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Upgrading Your Supply Chain To The Next Level? One Point That (Nearly) Everyone Misses

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Upgrading Your Supply Chain To The Next Level? One Point That (Nearly) Everyone Misses

Upgrading Your Supply Chain

The meeting room was as sparsely appointed as most meeting rooms used for supplier meetings these days. There were no windows, and barely any space to move.

A round table in the center was surrounded by four cheap chairs. The message it sent was of frugality and simplicity.

Yet the four people in the room were all expensively attired, and talked about the high end cars they drove.

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The CFO was a tall, lean man. He was perhaps a very good rugby player in his day. Another CXO was a stylish European with trimmed hair.

The head of supply chain was the man who was least comfortable in that room. I was the fourth person – and we were discussing how to take the supply chain of this global behemoth to its next level.

It never surprises me that the companies that are making the most profits are also the ones who are always trying to get better and better. Perhaps that is why they always make good profits in the first place.

The conversation was centered around how to upgrade the supply chain to its next level. Our company has not yet decided to accept this project because we were not sure if the company was ready for a real transformation, or was just paying lip service to a trend.

In fact that was the only question I was there to answer for myself. The rest of the questions would be taken care of as the project progressed.

The Modern Rules Of Upgrading Your Supply Chain.

But, if the answer to this most important question was not not right – a large, branded consulting company would be more appropriate for the project.

There are exceptions, but the junior people that they generally deploy on these type of projects rarely care if the recommendations are worthy of implementation.

And, so long as the bill is paid by the client, the senior partners rarely care about anything in projects of that type.

Luckily, as the conversation proceeded, it became clear that the company was looking to create a real, positive change in its business. I could relax and spend some more time in this meeting.

But, it also became clear to me that what the other three people called supply chain was actually just logistics. This could cause major problem down the line. When the definitions are not clear, the ambiguity breeds non-accountability.

Everyone points fingers are each other.

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It would be almost akin to a company contracting you to upgrade their building, but their definition of building is just the lobby (or the lifts). Clearly, you would want to correct that misconception.

I pointed out this example to the people in the room, and they wanted me to delineate supply chain and logistics.

I told them about my ‘MASTERCLASS WITH MR SUPPLY CHAIN’ which spends a lot of time on stories related to his misconception, and its impact on businesses and their profitability.

We decided that before the project details were agreed upon, it would be a good idea to run an in-house ‘MASTERCLASS WITH MR SUPPLY CHAIN’ for the top 12 people in the company.

I think it was a good positive outcome from that meeting. Suddenly, the head of supply chain was a lot more comfortable in the room.

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Copyright - These concepts, frameworks and ideas are copyright of GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN GROUP from the time of their creation. Do NOT copy these without permission and proper attribution.

Notes:

1. These ideas and concepts will be usually expressed by our thought leaders in multiple forums - conferences, speeches, books, reports, workshops, webinars, videos and training. You may have heard us say the same thing before.

2. The date shown above the article refers to the day when this article was updated. This blog post or article may have been written anytime prior to that date.

3. All anecdotes are based on true stories to highlight the key points of the article - some details are changed to protect identification of the parties involved.

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Table of Contents

ABOUT THE PRINCIPAL AUTHOR

Today, Vivek and his partners are among 20-30 people on the planet earth who have this deep understanding of supply chain systems, practices and tools. CEOs, COOs, executives and Boards call them in most challenging situations once they know the full potential of supply chain based transformations. Following are key milestones in Vivek's journey:

  • Started in 1983 as a merchant navy cadet at 18 years age, worked his way to qualify as a Captain – qualified to take command of any merchant ship, worldwide.
  • Earned a top tier MBA from UNSW at the top of his class.
  • Joined highly regarded strategy consulting firm Booz Allen & Hamilton, consulting to the CEOs, Boards and senior management of global corporations within Australia.
  • To learn and specialise in supply chain – against all odds, sought out the co-inventor of supply chain in Germany and convinced him to be a partner in his firm, GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN GROUP, launched in January 2000.
  • More than 500 successful blue chip projects with high impact business transformations in large corporations using the full power of SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT.
  • 4 Seminal and path breaking business books IN SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT – these are available in bookstores and universities and libraries worldwide.

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WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

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OUR CLIENTS

Our Clients come from a variety of industries – yet they have a common element. They rarely rest on their laurels, and are always looking to do better.

OUR PROJECTS - EFFECTIVE TRANSFORMATIONS

In the last 20 years we have completed more than 500 projects. Click below to see a sample of our projects.

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5.0
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THE 5-STAR BUSINESS NETWORK

If you are deeply passionate about the world of business and supply chain networks as I am, and enjoy digging answers to critical questions that will help build and steer your business with wisdom, then join me. This book is a journey of exploration through the world of business networks that run along the veins of today’s commercial world.

4.3
4.3/5

OUTPERFORM OUTSOURCE OUTPROFIT

The trend of outsourcing continues to grow unabated with the whole gamut of services, from simple to mission-critical tasks. There is not a single company on earth that does not outsource anything. It is not just about cost arbitrage, it is also a finer expression of division of labour at the organisational level. Like all leverage, outsourcing is a double-edged sword too. On one hand, it allows you to do more, faster. On the other hand, if it goes bad, it can easily kill your business. If you do not believe that is possible – you can google the Fox Meyer saga from the 90s and see for yourself.

4.3
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UNCHAIN YOUR CORPORATION

Businesses Are Chained By Unseen Chains. If You Are Looking For Ways To “Unchain Your Corporation” A Successful Business Transformation Is Required.

Successful Business Transformations Are Difficult, Yet Rewarding.

Business Transformation Is Fast Becoming A Question Of Survival In The Modern Globalised Era.

Modern Supply Chains Integrate Businesses And Economies Faster By Systematic Information Sharing From Internal And External Sources.

Companies Can Multiply Profits By Progressively Ramping Up Cohesion And Collaboration Of All Moving Parts In B2B Network To Achieve Tighter Integration.

4.3
4.3/5

GREEN SUPPLY CHAIN – AN ACTION MANIFESTO

It is generally accepted that environmental consciousness is now changing to environmental proactiveness as organizations are discovering that it makes good commercial sense.

Boards are asking the management to review their policies related to environmental norms, not only to bolster their corporate social responsibility aims, but also because consumers are asking for greener supply chains

It is also widely agreed that consumers will increasingly prefer to buy more and even pay more for products or services provided in an environmentally sound manner.

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