BCCAs: Procurement and Supply Chain Lessons From Weight Lifting Supplements (Part 5)

procurement and supply chain lessons NickR/Adobe Stock

Have you ever noticed there’s an awful lot of “fails” going on at the gym recently? The video below is both depressing and humorous at the same time. But it serves those CrossFitters right — wussies. (They should hit a real gym and pump some real iron.)

Now onto business. As we continue our series on ways to “pump” procurement and supply chain based on lessons learned from weight lifting substances, we come to a rather pedestrian ingredient in many higher-end protein and other supplements today: branched-chain amino acids (BCAA ). Incidentally, if you missed the previous installments in the series, be sure to see them in all their ripped glory: introduction, Ultimate Orange, Diuretic Pills and Creatine.

Of 20 amino acids in human body, 3 are considered BCAAs. Here’s the way a trainer explained it to us back in the day: think of BCAA as a fast-speed train or targeted delivery mechanism of vital nutrients to each individual muscle cells before, during and after workouts.

Without BCAA, your body still gets the nutrients from food intake, but it's slow and spreads out all over the place. The result of using BCAA’s is that you add fuel to the furnace before and during the workout — it actually increases metabolism as well — and you recover faster after a weight workout. Coincidentally, Jason, as the runner of the two of us, also takes a vegan protein powder with BCAAs after long runs. Many endurance athletes do, it turns out — it’s not just for meatheads.

Safety questions aside, we think BCAAs are safe. But don’t take the opinion of two moderately ripped — in our dreams — nincompoops like us on face value. Consult a professional!

Still, we can’t help but think of a better comparison to procurement and supply chain strategies than targeted supplier relationship management, performance and development programs. Like the appropriate use of BCAAs for all types of “workouts,” engaging and building relationships with suppliers can help in a range of expected (and unexpected) ways. These include:

  • Improving overall supplier performance metrics (on-time performance, quality, responsiveness to corrective action requests, etc.)
  • Joint cost reduction opportunities
  • Working capital reduction (e.g., through better inventory planning)
  • Contribution to innovationSo, what are you waiting for? Head on out and stuff your own procurement and supply chain stocking with some BCAA supplier development equivalents. And don’t believe for a second this guy is a posterchild for BCAAs.

At least one of us is smarter than he is. Both in the gym and defending operations strategies in front of a management team or board of directors. But as for the other one … (yes, that really is Jason).

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