Daily Archives: November 9, 2011

Three Keys To Success in Today’s Competitive Supply Chain Landscape

The other keynote at this fall’s NPX was by Don Wirth, VP Global Operations Supply Chain and Excellence of DuPont who did a presentation on DuPont’s Journey to Supply Chain Excellence. Dupont, which expects to save almost 3.7 Billion dollars at the culmination of their journey through improved plant operations, supply chain network design, and supply chain optimization, will slash its overall supply chain costs across the board by about 10%. (And its efforts are making an impact. It just delivered strong EPS growth on 32% higher sales for third quarter 2011.)

How is it going to do it? Innovation, differentiation, productivity, and talent are key success requirements. In particular, it plans to align the following strategic themes:

  • Innovation & Customer Focus,
  • Differential Business Management, and
  • Productivity & Continuous Improvement

with the following growth trends (and the importance of trends was discussed in SI’s posts on minitrends and megatrends):

  • increased need for food production,
  • decreased dependence on fossil fuels,
  • environmental protection, and
  • emerging markets.

This is great strategy for any supply management organization. Align with forthcoming needs and be better prepared for the market shifts that tend to come faster than expected. So how does it plan to align?
By beginning with management practices. Metrics and incentives are revised to be consistent and aligned with goals. Risk management is organization wide. Governance and structure supports center of excellence operations. Then it leverages scale and skill. It starts with standardization and simplification. It puts experts in charge of the supply chain. Best Practices are institutionalized. Finally, it builds culture and capabilities by treating talent as an enterprise asset.

Dupont engages its workforce in its entirety. The collective power is in the group and the team, and getting the most we can out of
our operations
. These words are straight from the mouth of the CEO, who puts the company’s focus where her mouth is. How? That’s the subject of tomorrow’s post.