Since the onset of the Ukrainian war, prices generally have been showing upward movements and there are many shortages being reported in many markets. When some friends chat with me about these developments, I tell them that they have seen such situations before and this time too, this phase will pass.
In just such a recent discussion, a 65 year old friend who is a highly respected trader in my part of the world spoke to me about the changes that have taken place since my time of association with him in a client, manager relationship. I have been associated with the firm that he represents for the past more than fifty years and he particularly for forty years.
He agreed with me that he has seen other such periods of price and supply volatility and how they had tackled them but, he added that during the time that he was associated with me, there was personal involvement in the supplier / buyer relationships which in today’s commerce, has been replaced with rapid turnover of people in positions and also a system heavily dependent on laptops. On probing I found that supply chain management has now been highly mechanised and computers do most of the work that people did during my times. He derisively called this “Laptop Management” and its practitioners “Laptop Managers”.
I was amused as well as sad that the personal touch has gone from a very long relationship between his firm and the one that I was part of.
I however decided to share some humour with him and sent him the following cartoon in WhatsApp with the message that during my time, in Management Laptop usually meant this type of relationships.