It’s been a tremendous first year at supplychaingamechanger.com. Our goal has always been to share experiences and expertise. And in the second half of 2017 we had an ever increasing number of articles contributed by industry leaders all of whom have been very generous in sharing their intellect and insights. This is our second 2017 Top 10 List.
Our readers and contributors come from all over the world. They include individuals new to Supply Chain as well as Industry leaders and everyone in between. And they work in many different industries and vocations. But they all have a common interest in Supply Chain, Operations, Business, Leadership, Change Management, Human Resources, Transformation, and Technology.
Most importantly they all have an interest in learning and sharing.
As we end this first year we wanted to publish our 2nd Top 10 List. Our first Top 10 List covered the Top blog posts from the first half of 2017 so our 2nd Top 10 List will cover the second half of 2017.
It seems that every time there is a Management change in an organization there is movement to change the existing organization structure.
In some cases your Function or company is decentralized and new management wants to centralize everything. In the opposite case they want to centralize everything. And certainly there are organization structures which are a hybrid of both paradigms.
But in the Supply Chain world what is the best way to organize the function?
Organizations that are either considered high performing or who aspire to become high performing understand that their employees are their greatest asset. A company can only achieve its overall objectives if their employees are aligned, on board and driving toward those goals, and if their ideas are heard.
At its core your employees understand how well or how poorly the day-to-day processes in your company run better than anyone else. They also have tremendous ideas on how to improve those processes, how to improve your metrics, and how to achieve your objectives.
So how do you tap in to that intellect, unleash those ideas, and empower your employees in an organized and efficient manner? How do you get your finger on the pulse of what is on your employee’s minds?
A mentor is a person who can be a sounding board, someone of experience who can listen and help development, while not losing sight of reality. That is mentoring.
Mentorship is actually rarer than we think but true mentorship is a beautiful thing.
“Mentors should keep their protégés’ feet grounded, and support and stretch them to succeed personally and professionally,” says Debbee Dale in “How to Set up a Mentoring Scheme.” I think that is a perfect description.
Procurement, or Purchasing, is an area of Supply Chain that involves and requires very specific skills and expertise. This is particularly apparent if you are conducing a job interview and hiring a Procurement professional, you are looking for a Procurement job, you are looking to outsource anything, or you are dealing with Procurement people in the course of conducting business.
Regardless of your position or situation it is highly valuable to understand the type of interview questions, and answers, appropriate for Procurement and Purchasing professionals.
Supply Chain Managers have a full plate, including finding Supply Chain talent. They must oversee inbound and outbound inventory, manage warehouse space, consider order processing, handle employee complaints, report to stakeholders, supervise new system implementation and address the looming skills gap.
My plane had just landed. I turned on my cell phone. And almost immediately my CEO called to ask me about my recently hired “Rock Star” boss.
“Have you heard from Rick? Nobody’s heard from him in several days.”
Rick was my new boss, the CPO, a guy that the CEO hired a couple of months before.
“No I haven’t heard from him either. That is very unusual given the incredible pace he set for himself”, I said.
“Ok. Let me know if you hear from him and I’ll do the same.”
Where the heck was he? He seemed to be working 20 hours a day, 7 days a week. All of his direct reports were getting dozens of emails from him at all hours of the day and night. But lately there was nothing. Complete radio silence.
At Supply Chain Game Changer we believe in sharing experiences and expertise from people in every industry and from across the globe. As such we have introduced our “Seasoned Leadership in Action™” Interview series at Supply Chain Game Changer. This interview is with Brad Jackson, Executive Vice President of Supply Chain Management and Device Sales at Rakuten Kobo, now at North West Rubber.
The CEO called an emergency meeting in the Boardroom. The President of our Division, myself, the prior owners of a company we had just acquired, and one of our major shareholders/board members were to attend. The sh*t had hit the fan with our latest acquisition.
It had only been a few months since the acquisition had been completed. This was certainly long enough for the honeymoon period to be over. But now it looked like we were quickly heading for a divorce.
When you embark on driving any kind of Game Changing Transformation you will most likely also need to change the Culture. As the saying goes, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results”. So in order to get different results you may have to break through barriers and drive different behaviours from what are inherent in your current Culture.
Your organization is an ecosystem of policies, practices, processes and procedures that are the result of decisions, beliefs and behaviours. Over time much of this generally gets accepted as the way it’s always been done and is not open to challenge or to change. Therein sacred cows, whether real or perceived, can become obstacles to making the changes needed to derive different results from the status quo.
So how do you change your Culture to achieve Game Changing results?
First, a “Prime Objective” of the Shasta EDC is job growth in the manufacturing and technology sectors, including the use of collaborative robots. This is our key focus. However, the recruitment, retention, and expansion of our companies is equally important.
There is obviously a symbiotic relationship between employer and employees. However, from time to time there are talent gaps that emerge and technologies that force us to rethink our approaches to business.
Data shows that the number of manufacturing jobs are declining, and the jobs that remain are shifting to a mixture of the traditional and tribal knowledge around manufacturing and a blend of technical knowledge that helps to augment current manufacturing with the practical application of emerging technologies.
Supply chain leaders and heroes will face the year with uncertainty and opportunity. Digital technologies are becoming more prevalent in basic supply chain functions, and changes in legislation are likely to spur dramatic changes that will result in the need to reevaluate supply chain strategy in both domestic and international locations. How can they be Supply Chain heroes?