Have We Reached The Supply Chain Plateau Part IV?

In our last post, we discussed that the results of a recent survey by Greybeard Advisors that asked has our profession advanced, or regressed? led Robert Rudzki to conclude that overall, based on the companies that participated in the survey, we cannot show that our profession has advanced during the past four years; in fact, at some companies, there has been a return to more tactical approaches and objectives.

Why is this?

Some insight is provided by the survey responses to the “write-in” topic that asked for the single most important factor that worries me about ensuring our supply management organization will be successful is. The top themes from the responses provided were:

  • Lack of ongoing commitment from top-level management and buy-in from the rest of the company
  • Lack of proper planning and budgeting from our internal clients
  • Incompatible objectives of multiple business units
  • Lack of bandwidth / resources to do the job properly
  • Need less focus on tactical wins in favour of larger, greater returns (from doing the job strategically)
  • The challenge of how to invest in the future of the department while simultaneously being told to reduce budgets

In SI’s view, it still comes down to the manpower capability issue, which is a direct result of the lack of education and training that pervades our space. If everyone was suitably educated and trained:

  • top-level management would see the importance of the function and their commitment to its success and provide the appropriate support
  • other units would understand what is required of them in terms of financial and manpower resources
  • business unit objectives would be appropriately aligned to maximize success
  • sufficient resources, including sufficient training on such resources, would be provided
  • the focus would be on long-term gains vs short term wins and
  • training would be emphasized, and mandated, not cut!

In summary, SI will state again that people have to be educated and trained at all levels of the function, and until that happens, up-to-date technology or not, there is not going to be any progress.