Tony Hines talks about the application of systems thinking to improve supply chain practices.
Systems Thinking is an approach developed by Peter Checkland to understand the system. The system that Checkland concerned himself with was an organization and its human interactions with physical space, technical systems and places / locations in a temporal dimension. Supply chain systems are such a system. Checkland's approach became synonymous with 'Soft Systems' because of the people within the system that is, the agents of change.
CATWOE is the mnemonic that describes the approach:
C = Customer/Client – Beneficiary of the system
A = Agents/ actors in the system
T = Transformations involved in the system
W = World-view
O = Owner of the system problem
E = Environment
Examining interconnections and interactions within each part of the system enables us to describe the whole system. It has many applications including understanding supply chain systems.