A Portrait of the Supply Chain Manager

It’s been written that a career in supply chain management can be like climbing a mountain.

While there is often a map for the path forward in professions like accounting, medicine and the law, in supply chain management – as with mountaineering – there are any number of paths that can reach the summit.

Those were among the findings from a research series conducted for the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) and published in the July/August 2015 issue of Supply Chain Management Review, and reinforced by research conducted by McKinsey & Company and Kuhne Logistics University.

The latter, for instance, found that while many supply chain management executives had experience in logistics, procurement and sales/marketing, “… a surprising number of supply chain executives are appointed without any previous exposure to SCM…in our sample, supply chain executives spent 88% of their previous career span outside the SCM function.”

Are those findings consistent with readers of Supply Chain Management Review and members of APICS Supply Chain Council? And, if so, who is today’s supply chain manager? And, how did he – or she – navigate to their position on the mountain?

Did they start out in the supply chain going back to their college days, or, as in the McKinsey study, did they come into the profession from other parts of the organization?

Moreover, what are their duties today and how do they see the job changing?

Read more at A Portrait of the Supply Chain Manager

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Supply Chain Impact on Shareholder Value: A Performance Paradigm?

If you ask a supply chain leader how they impact their company’s performance, the response is almost muscle memory, ‘reduce cost and inventory while improving service.’ If you ask the same leader how they impact shareholder value, there is often a long pause.

To shed some light on the subject, the APICS Supply Chain Council conducted a live poll during its jointly hosted Best of the Best S&OP Conference in June. Two poll questions were developed to examine attendee perception regarding shareholder value. Almost two-thirds of the respondents reported that they had some form of supply chain scorecard. Conversely, only three-percent reported that they linked supply chain performance to shareholder metrics.

This dialogue with supply chain leaders has sparked a number of research questions, especially in light of the fact that supply chain executives share a seat in the C-suite, including:

1. What are the key shareholder metrics that matter?

For a publicly traded company the ultimate measure is earnings per share or stock price. For privately held companies, the focus tends to be on the attributes that relate to earnings per share: growth, profit, and return.

2. What are the supply chain performance levers that intentionally add to shareholder value?

The Growth attribute is the conundrum that keeps supply chain leaders up at night. Traditionally, the assumption was that great service level, including both lead-time and reliability, didn’t lose sales and potentially helped grow share of customer’s ‘shelf space’ by having predictable availability.

3. How does that affect your supply chain strategy?

The correlation between supply chain excellence and earnings per share certainly is intuitive, but there is data to suggest that even the best supply chain companies still are not maximizing potential shareholder value.

Read more at Supply Chain Impact on Shareholder Value: A Performance Paradigm?

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Top fashion labels save millions from China’s sustainable supply chain

A leading group of Chinese textile mills, which create clothing for major high-volume apparel brands and retailers including Target, Gap, Levi Strauss and H&M, are saving $14.7 million each year by adopting simple efficiency measures in their production processes, according to a new analysis by the US Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

These improvements have dramatically reduced the pollution generated by these mills, cutting up to 36 percent of water use and 22 percent of energy use per mill and a total of at least 400 tons of chemicals.

The 33 mills are part of NRDC’s Clean By Design program, a global model for manufacturing sustainability that is working with major fashion retailers and designers to green the fashion supply chain industry-wide.

“Great fashion can also be green fashion. Although apparel manufacturing is among the largest polluting industries in the world, it doesn’t have to be,” said Linda Greer, Ph.D., NRDC senior scientist and director of Clean By Design. “There are enormous opportunities for the fashion industry to clean up its act while saving money, and Clean By Design offers low-cost, high-impact solutions to do just that.”

Over the past two decades, China has become the epicentre of global manufacturing, and it currently produces more than 50 percent of the world’s fabric, totalling more than 80 billion meters annually.

As a result, the country is suffering from increasingly serious pollution problems while also contributing significant carbon into the atmosphere. Textile manufacturing, particularly the dyeing and finishing of fabric, is incredibly water and energy intensive as the process swallows up to 250 tons of water for every 10,000 meters of fabric produced and consumes 110 million tons of coal every year.

Read more at Top fashion labels save millions from China’s sustainable supply chain

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