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Supply Chain Development
Part 3 of 4

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Calibrating the effectiveness of the organization's supply chain system directly relates to customer-driven strategies and matches them against best practices, benchmarking performance data, and optimal software applications.

These calibrations allow the supply chain mangers to identify criti­cal changes in the customer's environment. In particular those cus­tomer requirements that are emerging, forecast their future direction, derive their implications for effective planning, and make plans foradvantages they may offer or ameliorate their consequences if they negatively impact the supply chain.

The calibration of the supply chain will always focus on change, improved performance, and taking advantage of each and every op­portunity for customer evaluation.


Supply chain mangers will raise many implications on how they can contribute to bringing differentiation in the consumption chain along with the supply chain.


What are the vital signs of a performance leveled supply chain sys­tem? Is it cost, production, sales, and cash flow or is it the customer fulfillment of the value that the supply chain produces? It is the heart­beat of the customer that must be monitored. How efficient the supply chain is is a direct effect on the customer's heart-line. The supply chain enables the organization's people to fulfill the customer's expectations.


Strategic initiatives are driven top-down in the organization. But it must be determined who in the organization will have the enlightened un­derstanding and leadership capabilities to pull off the plan.


The problem occurs that many of these competent "hidden leaders" are trapped in their functional roles. These leaders possess a great value to the supply chain in that they have operations and business experi­ence. They are eager to create a new and exciting system unencum­bered by the old way of doing things.


The new leaders will embrace the purpose and goals of the organi­zation and have the capabilities and energy to go the distance in the supply chain system creation. Competencies and awareness levels must be questioned. Do the supply chain leaders understand their roles for the new order of things? Do they understand how the business strategy is embedded into the company strategies? Do they believe that what they are doing is a direct link to the customer-driven strategies? Those who know the answers to these questions should be the "chosen ones"!

The leadership goal for the top brass of the organization is to set strategic priorities for lower-level management implementation. Their job is to remove all barriers, allocate necessary resources, and clearly express tangible measures and expectations for success.

Top management, working in a symbiotic mode with all levels of the supply chain, creates a seamless structure. This leadership devel­ops the total feel and feed of competency in the system.

Successful companies have taken leadership development one step further. Many companies today have set up their own supply chain councils, which consist of cross-functional and multilevel business lead­ers who are directly responsible for the success of the supply chain system.


These leadership forums create overall market strategy and guide planned changes for the business. This supply leader network has proven to be highly successful and has shown direct improvement and impact to the bottom line of the company.


"To be in Hell is to drift; to be in Heaven is to steer." (George Ber­nard Shaw)

To Be Continued

For balance of this article, click on the below link:

Lean Manufacturing Articles and click on Series 11

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