expected to Soar in 2018
Strong economy and insatiable demand for online shopping behind industrial real estate resurgence
Ongoing Supply Chain “Disruptions” Indicated in Latest Ti Survey
According to Logistics Surveys 2017, the express industry has already undergone transformation, not...