Delphi’s Advice for Successful Supply Management

While we’re on the theme of best practices and lessons learned, there is a good article over on that chronicles the advice of Sidney Johnson, VP of Global Supply Management at Delphi, who tells us that we should Focus on Three Things to Ensure Success.

A. Understand your business beyond supply chain.
Most Procurement organizations spend too much time on the function and not enough time on the business. It’s also important to have staff who can walk in to any business and have credibility. That’s why a great Procurement team needs to have diversity of thought and experience across the business.

B. Build your brand for the profession.
This starts by building a team who knows how the rest of the business operates but also includes understanding how the organization produces its goods and services and how quality and reliability is checked and mainained. Remembering that, in most organizations, Procurement is responsible for over 50% of the organization’s cost, the organization won’t make it if it doesn’t perform. Be sure to have a vision, set the mission, and be the suppliers’ customer of choice.

C. Focus on things that help you today and tomorrow.
This should include a focus on emerging markets as the BRIC will soon account for 40% of the population of the world’s top 10 economies. And it should include a focus on sustainability as the next level of consumers will be more green. The moving target of sustainability may have taken a bit of a setback in the recession, but you can be sure that it will be back with a vengeance.