As companies pivot from these unprecedented levels of supply chain disruption, board members and management teams are taking a step back to reassess the impacts and future implications.
We see overly ambitious new product introductions choking supply chains while supply chain cost to serve continues to grow exponentially and customer satisfaction declines. Trade and tariff issues continue to loom as companies seek to optimize their supply chain operating model, physical supply chain networks and evaluate new tax strategies. Overlay ongoing substantial raw material and labor shortages with the changes in demand patterns and sales channels and it is easy to understand the strain on supply chains.
The management of supply chain risk in support of business continuity is now a table stakes capability management teams must master. It requires sophisticated technology to identify and manage internal risk factors and hard-to-identify third-party risk.
The mismatch between an overarching growth strategy and the supporting supply chain strategy and operating model is also a serious issue for many companies, especially those experiencing hyper growth.
Well-intended management teams sometimes fail to understand the business necessity of frequent customer segmentation and SKU rationalization. The result? A suboptimal order fulfillment strategy, declining service levels, excess inventory, excess supply chain cost, longer cash conversion cycles, and eventually brand erosion, leading to lost customers. All the while, the balance sheet gets weaker as liquidity and cash flow issues simmer.
Proactive management of the supply chain is a key differentiator for top-performing companies. Here are 12 key supply chain actions boards should expect of competent management teams if they expect to see shareholder growth through supply chain execution: