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So, you want a strategic supply chain?

Industry leaders view their supply chains as a strategic weapon. Is your organization ready to make the leap? Answer these seven key questions to discover the answer.

By ·

Every year, Gartner publishes its supply chain “Top 25.” The list includes firms such as Apple, P&G, Amazon, Unilever and Inditex (the owner of Zara). Each has succeeded in using their supply
chains not simply to drive down costs but, more importantly, to improve overall performance. In other words, these firms discovered that their supply chains are effective and efficient strategic weapons. For many managers, this goal is becoming their Holy Grail—that of turning their supply chains into truly strategic weapons.

That’s easier said than done, and not every organization is ready for the transformation. We examine this challenge by framing it with seven key questions that you, as supply chain managers, must be willing to ask. These questions, based on numerous years of research and experience working with leading edge supply chain companies combined with results generated by past empirical studies such as the “Supply Chain Management: Beyond The Horizon,” a joint study sponsored by the department of supply chain management and Michigan State University and APICS to clarify what is meant by strategic supply chain management. The questions address whether your firm is ready to make the transition from a conventional operational price-driven supply chain to a strategic, value-driven supply chain. In asking these questions, you will develop a better, more rounded understanding of strategic supply chain management in a way that can be immediately applied in your firm.

1. Who are your firm’s key customers?

According to Gartner, top supply chains “are designed starting with what brings value to customers and then back through the supply network.” But, remember that not all customers are created equal. Some are more important than others. It is these latter customers that firms strive to profitably delight. These customers drive how your supply chain ecosystem is designed, deployed and managed. If your firm strives to treat all customers as equally important, two negative results can be expected.

This complete article is available to subscribers only. Log in now for full access or start your PLUS+ subscription for instant access.

By ·

Every year, Gartner publishes its supply chain “Top 25.” The list includes firms such as Apple, P&G, Amazon, Unilever and Inditex (the owner of Zara). Each has succeeded in using their supply
chains not simply to drive down costs but, more importantly, to improve overall performance. In other words, these firms discovered that their supply chains are effective and efficient strategic weapons. For many managers, this goal is becoming their Holy Grail—that of turning their supply chains into truly strategic weapons.

That’s easier said than done, and not every organization is ready for the transformation. We examine this challenge by framing it with seven key questions that you, as supply chain managers, must be willing to ask. These questions, based on numerous years of research and experience working with leading edge supply chain companies combined with results generated by past empirical studies such as the “Supply Chain Management: Beyond The Horizon,” a joint study sponsored by the department of supply chain management and Michigan State University and APICS to clarify what is meant by strategic supply chain management. The questions address whether your firm is ready to make the transition from a conventional operational price-driven supply chain to a strategic, value-driven supply chain. In asking these questions, you will develop a better, more rounded understanding of strategic supply chain management in a way that can be immediately applied in your firm.

1. Who are your firm’s key customers?

According to Gartner, top supply chains “are designed starting with what brings value to customers and then back through the supply network.” But, remember that not all customers are created equal. Some are more important than others. It is these latter customers that firms strive to profitably delight. These customers drive how your supply chain ecosystem is designed, deployed and managed. If your firm strives to treat all customers as equally important, two negative results can be expected.

 


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From the November 2018
The combined forces of a strong economy, e-commerce growth and a tight labor market are making it more important for distribution center (DC) operations to find ways to make their existing infrastructure and people more productive. Software and automation continue to prove to be a vital part of the solution.
Shining a light on the “black box” of transportation
Does Artificial Intelligence (AI) -enabled demand forecasting improve supply chain efficiency?
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EDITORS' PICKS
Global Kuehne + Nagel Indicators Signal Global Supply Chain Resilience
So far this year, international merchandise trade has risen by 10.6%. Emerging markets and North...
A.T. Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council Predictions Released
GBPC’s 10 major predictions, fleshed out in the study, are based on continuous scanning of the...

New Research Indicates Greener Supply Chains Mean More Profit
Transparency is key when selecting new suppliers as 85% of businesses want to achieve a...
New Survey Measures Potential Impact of Tariffs on U.S. Supply Chains
The proportion of total output produced abroad is meanwhile expected to rise very marginally.