Supply Chain Blog

10 Times You Need Supply Chain Interim Management

Posted by Michael Thompson on Fri, Nov 25, 2011
Supply Chain Interim ManagementI have been talking to a number of supply chain executives during the last few weeks and something of a theme has emerged.
The theme is the need for highly skilled supply chain resource, available at short notice, with the flexibility to switch off the resource at will ….and at fee rates comparable to exiting resource. “So nothing unreasonable there”, I thought.
What we actually discussed was supply chain interim management and how the placing of a specific skilled resource can have a dramatic impact on an organisation. We went on to discuss the typical roles that supply chain executives are currently demanding.  
With this and our recent experience with clients, I offer the follow 10 supply chain interim management roles:
  1. Resource gap Bridging a gap prior to a full time appointment being made.  This was mentioned by everyone – “we need a planning manager …. urgently”
  2. Backfill. To temporarily backfill a position because the incumbent manager is about to be seconded to a project. “We have a large project that has started (SAP projects were mentioned a number of times) & we need an interim Head of Supply Chain”.
  3. Project Managing a specific project that would normally be carried out by company personnel but resource is a constraint.  This is a common need and mentioned frequently.
  4. Temporary or part-time operational assignments the need for which will end, do not justify a full time employee or are designed to coach and train a new manager. 
  5. Holding the fort in a situation where company strategy is not decided and operational roles are unclear.
  6. Crisis Managing a crisis when a unexpected event occurs, e.g. dismissal, death or unexpected departure.
  7. Post-acquisition or merger management prior to establishment of the full management team.
  8. Pre-sale management of a company or business unit in preparation for a sale.
  9. Urgent change management of strategy, cost structure, organisation, process etc., when an external threat is recognised. e.g. sudden loss of market share, unsustainable debt position, hostile take-over bid, etc.
  10. Turnaround management or ‘company doctor’ when a permanent position is inappropriate or the role may be perceived as too risky to attract a permanent candidate.
My discussions were with a relatively small number of people.  I would welcome any further comments.


Tags: Interim Management, Performance Improvement, Michael Thompson, Supply Chain

Lost for words operating in FMCG, Pharma Supply Chains?

Posted by Dave Jordan on Mon, Nov 21, 2011

I published this some time ago and have just realised I did not follow up with the answers! Here they are, inserted in red text.

People working in modern FMCG, Pharma Supply Chain use a whole host of initials and acronyms to get through the day. Warehousing, planning, customer service, logistics and route to market all have their share of “SC code”.  Some of this must sound like a foreign language to non-SC people and I guess it is really. You can have a conversation about a specific issue and Sales and Marketing will not understand what you are saying! Sounds like a good idea to me.

Supply Chain Terminology resized 600Let us see if we can expand on the Supply Chain language theme with these anagrams:

Physical pun – every company needs one to get stuff from A to B. Supply Chain

To an appalling, insane loser - present in the best companies and led at CEO/Chairman level. Sales & Operational Planning

Coin rugs – ensuring you have the necessary raw and POS materials, for example. Sourcing

Trash! Vitriolic dodgy strippers – love them or hate them you need a reliable one of these. Third Party Logistics Providers

Cry, accuse or a fact - you must have it by SKU and not by brand. Avoided by Salesmen. Forecast accuracy

Unrelenting proper increases – many brands of this available. Glues all your decisions together. Enterprise Resource Planning

Snappy ‘n’ pulling – making sure the quantity of goods you need is allocated to factories. Supply Planning

Fine, democratic nosy parker – if you do not measure these you do not improve. Key Performance Indicators

Conversions of maggot's mud – the “stuff” sold by some of the world’s biggest companies. Fast Moving Consumer Goods

Tacky, unsocial, rotten inanepowerful retailers. International Key Accounts

True verse comics – forget about this and nobody buys your. Customer Service

Torture to make – how you reach the shelf either in IKA or Traditional Trade (TT) Route To Market

How did you get on?

Tags: Route to Market, Dave Jordan, Humour, KPI, Traditional Trade, Distribution