Why Enterprises Need Supply Chain Expertise in the Boardroom?

Why Enterprises Need Supply Chain Expertise in the Boardroom?

By: Retail CIO Outlook | Wednesday, November 13, 2019

With an efficient supply chain management team and board of directors, any organization can significantly be more confident. It also helps to fill in with important strategic information. The analysis and judgment are less prone to bias and error, and investors' and customers' interests will be better safeguarded.

FREMONT, CA:  Almost all companies, especially retailers, franchised and independent—depend on the supply chains to maintain a customer relationship that today's delivery economy needs. This includes attractive and competitive pricing to customers while generating positive financial results for the organization's investors. For firms that really seek to achieve this balance, recruiting board members who can speak and understand the critical role of the supply chain is self-evident.

Offering distinctive and marvelous customer service is not possible without a well-managed and integrated supply chain. Many C-suite executives and board members are attracted by topics like entering new world markets, taking on new acquisition targets, and widening products and services. The critical supply chain topics like inventory control, technology implementation, master data standardization, and distribution/warehouse optimization should be understood and discussed in the boardroom.

Many organizations force their supply chain managers to turn themselves inside out to get the C-suite executives' and board members' attention. Even though they end up communicating supply chain needs, it might not always lead to the expected outcome. This is very true for the strategic board decisions on matters that are entirely dependent on the capacity of the supply chain to perform rapidly and at high-quality levels, and that will materially affect the organization's customer service or product offerings. This is also true for tactical decisions, particularly those necessary to ward off the crisis, like political risks with component suppliers, health and safety concerns, and labor volatility. It is the difference between mediocre versus world-class performance.

Of course, for the best communication, supply chain officers need to be cross-functional, cultivated, and trained to make sure that they understand the company's business and its strategic concerns. Supply chain managers must be viewed as trusted business officers and should be able to produce consideration key performance data for C-suite executives, which can be translated into financial metrics. This will help the board members to understand the supply chain's performance, challenges, and needs.

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