We Need Integrated Business Planning (IBP); But it Won’t Work Without Proper Organizational Structure and Roles – And Definitely Won’t Work Without a CRO and CPO!!!

There’s been a number of articles lately, which we’ll likely discuss in later articles, about the need to move to integrated business planning (IBP) as a means to combat, and minimize, supply chain disruptions. While those articles have a point, there are two things they are missing, at least so far. One, while IBP can minimize certain types of preventable disruptions, it doesn’t help much in mitigating disruptions that are unexpected. Two, it requires end-to-end modelling of, and monitoring of, overall business processes, and without the right representation of the right stakeholders in the process, this never happens.

And the right representation usually doesn’t happen because, as we kind of hinted at in our last article on why You Need A CPO, most organizations don’t have the right C-Suite, and, thus, the right people aren’t included, or at least properly represented, in integrated business planning (IBP), and, as a result, the right processes, or at least the right assumptions and data, aren’t included, and the planning fails.

If you look at the goals of Integrated Business Planning, which include, but are not limited to:

  • aligning strategic objectives with operational and financial goals
  • aligning product strategy, R&D, and manufacturing with objectives and supply chain
  • ensuring demand forecasting is influenced by market research and historical sales data and connected to procurement
  • ensuring procurement strategy aligns with demand forecasting, risk management, and the organization’s current supply chain network
  • ensuring network and logistics changes and optimization takes into account procurement, risk, regulatory compliance, and ESG goals
  • ensuring marketing and sales focusses on current product availability and aligns with the product strategy dictated by market research
  • creating an all-inclusive profitability analysis that takes into account true end-to-end lifecycle costs
  • ensuring inventory is balanced with logistics times and disruption risk so that overall cost (balanced between inventory cost and losses from stockout) is the most appropriate for the organization
  • creating a cash-flow analysis that considers not only all inflows and outflows but the timings so the organization can balance debt/loans, on-time payments, early payments, and investments to maximize the return on every dollar

and the expected results which include, but are not limited to:

  • enhanced revenue growth
  • faster and better (data-informed) decision making
  • improved customer satisfaction
  • better product lifecycle management
  • faster supply chain disruption responses
  • increased target ownership and the ability to rapidly revise, and commit to, plans
  • better planning efficiency

you cannot

  • align objectives with goals unless you have the owners of all objectives, impacted operations, and finance involved … and this dictates a complete C-Suite with all the key parties, including, but not limited to the CEO, CFO, CPO, CRO, and, if present, COO, CTO, and any other CXO role NOT fully owned by another CXO
  • align strategy without the marketing & sales perspective (CRO), the market research (CRO or COO), the R&D/Manufacturing owner (COO or CSCO), and the procurement perspective (CPO)
  • you need the CRO, COO, and CPO to agree on the demand forecast as all parties need to deliver
  • … and the CPO needs input from the Risk Officer and the CSCO to finalize the strategy
  • the CSCO cannot optimize the supply chain network without the CPO, Risk Officer, Compliance Lead, and ESG Expert
  • the CRO needs to continually monitor input from the CPO and CSCO to ensure that products are marketed and sold at the right time as manufacturing challenges, logistics delays, inventory hiccups can change product availability daily
  • profitability needs to take into account all organizational costs, which means you need to look at procurement costs (CPO), operational costs (COO), HR costs (CFO, COO, or Head of HR), logistics and tariffs (CSCO), etc. it’s way more than revenue minus COGS minus overhead
  • and, while the cashflow belongs with the CFO, the CFO needs insight into organizational wide costs and commitments to figure it all out

and you will not

  • reliably enhance revenue without a CRO;
  • be able to make better data-informed decisions with missing data;
  • improve customer satisfaction without market research, procurement input, manufacturing quality;
  • better manage lifecycles without integrated input from market research to warranty repair and all steps in between;
  • respond quickly to a disruption without all of the integrated data to make an alternative decision as a mitigation response;
  • have all of the target, and task, owners in the same system; or
  • plan better with partial data. Never.

So you need all of the key roles, including the CRO and CPO that the majority of organizations are missing and, most importantly, you need the right structure — CRO and CPO at the top with the CFO and (if not done by the CEO) COO — with the other C-Suite roles reporting to the CRO, CPO, CFO, and COO as appropriate. For example, the CMO and VP sales under the CRO, CSCO and Risk/Compliance under the CPO, HR and R&D under the COO, etc.

In other words, all this push towards IBP is great, but you need a fleshed out, well oiled organizational structure, with all key roles filled, to support the processes with a collective holistic data view, or it just won’t work.

Need to Trade More Confidently? Maybe You Need Trademo to Monitor Your Supply Chain!

As you should be well aware by now (as we recently gave you a 10-part series on supply chain risk), supply chains are fraught with risks — that you need to manage, and that, in many cases you can only manage with visibility. In particular, multi-tier visibility down to the source raw material. You also need insight into key areas of regulatory compliance around H(T)S codes for trade (and ECCN for defense trade), sanctions and denied parties, and (known) forced/slave labour violations by any supplier in your multi-tier supply chain.

One application that can give you multi-tier visibility, detailed insight into key areas of compliance, supplier discovery, and even trade intelligence is Trademo. Centered around a global supply chain knowledge graph on over 5M buyer and supplier entities with over 100M relationships built upon public trade (import/export) data from over 140 countries, Trademo can provide unique multi-tier visibility and insight into your supply chain, and the supply chains of your competitors which can help you find potential suppliers who could also serve you and even identify other supplier locations that could be more relevant for you.

There are three main parts of the Trademo platform.

  1. Global Supply Chain Intelligence
  2. Supply Chain Visibility & Resilience
  3. Global Trade Compliance

We’ll discuss these in reverse order, as that is the typical order in which organizations generally seek out, implement, and use these solutions.

Trademo‘s Global Trade Compliance module supports an organization with

  • HS Tariff Search, Validation and Classification across 140+ countries
  • ECCN Search
  • Sanctions Screening across over 640 global sanctions list
  • (Import/Export) Controls (and Embargo) Search
  • Product Master
  • Landed Cost Calculator

HS (Code) Search is by country, trade direction (import or export), and partial code or product keyword. (HS codes could be classified either by referring to the built-in tariff tree structure or using the AI model to classify the HS Codes.) it brings up all the matching codes based on the product key word (or partial HS code), as well as the computed match relevance. You can then select the code of interest and see the associated tariffs and duties, controls, and any associated rulings.

ECCN search is similar to HS (Code) Search and is by country and ecn/ml number or keyword and brings up the relevant subcategories that you can dive into and get relevant details.

Sanctions screening can be ad-hoc, bulk, or advance. Adhoc allows a sourcing / supply chain professional to enter a person, company, or vessel name and screen against any set of sanction lists of interest (one, some, or all). Bulk allows the same, but against a list of uploaded persons, companies, and/or vessels. Advance screening is similar to adhoc, but allows the user to limit to countries, specific locations, and even set thresholds for partial match retrievals. The user can also setup blacklists, so that any attempt to associate a product in the master with a supplier that is blacklisted fails, any search on it returns its status, and any export includes the blacklist status. The user can also setup watchlists (for daily monitoring) and any time a new sanction, control, etc. is detected for the person, company, or vessel, an alert is created in the tool and sent to the user through e-mail.

Sanctions screening are against rules that define collections of sanction lists that are relevant to the user and the types of screenings they usually do. For example, if the organization only sources from and/or two 20 countries, they may not care about any sanctions or embargoes against the remaining countries for which sanctions and embargoes are encoded in the system. In the Trademo system, rules are sorted into list groups (global sanctions, PEP, OFAC, health & human service, banking & investments, enforcement, and maritime) and then sub-groups by source (country, entity, etc.). The buyer can select what interests them, a threshold for matching, define a rule name, and then easy peasy search just those lists going forward.

When a sanction is found, extremely detailed information is returned and generally includes the entity name, the list, the country, the authority, all known entity (operating) aliases, effective date, expiry date (if a limited embargo, for example), company address / vessel birth and identifiers / personage citizenship or address, etc. A user can also bring up the full citation and download everything in PDF if they desire.

Controls bring up, for an import country or ISO Code and/or export country and ISO Code and/or country of origin and ISO Code and/or a HS Code, all related controls and embargoes along with their type (such as import permit or export permit), the controlling authority, and the scope of the control. As with a sanction or HS code, the user can click into a control of interest and see the complete details and download the source (as a PDF) if they so desire.

The Product Master allows the organization to manage their product database down to a SKU level, along with all countries of import, export, and associated HS codes. This makes it easy for the platform to automatically monitor for relevant changes to HS/ECCN codes, duty rates, controls, embargoes, etc. and notify the user when these changes occur.

The Landed Cost Calculator is very useful for sourcing professionals as it allows them, for a lot, to enter some basic information and source unit and carrier costs and get a complete total landed cost based upon the HS / ECCN code and all import and export tariffs.

The user needs to simply enter:

  1. Country (of import, export, and origin), duties of interest (default, preferential, or both), and HS CODE
  2. Mode of transport, incoterm, currency, value (and, optionally, unit of measurement & total quantity)
  3. Freight, insurance, and any other known (sur)charges

The platform will then calculate the total landed cost that will include all the duties and tariffs on the lot, the known merchandise processing fees, the known vessel fees, the known port fees, and other known fees and give the user a total landed cost (where the user can see a 200K buy become a 250K or 300K or more buy and truly understand the cost of global sourcing). the user can also compare the landed cost across different sourcing markets.

Moving on to Trademo‘s Supply Chain Visibility & Resilience solution, it is essentially a supply chain mapping solution that allows an organization to see all of their 1 to n suppliers (3 by default, but more if they want) and filter into suppliers by tier, country, HS code, and associated trade lanes. They can create product groups by brand or region and just see the associated supply chains for those brands and regions as well. The default view shows them the supplier name, domicile country, HS codes supplied downstream, trade lanes used, tier 1 connection, and total shipment value. From this complete list, the user can select a subset of suppliers by country, HS code, and/or trade lane and see a graphical representation of their supply chain, augmented with trade value. It’s simple, but quickly informative and very useful to discovering just who is in your supply chain, as well as who is in a certain region / on a certain trade lane that was just impacted by a natural disaster or border shutdown and you need to react.

Finally, there is the foundational Global Supply Chain Intelligence intelligence offering (Trademo Intel) that is based on their core supply chain knowledge graph and all of the public trade data it incorporates. The entry point to Trademo Intel is the shipment search screen which allows the user to search across all bills of lading in all categories and retrieve all associated shipments, which can then be filtered by shipper details, consignee details, ports, cargo, and freight details, and see a summary, for the selected timeframe, of total shipments, total weight, and total value. They can then drill into (top) importers, exporters, and more detailed analytics. If the amount of data is overwhelming, they can limit to specific product categories, HS codes, shippers, or consignees before starting the search.

It’s a great tool for exploring your competitors’ supply chains, which, when limited to certain product (categories), allows you to discover potential suppliers you might not have known about otherwise. Furthermore, you can see the volumes they are capable of supplying globally and the trade lanes they are already navigating. While most risk solutions will give you credit, cyber, compliance, and/or sustainability risk, they don’t give you deep insights into products supplied, locations supplied from, lanes the supplier is using (which indicates which global regulations they comply with), and so on. When you click into an entity, you can see all of their trading partners, total shipments to/from each, HS Codes supplied, and associated shipments. They can then drill into any and all shipments of interest and see complete details. The analytics are super helpful in identifying the top HS codes, HS sections, modes of transport, and routes used by the entity.

It also allows an organization to keep tabs on global trade from a certain region and whether it is increasing or decreasing, which could signal tidal shifts that could affect future cargo availability, rates, and risks if there is over saturation or under saturation of a trade region predicted.

If you need global trade support around HS codes, sanctions or embargoes; supply chain visibility; and supplier discovery (and deep trade insight in this discovery), Trademo is a solution that should definitely be in your RFP short list. It’s easy to use, powerful, and already validated by a number of Global 3000 companies. Check it out and TRADE MOre confindently!

Less Than 1/3 of Organizations Have a CPO — How Will They Continue to Survive?

the doctor has yet to see a single study that said that more than 30% of (public) (listed) organizations have a CPO, and some have that number as low as 15%. He has to admit that he just DOES NOT get it. From a basic business point of view, if you go back to the first thing that they teach you in Business 101, it should be easy to see that it is one of the two most critical roles in an organization, and one of the four roles EVERY organization should have.

The first thing that they teach you is for a business to survive, it has to be profitable, and

Profit = Revenue – Expenses

This says that one of the two most important roles in an organization is the (acting) CRO, who is responsible for bringing the revenue in that is required for the business to operate. In a startup, the acting CRO could be the CEO who has to sell, sell, sell (or raise, raise, raise) until she has enough money to hire a CRO, but without revenue, there is no business.

This also says that the other most important role is the (acting) CPO, as the business will need products. Even a pure services business needs products to operate (equipment, software, office supplies, MRO, etc.), and those need to be obtained at a total cost that is less than the revenue available to pay for them. If the company is primarily a product company, then the majority of its spend will be on these products (and not products for operations or personnel), and the CPO is super critical. Now, in a primarily services company, this role may be fulfilled by the CEO (if the CEO is not sales oriented, but an ops or HR person), but will likely be fulfilled by the CFO or the HR Director/VP until the company is big enough, and spends enough on internal products, to hire a CPO.

Furthermore, this would imply that the third most important role is the CFO that ensures the money coming in and money going out are appropriately tracked and the budgets appropriately allocated and the financial reports and taxes appropriately filed with the government agencies. (But, if there are no funds flowing in and out, you don’t have a business, and, thus, don’t need a CFO.)

Finally, logic would dictate that the fourth most important role is the CEO that defines the strategy, direction, and enables each of these roles needs to be as successful as possible.

This also means that organizations that over-focus on the

  • CSO (Strategy): have their head in the clouds because strategy needs to be executed, and you don’t necessarily need a full time person in this role — a good exercise once every year to three (depending on your market) lead by a strategic expert could be enough
  • CMO (Marketing): are over valuing marketing because, while it’s important to get attention, you have convert leads into prospects into sales … and it’s the CRO that manages that entire process
  • C(R/C)O (Risk/Compliance): are putting the cart before the horses so they can’t leave the stables; while risk is critical, it has to be managed in a sales and procurement context
  • CTO (Technology): are not seeing the big picture; if you are a software organization, having a solid platform and infrastructure is critical, but if you are not selling the product, or you are not able to attract the talent you need to build the product (which may or may not be the CTO’s skillset), it’s suddenly less important

And, of course, this means that Head of Sales, R&D Director, VP Product, etc. also become secondary as sales is only part of the funnel, some R&D can be outsourced or acquired (since design can sometimes be one time), and without the ability to acquire the talent and goods you need, you can’t create the product.

But every organization has a CFO and CEO, the second most important positions. The majority have CMOs and CTOs, the third most important positions. And they all focus on Sales VPs, R&D, Products, etc. which are essential, but the fourth most important positions from a foundational and C-Suite perspective. But when it comes to CROs, less than 15% of organizations have them and when it comes to CPOS, less than 30% of organizations have them. It boggles the logical minds!

Now, the doctor knows he’s going to get a lot of flak for this for calling CMO, CTO, etc. third and fourth on the importance scale, because they are critical roles in many organizations, but if you go back to basics, logically they are not the most critical roles that must be filled.

Source-to-Pay+ Part 10: Over 55 Supply Chain Risk Vendors to Check Out

Last quarter, we ran a 9-part series that served as An Introduction to Supply Chain Risk where we introduced you to the risk elements not covered by traditional supplier management platforms (which we covered in our 39 Steps … err … 30 Clues … err … 39 Part Series on Source to Pay where we listed over 90 supply management companies of which over 1/3 claimed to have some degree of “risk”, which we dub supplier “Uncertainty”, management).

In our series, we focussed heavily on corporate risk, third party risk (which included ESG, Human Rights, Regulatory Compliance), supply chain risk (including transparency, traceability, and multi-tier tracking), transport risk, cyber risk, and analytics. We also noted that our next instalment would provide a starting list of vendors that you could check out to meet (some of) your supply chain risk needs.

This is that instalment. Hopefully this starting list will be useful to you. In the months that come, the hope is that some of these will be covered


 3P 3rd Party / TPRM
S/V supplier risk / verification
SCT supply chain transparency
T/L transport / logistics
 MT multi-tier
  C cyber
ESG Environmental, Social, Governance
 HR Human Rights
 RC Regulatory Compliance
BoM Bill of Materials (Direct)
 DX Discovery
 TX Traceability
Vendor LI/#Emps  3P S/V SCT T/L  MT   C ESG  HR  RC BoM  DX  TX
&wider 20 Y Y
Agora Sourcing 2 Y Y
AMLRight Source 2795 Y Y
Apex Analytix 411 Y Y Y Y
Aravo 117 Y Y Y Y
Archer 681 Y Y Y
Altana Atlas 166 Y Y Y Y Y Y
Brooklyn Solutions 24 Y Y Y
Certa 200 Y Y Y Y
Circulor 63 Y Y Y Y Y
Contingent 28 Y Y Y Y
Darkbeam (Apex Analytix) 8 Y
Diligent 2245 Y Y Y
Exiger 765 Y Y Y Y Y
Everstream Analytics 165 Y Y Y Y
Fact 360 12 Y
FairSupply 40 Y Y
FusionRM 275 Y
GoSupply 33 Y Y
IntegrityNext 96 Y Y Y
Interos 254 Y Y Y Y
Kharon 102 Y Y Y Y
MetricStream 1373 Y Y Y Y Y
Navex 1343 Y
NQC 104 Y Y Y Y Y
Overhaul 312 Y Y
Prevalent 161 Y Y
Prewave 150 Y Y
ProcessUnity (w/CyberGRX) 143 Y Y Y
Raad360 3 Y Y
RapidRatings 166 Y
Resilinc 299 Y Y Y Y
Resolver (Kroll) 371 Y Y
Responsibly 17 Y Y
RiskLedger 34 Y Y
Riskonnect 801 Y Y
RiskRecon 116 Y
RoboAI 57 Y Y Y
SAI360 435 Y Y Y
Sayari 180 Y Y
Sedex 442 Y Y Y
Seerist 127 Y
SourceMap 91 Y Y
Sphera 125 Y Y
Supply Risk Solutions 10 Y
SupplyShift 59 Y Y
SupplyWisdom 116 Y
Sustainabill 15 Y Y
The Smart Cube 1033 Y
ThirdPartyTrust (Bitsight) 16 Y
TraceLink 947 Y Y Y Y Y
Trademo 97 Y Y Y Y
Transparency One 23 Y
Trust Your Supplier 15 Y Y
Versed.AI 17 Y Y
VisoTrust 47 Y
Whistic 81 Y
WholeChain 10 Y

The Supply Chain of Supply Chain Talent is Not Only Broken … It’s Running On Empty!

A recent article in Forbes noted that The Supply Chain of Supply Chain Talent Is Broken, which it is, and has been for well over a decade. The problems started back with the global first world truck driver shortages back in the early 2000s, but the real problems were much deeper and hidden from view due to the fact supply chains were otherwise running smoothly and no one was looking behind the curtain or shining a light into the dark recesses of the supply chain.

Why? Because of the rampant digitization of procurement, logistics, and supply chain over the past twenty years, a time when globalization reached its peak, conflict was at a minimum, inflation was in the rear-view mirror, and natural disasters were still manageable, supply chains just worked. Predictable processes, routes, costs, and flows allowed simple systems to manage the supply chains almost automatically. Supply Chains didn’t need traditional supply chain talent to run; they needed buyers, logistics managers, inventory operations, and compliance personnel who could use systems — IT geeks ruled the day!

At the same time, seasoned supply chain professionals — negotiators, logistics professionals, and inventory/warehouse managers — were retiring in droves, and no one was replacing them. More importantly, no one was replacing them because there was no perceived need. These were the individuals who where doing supply chains in the 80s and 90s, before modern systems managed everything, when there were still lots of regulations to deal with (as the EU was still forming), when you didn’t always have container ships available (or easy container transportation to all locales), and when you would have to know, by rote, who to call when a truck wasn’t at the factory or the dock for a pick-up. When you had to do everything by phone and fax, because email was a luxury; when you had to deal with dozens of import/export regulations (and know how to create the reports by hand), and how to manage logistics scheduling on paper, especially when availability of certain carriers or personnel would change by the day. When you had to truly know how supply chain operations worked end to end, and not just push buttons on a virtual screen.

But then they retired, and no one replaced them. Even worse, no one was recruited to replace them. The organizations saw no need, since the systems did everything, the EU and harmonized regulations across regions made trade easy, and the big global carriers managed logistics for them. As long as they had negotiators, system operators, outsourced carriers, and outsourced consultants to do the rest, who cared? They certainly didn’t.

Furthermore, because there was no need in the organizations, people who studied Operations Research and might have went into Supply Chain went elsewhere, and as demand shallowed, so did students, but more importantly, so did apprenticeships. Now, with disruptions on the rise, globalization retreating, inflation resurging, supply chains breaking due to slowdowns, (port) shutdowns, and double canal slowdowns/closures (Panama and Suez), and current systems not designed for the world today, there’s no one who can handle the current situation. And that’s why supply chains are broken, talent chains are broken, and most importantly, why they are empty.

All of this happened behind the scenes because no one was watching, no one was thinking about the future, and no one was doing a risk assessment or managing the risks that were destined to come. All despite the fact that natural disasters were on the rise, political tension was on the rise, and we were being warned that a pandemic was the top global risk for over a decade.

Now we are at a point where software alone won’t fix this, consultancies who don’t have talent either (despite telling you to go to China for two decades) won’t fix this, and hope won’t fix this. The only thing that will fix this is the re-introduction of supply chain apprenticeship programs, as noted by the Forbes article, along with the return of retirees with actual knowledge to mentor the new recruits, which is missed by the article. Most organizations, or consultancies, these days barely have enough talent to manage their own operations yet alone train a batch of new recruits on the side, especially if they didn’t live through the rise in global trade in the 80s and 90s. The retirees did, and they have the knowledge the consultancies, and modern systems, don’t. Along with new recruits, it is their (temporary) return that is needed to fix the supply chains.