In manufacturing-based companies, 70-80% of costs are in the processes of source, make and deliver. Labor is an important input with 50-60% of company employees reporting through supply chain organizations.
During my time at Tuskegee University I have met with several Supply Chain Management Professionals. All of these professionals come to visit with students for one cause: Inviting Students to Supply Chain Mangement Careers. However, this is not as easy as it sounds. One of the issues are the misconception of what a supply chain management career compared to other options (Accounting, Finance, Sales and Marketing, Economics, Information Technology, Business Administration, etc.).
How can we move forward if we cannot align?
In supply chain strategy documents, terms like alignment, agility, responsiveness, and flexibility dot the page. At a principle level everyone agrees with the concepts. In meetings, groups nod their heads that the strategy is correct. However, at a practical level companies struggle with the implementation of strategy due to a lack of definition. It is not easy.
I pushed aside Shane’s motorbike helmet and jacket to take a seat in his crowded office. It was a beautiful spring day in March in Basel, Switzerland. Shane is a stocky man of medium build who I love talking to. He is an engaging personality: definitely a people person.
He had recently returned from his stint as the commercial leader for Syngenta in Vietnam, and was excited to tell me about his beach-side investment in Australia. An Aussie by birth, Shane still speaks with an Australian accent.
It is finally spring in Philadelphia. Yesterday, as I walked the streets on the way to ballet, I saw flowers for the first time in a year. I love spring. It is a time for awakening.
The Supply Chain Insights Global Summit is a week away. We are currently tabulating the results to publish the report, “Top 15 Supply Chains to Admire.” In this report, we track the progress on balance sheet performance of companies by peer group and chart the relative improvement for the period of 2006-2013. This work has taken us two years to finish.
These are the grim facts. Only 9% of companies feel that they manage supply chain talent better than their peers. The issues are growing. Job turnover is 15% and new positions remain open for 4 months before they are filled. I think that supply chain talent is a broken link in the supply chain. I also believe that the adoption of new mental models is a barrier to progress.