Mulally’s Turnaround Strategies Are Good Fodder for Supply Management

A recent article in Industry Week on management lessons you can learn from Alan Mulally presented six pieces of advice that should be taken to heart by any Supply Management organization looking to turnaround its operations and take its performance to the next level. Simply put, they are:

  • One Vision
    Just like Mullally created a “One Ford” plan, which charted a course for product development, manufacturing strategy, and financial rehabilitation, your Supply Management organization needs to help the business construct its own “One Company” vision that defines what products and services its going to focus on, the manufacturing strategies it is going to employ, and the market goals. Then Supply Management needs to create the “Single Supply Management Operation” plan that describes how Supply Management is going to operate to support the “One Company” vision.
  • Act with Urgency
    Why put off until tomorrow what can be done today? That being said, there is a difference between acting with urgency and rushing things out the door. Never put anything off, but take the time that is needed to get it right.
  • Develop the Guiding Coalition
    Be sure to involved all of the affected stakeholders, internal and external. This will significantly increase buy-in and support for Supply Management.
  • Communicate the Vision
    Everyone inside and outside of Supply Management needs to be on the same page. Savings only materialize if contracts are adhered to, best practices only provide value if followed, and efficiency is only obtained when operations are in sync.
  • Generate Short Term Wins
    Go for the low-hanging fruit, get some success stories, and then communicate them up the wazoo.
  • Make Change Stick
    Instill a disciplined sourcing review process and make sure it is followed at all times. Support will be easier to obtain after the organization sees some short-term wins.

In addition, it will help if you are a charismatic, creative, and decisive collaborator. You need to work with your stakeholders, but when an impasse is reached, you have to clear the way.