Editor's Blog

Supply Chain Managers as Business Leaders

Written by Scott Koegler
Published on Monday, 09 May 2016
cioIt’s customary to think of supply chain professionals as department managers or technologists or even as programmers. But the role of today’s supply chain professional is changing to be a much more complex and responsible position. And it’s because the supply chain is becoming the heart of the business world. No longer is it possible for a company to simply have a great product. And letting the world know about it and be enthusiastic to know more and even motivated to buy just isn’t enough. Products now need to be available through multiple channels and deliverable based on customer preference. The complexity of today’s supply chain means the people responsible for it need to be more.

Check these skills that are critical to delivering a successful supply chain.

Technical prowess - This one is nearly a given.  You need to understand the tech that enables your supply chain. That includes not just the EDI and fields that make it up, but the networking, software, computing devices, cloud services, mobile deployment, RFID, IoT, and on, and on. Keeping up with tech means not just maintaining the underlying components of your network but knowing what may be on the technology horizon.

Enterprise empowerment - Supply chain leaders understand that their role in the company extends beyond their role as technician and extends to include their responsibilities to build great teams. They take on the leadership of their group and become role models for new hires as well as staff beyond their own department.

Digital transformation - The enterprise may be focused on digital transformation but nowhere is the change more important than in the supply chain. Moving from outdated manual systems to modern digital systems can mean the difference between simply surviving and outpacing the competition to win new markets and extend the customer base.

Outreach - Supply chains are notorious for hiding behind the digital workflow. But most problems are solved by personal interaction. Supply chain professionals who know how to connect with both their suppliers and their customers are able to form connections much stronger than the data that flows between them.

As you move through your career, whether you choose a vertical path that keeps you within the supply chain or move horizontally to another set of responsibilities, these skills will help you be successful at every level.

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Editor's Blog

The ec-bp Editor's Blog is Scott Koegler's forum for communicating with readers of ec-bp.com. If you're involved in managing the supply chain in any way check Scott Koegler's posts for updates on significant events and an ever-evolving commentary on best practices in the supply chain.

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