Supply Chain Management is an essential component of the business strategy and processes to get right. It’s all too easy for Supply Chain Managers to get lost in the quagmire of the bits and pieces, the multitude of tiny cogs that interplay to make the supply chain work. In reality, this is not the best approach to take. Instead, Supply Chain Management should be all about the bigger picture, and within that it is crucial to have expert strategic leadership.
When there is a focus on strategy at the leadership level of supply chain management, the smaller cogs can work in a well-oiled fashion. When a strategy is left to just happen, the cogs grind and rub against each other causing inefficiencies that impact the entire chain.
The Need for Strategic Leadership in Supply Chain Management
Supply chains are, by their very nature, potentially complex and unwieldy. It takes leadership with the ability to stand back and get a higher view of the bigger picture to really ensure the supply chain beast is tamed and controlled. It is essential to employ strategic thinking at this level because every single facet of the supply chain is then examined and understood holistically within its context to the rest of the chain.
Importantly, when this philosophy of strategic thinking and approaches is led from the top, the entire strategy that is important to the supply chain permeates down to every individual element.
What Does Strategic Leadership in the Supply Chain Look Like?
Strategic leadership in the supply chain is about unifying the chain to make the sum worth far more than the component parts. This means every element feeds in to the same strategy, from inventory management to logistics. If there is one overriding strategy governing them all then this can be seen in a smoothly operating supply chain.
In practice this means leadership that is prepared to get up close with the metrics of the supply chain and understand them within each separate area, as well as within the supply chain as a whole.
The Benefits of Strategic Leadership in Supply Chain Management
Ultimately, it is strategic leadership that will maximise the success of the supply chain, and maximise customer value. Strategic leadership leads to a well-oiled supply chain that can achieve sustainable competitive advantage by making sure that planning and design, execution, control and monitoring, all work together to the same end.
Strategic leadership boosts the overall competitiveness of the supply chain and ensures the chain operates at optimal capacity. The integrated approach that is inevitable as a result of strategic leadership means that the supply chain meets the needs of both the producers and the consumers without unduly compromising one or both. It is strategy that leverages the supply chain in its entirety to competitive advantage.
Help with Strategic Leadership for your Supply Chain
Understanding a strategic leadership approach is essential is one thing, knowing how to enact it is another. Argenta in partnership with Paul Trudgian are supply chain specialists. We understand the strategic approach to supply chain management, and we believe in its importance.