The methodology for completing the supply chain assessment is straightforward once the Supply Chain Proficiency Model is clearly understood. A six-step process ensues.
1. Create Project Plan
A detailed project plan will describe the project and establish the resources required to complete it. The plan represents the deliverable for this step. A project kick off meeting communicates the plan to management and all participants.
2. Develop "As-ls" Supply Chain Proficiency Model
This step provides the baseline for supply chain improvements. Since each characteristic has to progress through the stages one at a time, the "as-is" model provides the starting point for analysis. An objective evaluation of the current proficiency is a critical success factor of the assessment. An enterprise may have difficulty evaluating its situation because mixed signals typically are being sent.
The "as-is" Supply Chain Proficiency Model is the primary deliverable of this step. It includes key criteria for each characteristic that support the stage assessments.
3. Develop "To Be" Supply Chain Proficiency Model
The "to-be" model requires significant management participation. One cannot assume that Stage IV is a goal for every enterprise. Some of the factors that contribute to management's vision include
• current proficiency stage of the enterprise
• enterprise's position in the supply chain
• target time frame
In developing the "to-be" Supply Chain Proficiency Model, management needs to exercise good judgment. On one hand, the desirable target should be a stretch for the organization to achieve. On the other, it must be a realistic goal that can be achieved in two to three years.
In the deliverable, the project team must define a set of measurable criteria by characteristic for each target stage. The more specific the criteria, the easier it will be to define projects.
4. Perform "Gap" Analysis
As indicated by its name, this step analyzes the difference between the current and target situations. For each characteristic, the team will define projects to logically progress from the "as-is" to the "to-be" states.
The critical success factor for this step is to address the culture issues. Supply chain management changes the way the enterprise thinks. Moving from Stage I through Stage IV will require the implementation of new paradigms. These changes will not happen automatically, and they will take management commitment and training at all levels of the enterprise. One or more organizational change management projects will be necessary within each characteristic.
A sequential list of projects by characteristic defines the deliverable for this step. Each project will include
• project description
• scope and objectives
5. Create Supply Chain Management Plan
In this step, the project team will organize the projects across characteristics. One objective is to achieve some "quick hits." Another is to maintain some semblance of balance across the Supply Chain Proficiency Model.
The final deliverable for the project is created in this step. For the most part, the team organizes the information developed in previous steps. An exception is that the team creates detailed project plans for the next step projects—projects to be initiated in the next three months.
6. Gain Management Approval
The final step of the assessment includes developing a management presentation that summarizes the contents of the final report, presenting it to management and gaining management approval to proceed.
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