Globalisation, multi-channel retail, and rapid technological development means that supply chain is becoming ever more complex, so ensuring that organisations have people with the right skills is becoming ever more important.
So it is appropriate that Professor Richard Wilding of Cranfield School of Management chose to look at the skills issue when he opened the Logistics and Supply Chain conference in London this morning.
Competition no longer between individual companies: it is between supply chains. One of the key things we have to think about is aligning values across supply chains – create a common set of values that appropriate across the entire supply chain.
If you don’t have capability in supply chain then there will be problems with competitive strategy, he said. The supply chain director needs to be involved in developing the competitive strategy.
He pointed out that if you look as what businesses need from the supply chain director, recruitment specialists will say it’s business first, supply chain & procurement second.
If you as a supply chain director are going onto the board, it is a given that you know how to run the supply chain. It is business skills that are critical, he said.
It’s easy to see the supply chain function purely in terms of supply chain metrics. But Wilding is clear that this is not enough.
For people in supply chain, the language of supply chain is not enough. Supply chain professionals need to talk in terms the business understands – the language of profit and improved shareholder value.