• Words of Wisdom

“What differentiates (supply chain) leaders is that they have moved beyond the discussion phase to make the hard changes that are required throughout the organization.”

— Article in Supply Chain Management Review (September-October issue), focusing on Gartner’s 10th annual Supply Chain Top 25

In reviewing the past decade and identifying characteristics shared by leading supply chain performers, Gartner recognized these characteristics are “easier to talk about than to actually implement.” For that reason, being willing and able to make the hard changes sets leaders apart.

The characteristics that differentiated consistent leaders include:

  • Outside in focus: Leaders start with the customer experience of their supply chain and work their way back through their supply chain designs for an appropriate, profitable response.
  • Embedded innovation: Indicates a supply chain’s close integration into product lifecycle management both internally and with up and downstream partners. There is also the ability to innovate supply chain practices. This means not only adopting and adapting others best practices, but also breaking the rules, defying conventional wisdom and writing new rules for the supply chain community as a whole.
  • Extended supply chains: More mature companies are managing multi-tier networks with strong visibility and agility to support rapid changes in demand or disruptions in supply.
  • Excellence addicts: These companies are never satisfied, even if their performance in an area would be considered world class by objective standards.

Every year Gartner identifies “the companies that best exemplify the demand-driven ideal for today’s supply chain and document their best practices, which can help all companies move closer to their demand-driven goals.”

Original source: http://www.gartner.com/technology/supply-chain/top25.jsp (requires sign in)
Also covered in Supply Chain Management Review, September / October 2014

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