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How poetry, story-telling and music can explain the role of the supply chain

A group of researchers from WMG at the University of Warwick are using poetry, story-telling and music to draw attention to the important role supply chains play in everyday life.

When putting butter and marmalade on toast, checking mobile phone messages, or choosing clothes for the day – how many of us ever consider how things get made and how they reach us? Supply chains ensure manufacturers receive the raw materials and ingredients they need and move the end products to those who want them.

The MyChainReaction Team and partners Pangaea Poetry will be attending Festomane’s Creation & Innovation Revealed Exhibition on Wednesday 17th February in Stroud, Gloucestershire. There they will be talking to visitors about their thoughts, opinions and stories about how the supply chain impacts on their lives and running workshops where these will be transformed into poetry and music before being added to the national MyChainReaction website.

Academics can’t agree about what a supply chain is and understanding of supply chains amongst policy makers, business leaders and the public seems to be very low. ‘MyChainReaction’ is a project being run by WMG with support from the University’s Centre for Cultural Policy Studies to explore our understanding of the vital role played by supply chains in everyday life and to encourage decision-makers to shape policy which strengthens and supports their efficient functioning. The research team are working with Pangaea Poetry to bring the research to life through poetry.

Janet Godsell, Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Strategy said,

“Without supply chains, hospitals would close, schools wouldn’t function, millions of people would be unemployed and our cupboards would be empty. Essentially, supply chains are the art of planning and logistics for sourcing, obtaining and delivering raw materials and components, and the end products. The result of an efficient supply chain is that we, the end customer, get the things we need.”

“But if you asked a person, especially a young person, if they wanted to work in the supply chain process, they’d probably look at you as if you were mad” she continued. “However, if you re-phrased that and asked if they wanted to play a part in ensuring that they could get their smart phone, they’d probably react differently. We need to harness new ways of talking about supply chains so it inspires young people, the public and politicians to understand how we’re all connected. Poetry is a great way of doing this as I believe there’s a poet in all of us! The Women’s Engineering Society thinks that using more creative channels could attract more people into the engineering and manufacturing sector, especially women.”

The public is also being urged to add to the project website, two supply chain stories, have already been collected:

“I have milk delivered to my house by a milkman. He buys the milk from a local diary and it is contained in glass bottles which I wash and leave on the doorstep for collection (recycling to reduce cost). Therefore the milk hasn’t travelled too far from the diary that milks the cows to our house.”

“I love gardening, it is my passion and I grow vegetables and fruit but I try to buy plants from my local supplier, farm shop and nursery. I will also buy from small independent nurseries on the Internet and visit rare plant sales locally. Seeds I buy from seed and plant catalogues and over the Internet.”

The work composed so far as part of the project can be seen at along with videos of the poets performing their work.

One, entitled ‘Those Special Moments’ (full version includes the verses:

“Mommy was stunned and simultaneously impressed.

Who would have guessed? Who could have gauged?

Such a grasp of a supply chains at such a young age?

Mom had never really thought about

The nuts and bolts of it, like her child had,

Come to think of it … neither had dad.


“That was very good my little cherub,

But now it’s time to go to sleep,

Perhaps you could count numbers of supply chain links,

Instead of counting sheep”.

Notes for editors:


Where: Stratford Park Leisure Centre, Stratford Road, Stroud GL5 4AF
Times: 10.00am - 6.00pm

AB - 05/02/2016

Alex Buxton
Communications Manager
Tel: 02476 150423
Mob: 07876 218166