IMPLEMENTING THE SUPPLY CHAIN VISION
Now that the goals of the vision have been identified to the partners, it is time to define the logistics which the team will perform. It is critical to define the tactical responsibilities so each partner understands the deliverables, and how their involvement is critical to the overall success of the supply chain. A second benefit is that the supply chain partner's performance can be measured based on a standard that was conceptually established. Measuring supply chain performance is similar to measuring employee performance. With an employee, there is a written job description identifying exactly what is expected along with measurable performance criteria. This level of detail is provided to eliminate any confusion about the position and to remove any emotion as to what is expected. Why is this level of detail limited to employees only? Expand upon the concept and make it part of the program. The final significant aspect of defining the logistics during implementation is that it allows for an opportunity to prevent problems that have been experienced historically or that
can be avoided with proper planning. All the partners are left at the end of the implementation with a roadmap for performance, plain and simple.
A statement of work (SOW) is a non-legal document designed to cover the tactical processes and responsibility shared by the team in supporting a solution. The
reason it is a non-legal document is to ensure flexibility to change and modify the processes as required in support of the program. All partners develop the SOW at the same time, so everyone has equal input into the development of the program. Typically the SOW is written as soon as the sourcing decision has been made so the program is built with a tactical foundation. In the end, the SOW must support the primary vision and reflect the expectations of top management.
To write an SOW, it is best to start with an outline of the critical elements of the program. Once you have the critical elements defined, look at the key processes involving action or communication by the partners. Create a subset of tasks under each critical area for those key processes. Once an outline has been established, publish it to the team as an agenda or table of contents for which their input will be required to develop. Ask the partners to review the topics and suggest any additional areas they feel are critical for inclusion in the program. Once all feedback is received, coordinate a meeting between all of the partners to define the SOW.
Participation of all partners is essential for the initial development meeting. It allows three things to occur. First, all partners have equal input and understanding of what the goals and objectives are. Second, it allows the partners to understand the entire project and how decisions they might make could potentially affect the other partners. Finally, it allows the partners face time to network enhancing future communication and solutions. For the meeting, find a place where distractions can be minimized. Rent a conference room or another location so the team can stay focused on what is being developed without interruptions. Remember, your role for this meeting is facilitator and a scribe. Time to present is over, it is now time to implement. Start with each item on the outline and allow each partner who it affects to state their preference and desired result. From there, let the other partners discuss and conclude what the proper process to meet the requirement is. Depending on the complexity of the SOW, the amount of time spent can vary. Plan in advance for many breaks and refreshments to help keep
your partners focused and comfortable. The time spent in advance of the program will be well worth avoiding issues that could adversely affect your supply chain during production. As you listen to the processes being defined, write notes as to what is being agreed upon and then read them back to the team. If all are in agreement, move to the next topic.
Once all topics have been reviewed, make a commitment to the team when the preliminary SOW will be ready for their review. Once written, distribute it to the team and solicit any final feedback. Make sure a due date is given for the response back. Incorporate all of the feedback and send a final copy to the team stating the document is now live as of this date. Make sure you assign someone in your organization as the owner of the SOW in case any future maintenance is required.
To Be Continued
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