Daily Archives: April 5, 2009

Tried-and-True Strategies on the Road to CPO-dom

e-Side Supply Management recently published an article on The Road to CPO — and beyond that chronicled advice from David Nelson (of TRW, Honda of America, and Deere & Company) and Maureen Corcoran (State Street) for up-and-coming procurement professionals who aspire to take on the CPO role.

  • Be Curious, Ambitious, and Open to Change
    A willingness to go anywhere and do any job in order to advance shows initiative and helps you stand out. It also helps you think beyond ‘the way we’ve always done it‘ mentality, which is a trait of successful C-suite executives.
  • Develop Strong Successors
    Always hire a younger, smarter backup person so you are easy to promote. You’re not going to get promoted if there’s no one to assume your present job.
  • Learn the Organization Inside and Out
    There’s immense value in having broad knowledge and a wide skill-set. CPOs know the enterprise and how to execute, negotiate, manage and mitigate risk, and do deals and this adds up to general business effectiveness that can be applied in many other situations.
  • Understand the Efficiency/Risk Dynamic
    CPOs must do more than understand the close relationship between supply chain efficiency and increased supply risk; they must also have the tools to analyze, prioritize and act on these risks.
  • Collaborate with Suppliers for Competitive Advantage
    The ability to collaborate with suppliers for competitive advantage is one of the most critical CPO traits. Although it may seem counterintuitive to expect gains from a ‘softer’ approach to supplier negotiations, there are lessons to be learned from the Japanese experience.
  • Aim Even Higher
    The bottom-line value of an effective CPO can’t be overemphasized. A CPO is a natural fit for the corner office.

Not bad. Not bad at all.