Updated in September 2020
Almost every supply chain needs to be restructured in the wake of COVID-19 and associated economic situation. While some companies are facing collapsing demand, others are facing the opposite. Same is true of the supply as well. How can companies make the supply meet demand under such challenging circumstances.
Only sophisticated supply chain managers can make the necessary jump to the new thinking, because the situation is nothing like what anyone has experienced before.
That is the reason why some of the most successful CEOs today come from within supply chain management discipline. Not only that, there is a very high demand for skilled professionals who can manage the demand and supply simultaneously to maximise profits. In many instances they do not even have a supply chain title, while they carry out a supply chain job in reality.
We had predicted this trend about 4 years ago in our articles and speeches. If you are still not sure of the trend, do look into our past speeches and articles on this website. Every day you lose in getting the right supply chain skills on board puts you behind your competitors for ever.
Good solid supply chain thinkers are in high demand and low supply.
I would know, I run this company called Global Supply Chain Group for the last 17 years.
It appears that it was not too long ago (when we formed this company) - most business people were struggling to understand what is supply chain and what does it do. We have come a long way since then.
Why we are qualified to write Article?
Over the last three decades we have led and worked on more than 500 projects in supply chain restructuring in dozens of industries and countries.
VERY FEW PEOPLE KNOW SUPPLY CHAINS LIKE WE DO - Retail, beverages, food, milk, dairy, meat, livestock, explosives, chemicals, cotton, rice, graphite, solar power, natural gas, crude oil, fertilizers, electronics, packaging, glass manufacturing, machine parts, automobiles, industrial goods, mining, etc are just some of the industries where boards and executives have benefited from our proprietary knowledge.
Since when no one had heard of supply chain, our co-founder Vivek Sood has been considered one of the most authoritative professionals in the field when it comes to the subject of supply chains restructuring in his clients' corporations in Australia, Asia, North America, South America and Europe.
He has written four seminal books about restructuring supply chains to gain massive advantage in business. He also regularly delivers keynote speeches at business schools and conferences such as University of Technology Sydney, Supply Chain Asia, Asian Bankers Forum, APEC Business Advisory Council.
He has been quoted in the authoritative business press and over 100 academic papers written by supply chain researchers around the world. Vivek and his team have examined thousands of supply chains during their projects over the last three decades and helped hundreds of executives build safe, cost effective and sustainable supply chains and careers.
Every politicians speech today is laced with references to global supply chains and business networks that run the commerce on earth today. Companies that are seen as supply chain trend setters are leaving everyone else (even in adjoining industries) biting the dust.
Take a look at the chart below:
But Amazon.com is not the only one.
Current trend is becoming clear- companies such as Apple, Zara, Uber, AirBNB have one thing in common - Supply Chain Leaders as CEOs. Integrators are in high demand. Optimisers rule the roost.
Every era has its own heralds and the mantle changes every few decades.
As as example, it only one or two decades ago that strategists coming from McKinsey or 3Bs (BCG, Bain, Booz) were the prime candidates for the role of the CEOs. What made this necessary was the need for strategic thinking that was missing at the highest level before that. But clearly the mantle has passed on the the integrators / real supply chain leaders now. Here are the previous trends:
- 1900 - 1925: Inventors, Creators
- 1925 - 1955: Makers, Builders
- 1955 - 1970: Promoters, Marketers
- 1970 - 1980: Accountants, Finance
- 1980 - 1990: Human Resources
- 1990 - 2000: Strategists
- 2000 - Current: Integrators, SCM Leaders
I know, you are asking where is the proof. Take a look at the picture below:
It will take a long time to explain the picture above, if you don't get it by seeing it. It is also perhaps unnecessary in that case. Suffice it to say that two skills are becoming critical for business leadership:
Integration - of various parts of the 5-STAR Business network, internal and external resources, into a complete unit that delivers the customer experience
Optimisation - that enables sound profitability while delivering the customer experience
I have many other pretty pictures to expound these points, but I would rather focus on the outcomes.
So, what would you expect if above two skills were available in abundance? For sure, you would expect good business outcomes. These could take the form of any of the 5 possible themes:
This is the topic I cover in great deal of detail in my book THE 5-STAR BUSINESS NETWORK - so I will not talk about it in this post. Rather I want to focus on the reason I wrote this blog:
Now, if you have read it this far, there is a good chance that you know someone who will benefit from this information. Earn yourself some brownie points by letting them know - by sharing directly, or via groups. It only take 15 seconds.
Point to Remember - Two Keys to Success:
Integration – of various parts of the 5-STAR Business network, internal and external resources, into a complete unit that delivers the customer experience.
Optimisation – that enables sound profitability while delivering the customer experience