To Be a Good CSCO, Don’t Forget the Don’ts!

A recent article over in eyefortransport on the DOs and DON’Ts for Chief Supply Chain Officers had a good list of things to do to be a successful CSCO (or CPO) but what really got my attention was the list of things not to do, because it’s so easy to do five things right and then watch everything unravel when you do only one thing wrong. Here are some of the most important don’ts from the article:

  • don’t create a separate KPI team
    KPIs should be created by the people who are performing the functions they measure. Otherwise, you’ll have good-meaning people who don’t truly understand the function deciding that the right metric is average order completion time and not on-time shipments as you can have a great average order completion time but still be late for 30% of your orders.
  • don’t create a function without a well defined purpose
    Just like you shouldn’t outsource to China because the company down the street is doing it, you shouldn’t create a new function because the company next door is doing it. Your team is already overworked, so don’t add something unless you know why you’re adding it and what benefits it’s going to bring.
  • don’t cut the training budget
    This cannot be stressed enough — you need highly skilled and educated people to make it in this knowledge economy. (That’s why we can have 15% unemployment and still have millions of jobs unfilled.) If you’re people don’t have the necessary skills, they won’t get the job you need done.
  • don’t speak supply chain language with other departments
    They won’t understand a word you’re saying and will think that you need a “vacation” at the local “resort“. That’s why you need to learn to lean to speak the language of the CFO.
  • don’t let the board think supply chain is just about cost
    If you do, they’ll have you cut, cut, cut until the quality falls through the floor and there’s melamine in the milk, salmonella in the spinach, lead in the paint, or asbestos in the insulation and your supply chain falls apart.

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