SCOPE Spring Conference - Chicago - Report 3

What is the trend for the best performing Supply Chains, today and into the Future? - by Mark Hewitt.

We finished off the last report with “a given” to all in attendance that change was necessary, and that some part of the organization back home was an “ugly baby”.

After all, we all have the rogue spreadsheets used outside the main systems and this should be acknowledged. The delegates were educating themselves, ensuring they were “current” in what was available and seemed to fit the criteria for the talent that David Ecklund identified for transformation to be possible.
Along with looking to where organizations are going, the conference presenters were mindful that our daily demands and immediate concerns can’t be ignored. I talked to delegates like Mitch, Charlie and many more who all appreciated the need to change and allocate some time to build a strategic plan to get there, whilst the tornado of the today’s issues are attended to.

Catching the bus back from Wrigley field with Brandon Jobe from AIPC, I was fortunate enough to confirm that the S&OP implementation success he presented was backed and demanded by the CEO. The achievements of doubling stock turns, improving forecast accuracy from 51% to 76%, reducing obsolesce from 18% to 1.8%, etc wasn’t an overnight success but rather an ongoing part of running their business. They had been at it for 6 years.

So what are the lessons and what does the future hold?

Firstly, today’s leaders need to see their Supply Chain as a driver for business outcomes and not purely as a function. They also need to be patient and persistent, understanding this is a journey and an evolutionary process.

For many organizations the next step is to focus on S&OP. That means, connecting the silos and forming teams lead by the Supply Chain to bring together the customer facings departments with the commercial interests as well as the operational engine room responsible for making it happen.

Common overall business objectives and shared metrics like forecast accuracy are the way of the future. The successful organizations of the future will move from reaction to customer facing initiatives to orchestration of market demands with internal collaboration. This is the challenge for progressive Supply Chain people.

Finally, the key to success is going to be how well supply chain practices, processes and systems are integrated into the complete business picture. Better planning and satisfying the needs of the customer across the organization through S&OP type activity will bring this together. Essential for success will be the development and implementation of the strategic plan to help them get there. This is what will keep the process, people and technology efforts synchronized.

Please contact me for any more information - Mark Hewitt.

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