- THE MAGAZINE
- INFO CENTER
Supply chain executives manage choices – thousands of them. When things are going well, it’s a matter of optimizing performance of their supply chain. When something breaks down, the choices are fewer and more critical and the efficacy of the supply chain may be at stake.
High-performing supply chains share a trait that there is a culture of being proactive. Contingency plans are often highly developed, often reviewed and tested before they are needed. Those supply chains have a resiliency when the potential for disruption threatens. Flows are either not affected or the impact is minimized.
Daily supply chain activity benefits from some of the same culture of vigilance. If you are always looking for optimization and your supply chain partners share your attitude of continuous improvement, positive results will follow.
A high-performing supply chain reduces costs and risk, and this will have a positive bottom-line impact for the central figure in that supply chain that should carry over to other supply chain partners as well. If a manufacturer or retailer has assembled the right partners and built the right supply chain culture, cost savings and efficiencies should be shared – directly or indirectly. Contingency planning that avoids or minimizes disruptions keeps everyone’s financial performance tracking towards the positive. (A carrier isn’t hauling your freight if your plant is closed.)
For those who have built a high-performing supply chain, it is a competitive advantage, one you shouldn’t squander by ever becoming complacent. That means once you have gotten on the road to continuous improvement it is, well, a continuous process. So, don’t worry about losing that competitive advantage by talking about your supply chain. Part of the competitive advantage is not only the performance of your supply chain; it also comes from the perception of excellence.
Investors like to see strong, resilient companies that will weather any number of economic, regulatory or actual storms. Suppliers and customers also want to be part of those supply chains because they are assured a long-term benefit from the relationship.
So, if you want to be sought out by investors, the best suppliers, and the best customers and the best employees, don’t be afraid to talk about your supply chain.