Who Is Who In The Supply Chain Training Zoo?

Supply Chain Training Zoo


Who Is Who In The Supply Chain Training Zoo?

We often get this question for two reasons:

1. People are trying to peg where our company's training offering is focused

2. People are often overwhelmed by the marketing material of plethora of marketing companies trying to sell supply chain training.

It is normal to feel the overwhelm due to the sheer number of options in supply chain training today.

We will try and answer you question by defining a clear two step process to clarify the confusion.

We will also add which type of trainings are suitable for which type of supply chain personnel. That will also give you an idea where do our training offerings focus.

Step 1 - Define Supply Chain Training Level That You Need

Firstly, it is important to be cognisant that the training needs for Vice-President level is not the same as the training need for the forklift driver level.

They play a very different role in the supply chain. I am making this very obvious point to introduce the following four level hierarchy in supply chain activities extracted from our book Unchain Your Corporation:

Supply Chain Training Execution Layer:

The bottom layer in this picture consists of procurement officers writing purchasing order, inbound truck drivers bringing in the supplies, staff in manufacturing and warehouses receiving the supplies, the assembly line workers deployed in manufacturing, forklift drivers taking the products away from the factories, warehousemen stowing the product in the sheds, pick and pack staff preparing the deliveries, delivery drivers taking the goods to customers and finally customer support teams answering all the questions.

Supply Chain Training Operational Layer:

The next layer upwards are supervisors and foremen who schedule and manage these staff. The training needs of these two layers cover basics of the overall supply chain and a very detailed picture of their own task in that supply chain.

For example, the forklift drivers need a lot of training in driving forklifts, safety in warehouses, occupational health, pick-to-light technology (or any other similar technology deployed) etc.

Clearly they do not need training in intricacies of the latest demand forecasting statistical algorithms using big data.

Most of the certification focused courses are run by organisations with origins in transportation, logistics, warehousing, inventory planning, production planning etc and the content is highly relevant to the middle two layers.

Supply Chain Training Tactical Layer:

The tactical planning layer focuses on one part of the overall supply chain planning process - demand planning, supply planning, fulfilment planning, sales and operations planning, distribution planning, inventory planning - and their training focuses on that part, as well as how it links to the big picture.

Many organisations try and offer training in this area. Some are really good, but many fail due to the content being more suitable for the lower levels (or the higher level), rather than the targeted level.

Strategic Layer:

The highest layer in the pyramid caters to the top of the organisation - VPs and CEO, and at this level the focus is on making sure all the planning, execution and controls are in place so that the supply chain continues to be efficient and effective.

here are very few organisations that have the capability to offer specialist supply chain training in this area.

Step 2 - Define Whether The Training Is For Supply Chain Transformation Team, Or For Supply Chain Business-As-Usual Team?

The supply chain business-as-usual (BAU) team is charged with making sure that supply chain keeps humming efficiently day in and day out.

Difficult though this job is, the job of the supply chain transformation (SCT) team is far more difficult. They have to ensure that a humming supply chain, hums better without missing a beat while this transformation happens.

We have written several articles on the difference between the two teams which are worth exploring in great details if you are charged with training of both the teams.

Once you achieve clarity on these two questions you are in a much better position to find the right training to address the pain points in your supply chain organisation. There is a lot of material on this website which will help you achieve the clarity on these two questions and the most appropriate approach to your training needs.

You can even ask your supply chain training vendor questions related to these two topics to slot them properly as per your needs. If you are still not fully sure, send us an email on [email protected] and we will try and help provide more clarity from an insiders' perspective.

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Our Quick Notes On Five Flows Of Supply Chain Management

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. What are the five flows of SCM?

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. What is the importance of difference between "Supply Chain" and "Value Chain"?

. What are the stellar case studies of each of the five flows?


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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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Our Quick Notes On Five Flows Of Supply Chain Management




Our Clients say it better than we ever could:



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.


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



Our Books



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.



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.



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.



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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