8 Supply Chain Truths

Supply chain is an essential function of any company. While the everyday tasks of supply chain professionals may be ever changing, here are some truths that may never alter.

It’s often forgotten about that supply chain isn’t just logistics and inventory. There’s also a physical aspect to supply chain. Supply chain professionals are the problem solvers – helping volume move at lower costs and better service.

Even more so than finance and engineering, supply chain is seriously comfortable with analytical methods. The more challenging piece is the quantitative analysis. The proof is in the results, and there is no hiding from mistakes.

Cross-Functional Role
Each aspect of the business involves some form of collaboration with supply chain. Product launch requires involving the marketing team, order fulfillment requires involving salespeople, and keeping record of all the costs and profits requires the involvement of your finance team.

Silence Is Key
Inventions and patents provide praise to the engineering and R&D departments, a closed deal glorifies the sales team, but what does the supply chain team receive for a job well done? Tighter goals and a stricter timeline. Meanwhile, any minor hiccup can become a major problem, such as being short on parts or missing a shipment. If no one is talking about your department, it typically means you’re doing a great job. No news is good news.

A Dull Name
The name “supply chain” is incredibly vague. For years, supply chain has been reaching for a new name, coming up with names like “value chain,” “demand chain,” and the ambiguous “operations.” We long for the simplicity of a name like “CFO.”

Matrix Management
Communication and influence are the top skills required for a job in supply chain due to its cross-functional role. Organizational design peculiarities, such as dotted-line reporting, are simply hard facts of how supply chain operates.

Need More Women
Women comprise of only a third of all supply chain professionals, and that’s only at an entry level. At a high-level, the percentage of women drops significantly to 5%.

Never Boring
While embracing change, we are always trying to remove variability; involving dynamic adjustments. Each day is going to be different from the last. If you find yourself in a repetitive cycle, remember – there’s room for growth and learning.

This article was originally posted to GregShnerer.net

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