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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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2019 Top 5 Trends of Enterprise Labeling
This year’s sixth annual Top 5 Trends in Enterprise Labeling report outlines significant shifts in labeling that are impacting businesses and global supply chains at an unprecedented level.
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From the January-February 2019
If history is our guide, economies take a turn every nine years. Yet time and again, a strong business cycle and fading memories convince us the good times will go on forever. Ten years after the great recession, we surveyed 100 manufacturing firms to find out if businesses are ready to fight through the next recession.
Truck Driver Shortage: No one behind the wheel
Intermodal to the rescue
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EDITORS' PICKS
Supply Chain Management Issues Confronting Us This Year
A variety of fresh challenges will surface for global traders in January and beyond
Global Supply Chain Pricing May Face New Pressures in 2019
The global economy started 2018 with strong, synchronized growth, but the momentum faded as the year...

IHS Markit’s New Economic “Predictions” for 2019 and Impact on Global Supply Chains
The U.S. will remain “above trend,” while other key economies will experience further...
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...