2016

Supply Chain Leaders: Are You Psychopaths or Saviours?

Supply Chain Leaders: Are You Psychopaths or Saviours?

According to a recent psychological study in Australia, supply chain leaders are a ruthless, calculating lot, drawn to their chosen careers because the supply chain is action-packed and opaque in nature. This commercial environment apparently appeals to the nature of those with psychopathic tendencies; traits which appear in the supply chain management profession at about the same level as in the prison inmate population.   An Objective View of Supply Chain Leaders? Was I shocked when I read the details of this study? A little, I must admit. Far be it from me to challenge the (presumably) objective research performed in the field of psychology, but my experience of supply chain management professionals (which can hardly be considered “limited”) doesn’t really concur with the findings of a Queensland-based group of forensic psychology researchers. For that reason, I felt compelled to write this post, to explore the research findings a little further, and then share what I believe are some of the benefits which supply chain leaders bring to society—achieved through leadership qualities which would seem to fly in the face of what we might expect from people with psychopathic tendencies.   Psychopathic Tendencies of Supply Chain Leaders Let’s start by looking at the findings of the research, conducted by a forensic psychologist from Bond University in Queensland and reported publicly by The Australian Financial Review Magazine. According to the study, 21% of participating supply chain leaders showed substantial levels of psychopathic behaviour, which include: Insincerity A lack of empathy Low levels of remorse Egocentricity Superficiality A ruthless and calculating ability to make decisions without emotion Presenting the study findings to a Melbourne congress of the Australian Psychological Society, the lead researcher stated that supply chain leaders are capable of a cold and clinical approach to decision-making, considering little else but the possibilities for commercial gain. So that’s the result of objective research, but what is it about the field of logistics and supply chain management that seemingly attracts psychopathic individuals like a floodlight attracts insects? Personally, I prefer to consider the profession, and those who work within it, as an honourable and essential segment of commerce without which, the world would be a much worse place in which to live.   The Good That Supply Chain Leaders Do If supply chain leaders really are prone to psychopathic tendencies, as the study would seem to suggest, the same might be...

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A great Day at Supply Chain Leaders Insights

This made all the hard work worth it! Are you coming next time ? Supply Chain Leaders Insights.

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The Supply Chain Essentials Checklist Every CEO Should Use

The Supply Chain Essentials Checklist Every CEO Should Use

If you’re a CEO and you keep yourself up-to-date with executive trends, you’ve probably heard a lot lately about the importance of understanding your company’s supply chain. As someone once said though, there’s no such thing as CEO training and the demand for your attention across the business is never-ending. With so much going on it can be hard to even know where to start thinking about the supply chain essentials, unless your background is in logistics or something similar. Still, the need to get involved with supply chain won’t go away anytime soon, so you might find this quick checklist handy. It provides you with some of the essential supply chain points that you as CEO should focus on and get involved with, at least as far as practicable.   15 CEO Supply Chain Essentials to Get Your Teeth Into   CEO Essentials Section A: Supply Chain Strategy and Leadership 1) Does your company have a supply chain strategy? 2) If the answer to point 1) is yes, does the supply chain strategy align with your company’s mission? 3) Do you have a Chief Supply Chain Officer and if not, is your company large enough to think about appointing one? 4) If the answer to point 3) is yes, does your CSCO have a background in supply chain or logistics? 5) Do your senior supply chain leaders have strong skills and experience in supply chain management?     CEO Essentials Section B: Supply Chain Performance 6) Do you know how well your supply chain performs in comparison with best-in-class companies, the industry average, and peer companies with similar operations? 7) Is your supply chain performance measured using cross-functional metrics which drive internal collaboration and discourage teams from working in silos? 8) Are performance-KPIs externally focused, providing visibility of customer service levels?     CEO Essentials Section C: Service and Efficiency 9) Does your company regularly capture logistics service-related feedback from its customers? 10) Do you know, or can somebody in your management team tell you the following information: The supply chain cost per unit-sold? Supply chain cost-per order? The number of stock turns per year? 11) Does your company take steps to influence customer behaviour in a way that reduces supply chain cost? 12) Is your supply chain network design optimal for cost-effective service delivery? 13) Do you know, or can somebody in your team tell you why...

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3 Benefits of Transportation Fleet Benchmarking in Logistics Companies

3 Benefits of Transportation Fleet Benchmarking in Logistics Companies

Are you responsible for transport and distribution in a manufacturing or retail organisation? Is your company a third-party logistics provider with its own fleet of transport assets? Or are you in charge of a field service company or division, trying to maximise the ROI of your technicians’ vehicles? Whatever the purpose, if you have responsibility for road-going vehicles, transportation fleet benchmarking can help you answer those difficult questions which continually crop up in your operations meetings … You know, questions like “Are our services competitive?” and “Do we utilise our assets effectively?”   Can You Afford to Miss Out on These 3 Benchmarking Benefits? As with other aspects of supply chain management, fleet operations can only be improved if performance is measured in the first place. That alone should be enough reason to consider regular transportation fleet benchmarking. If that’s not sufficient to pique your interest, though, perhaps the following three benefits will persuade you of the value being missed if benchmarking is not on your continuous fleet improvement agenda.   1. Benchmarking Highlights Fleet Management Weaknesses To speak only of the inability to improve what isn’t measured is to understate the importance of transportation fleet benchmarking. In reality, if you have never actually compared your transport fleet performance with a peer group, you can’t even know if you need to improve, or if so, where, and by how much. Transportation fleet benchmarking will show you where your fleet is performing strongly in comparison with your peers and competitors. More to the point, though, it will highlight weaknesses, giving you the opportunity to concentrate efforts where improvement will yield best results.   2. Benchmarking Helps You Prioritise Improvements Okay, so it’s probably not fair to conclude that you have no idea of your fleet’s performance, even if you don’t regularly practice transportation fleet benchmarking, but here’s the thing. You and your team may have ideas about what needs improving, but without a single, objectively measured version of the truth (which benchmarking will provide); you could easily waste time, money and effort trying to improve the wrong performance elements. If you practice transportation fleet benchmarking, and do so on a regular basis, you can train a laser focus on the improvements most likely to drive profits and competitive strength. For example, there would be little point in pursuing fuel consumption reductions in an operation with trucks that cover excessive distances...

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Supply Chain and Logistics Process Mapping: Why and When to Do It

Supply Chain and Logistics Process Mapping: Why and When to Do It

If your company has ever hired a logistics consulting company (or any type of consulting firm for that matter), you may have noticed how keen their consultants are to carry out logistics process mapping at the start of a project. Rest assured, process mapping is not simply a way to earn some extra consulting revenue. There is a very good reason why supply chain or logistics process mapping is high on the list of consultants’ priorities— and why it should be high on yours too.   Why Consultants Love Logistics Process Mapping So why are consultants so enamoured with logistics process mapping? It’s simply because it’s a great way to learn about your business, as well as to gain knowledge crucial in solving the problem or issue at hand. During the time they spend mapping your processes, consultants come to understand how and why things currently work the way they do. It’s also an excellent opportunity to pinpoint possible bottlenecks and pain-points, which can then become the basis for improvement initiatives.   Why You Should Love Process Mapping Too Logistics process mapping is a very worthwhile exercise for your company to execute, regardless of whether you use consulting help or not. For one thing, creating and maintaining current process flow diagrams will save you some money if you should hire a consulting company in the future (since consultants can refer to your documentation instead of carrying out their own process mapping). For another … well, actually there are many other ways in which logistics process mapping can benefit your operation. For example: It makes process improvement projects a lot easier from the outset It can improve general process understanding across your organisation Process maps are invaluable for use in training activities, particularly when on-boarding new hires Process maps are also perfect for presenting key business processes to external stakeholders, suppliers, service providers, supply chain partners, and customers   When to Perform Logistics Process Mapping Given the advantages of a set of fully detailed process maps, there is really no bad time to map your “as-is” logistics processes. However, there are some situations in which it’s especially desirable for processes to be documented in a visual format. Here are some examples of just such a scenario: Internal Benchmarking: If you are benchmarking performance across a large logistics network, process mapping will make it easier to identify how and why some...

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