5 Steps to drive value into the Supply Chain
- 4 August 2018
- Written by: Yves Bemelmans
- Category: Supply Chain
In today’s rapidly evolving and competitive corporate environment, it is essential to shift from a traditional transaction-based (more tactical) to a value-oriented supply chain for companies to recognize their full market potential. Driving value into the supply chain means more collaboration and the ability to obtain the relevant data needed to make quicker and more strategic business decisions. Companies can make that move from a tactical to a value-oriented supply chain with appropriate leadership support, thus ensuring a more collaborative supply chain that benefits both partners and customers.
In fact, being a successful supply chain leader is not only about being proficient at operations optimisation skills but to also acquire a thorough understanding of several business aspects that are crucial to deliver value to clients. This consists of talent management, finance, information and data management. Below are five essential steps to follow to ensure a value-driven supply chain:
Build supply chain talent with a value chain focus
An effective supply chain training and development program will help departments across the organization prioritize and streamline the supply chain, and eventually, driving operational change. While ensuring strategic alignment, the training will also help to provide a more global perspective to all supply chain stakeholders, so that leadership can direct employees’ focus away from individual benefits; for instance- What can this do for me and my goals? Instead, the focus will be more toward specific departmental impacts on the larger end-to-end supply chain that is how can the supply chain improve the company as a whole?
An innovative supply chain training will lead to a more focused and dedicated leadership which is critical to enable the supply chain teams to take a holistic approach, better align employees from various departments, and create a culture of accountability so that the supply chain can become a strategic value-creating asset. The key is to teach the teams that supply chain is the language of business while improving alignment with finance and commercial teams.
Implement digitalisation to drive value
Digital supply chain is currently a buzz word in the corporate world. Nowadays, leaders are focusing their company’s perspective on the adoption of digitalisation to transform their journey towards a more competitive global supply chain. Big data, IoT, Cloud, the sharing economy and crowdsourcing are necessary disruptive assets to keep up with the pace of market fluctuations. In fact, many logistics providers have already incorporated these technological changes, with DHL testing the use of augmented reality glasses among its employees and UPS looking to provide 3D printing services from its stores.
Again, the key to shift to a digital supply chain is through effective training and development. Through an innovative training and development program, employees will be more capable to face these changes. For example: the new course at Supply Chain Academy will allow employees to gain in-depth insights on digitalization and analytics in Supply Chains.
Supply chain leaders need to create a collaboration culture
Even though driving internal and external collaborations at times go against the supply chain department’s short-term goals, it is one of the crucial aspects for reaching breakthrough results. Some Benefits of Supply Chain Collaboration are: lower inventory levels and higher inventory turns, lower transportation and warehousing costs, lower out-of-stock levels, shorter lead times, improved customer service metrics, visibility into customer demand and supplier performance, earlier and quicker decision-making, incremental revenue growth, mitigate potential supply disruptions and the potential risks become opportunities to gain advantage over competitors, a sustainable competitive advantage such as cost, agility, responsiveness and scalability.
Use supplier development practices
The use of supplier strategies and supplier development will lead to reduced supplier issues and improved supplier reliability. Most companies are likely to be stronger in the areas of new product launch, yet weaker in supplier development and revenue management. It is important to understand that the center of the supply chain is stronger than the ends. Ensuring effectiveness lies in the alignment of all of the horizontal processes to deliver on end-to-end supply chain strategies.
Opt for a sustainable supply chain
Sustainability does not only mean making choices and building processes that are better for the environment. In fact, sustainability also means eliminating inefficiency, finding solutions that are more cost-effective, building brand equity, developing competitive advantage and managing risk. The main objective of supply chain sustainability is to create, protect, and grow long-term environmental, social and economic value for all stakeholders involved in bringing products and services to market. Indeed, by working together with their suppliers for such sustainable outcomes, leading organizations are increasingly turning supply chain sustainability into a driver of competitive advantage. Ultimately, such practices lead to value-oriented supply chain.
Since customer needs are constantly changing and technological advancements are sky-rocketing, the ability to create a value-oriented supply chain represents a challenge for many companies. As the article outlines, the main focus is on building supply chain talent and implementing digitalisation. Driving value into the supply chain will enhance your competitive edge and also lead to a better customer experience.