I mentioned in a recent article that my educational background is in chemistry but I stumbled into supply chain in the undulating sands of the Saudi Arabian desert. Later, I remember talking to former R&D colleagues about my new vocation and was met with the kind of sugary, sympathetic noise you may make when watching a white kitten play with a ball of wool.
What was wrong with working in a supply chain? Of course, in 1999 the world of supply chain was very different and still very much in its formative stages but the principal objective of getting stuff in front of consumers at the right time, at the right cost was an attractive challenge. This was particularly true as most people seemed to view the supply chain as the ready and rightful repository of blame. Not a very helpful approach to teamworking.
Perhaps this propensity to blame comes from the supply chain being one of the least understood and appreciated functions within many organisations. Is it just logistics? What has manufacturing got to do with it? Surely, this is the responsibility of the sales department? Isn’t Purchasing a Finance responsibility? These questions and others reflect why some companies still do not have a supply chain representative in the top team.
Of course, not all companies are the same so structures and reporting lines can vary widely but if you have goods to get in front of consumers, you need certain activities to take place and with a degree of synchronicity. How well you do this depends on your competition, your budget and your overall strategy and expectation. However, the lack of understanding of what constitutes a good or appropriate supply chain presents a problem for CEOs and other senior leaders from different backgrounds.
So, what do you need in your supply chain? Do a Google search and you will find pages and pages of articles and presentations on supply chains and how they should be organised and how they operate. Whether from SCOR or Cranfield, all this is good stuff but I felt there was another way of providing structured guidance in a very familiar and user friendly way.
We have built a house! The Enchange Supply Chain House is a simple and easy to understand reference model which provides you with a clearly defined and proven understanding of your supply chain status and importantly, its or your, future potential.
- The Supply Chain House is based on the previously mentioned well-established SCOR model and has been enhanced by over 25 years of deep operational experience.
- The Supply Chain House has been designed by a team with considerable experience working with local, regional and international organisations and with supply chains of variable structure and maturity.
- The Enchange Supply Chain House shows you the components of your supply chain in the form of rooms and elements of a typical, domestic house. Your company may need a completely new build or an extension constructed while other companies may only need basic redecoration and adjustment to match their aspirations. As families mature and grow they need something different and the same is true of supply chains.
Each critical element or supply chain function is described in outline in the image but subsequent blogs and Enchange Insight articles will expand on each in turn. Also, we will provide guidance on your own supply chain journey and what you need to do to achieve the desired improvement.
What comes next?
Whatever the current status of your supply chain, the Enchange Supply Chain House provides the reference framework for you to develop the supply chain that secures your future. For the vast majority of organisations it will also enable you to make significant performance improvements, now.
I am going to enjoy guiding you through the Enchange Supply Chain House with a mixture of technical discussion plus a frequent dose of humour and association with current events. I will avoid gobbledygook and anything that makes supply chains appear more complicated than they need to be.
I hope you will find this helpful and I would really appreciate your thoughts and comments below. If you are not already tuned in to our network, please subscribe to our Supply Chain & RtM blog to ensure you don’t miss out on the latest articles helping you to get your stuff in front of consumers at the right time, at the right cost.