Supply Chain Essentials Checklist

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 your warehouses are located as they are?



And Finally …

14) Does your procurement department thoroughly vet key suppliers to ensure no unethical practices take place in your supply chain?

15) Does your company’s IT function adequately support the needs of your supply chain organisation?


The Answer Should Always Be Yes

With the exception of the second part of point #3 (Some companies aren’t sizeable enough to warrant a supply chain executive office); you should hope to be answering “yes” to all the points in this checklist.

However, if you have to answer “no” to a few of them, at least you know which supply chain essentials could use your attention.

The first time you go through this list, an honest approach might see you answering “don’t know” to some of the points. My recommendation would be to save a second pass of the list until you can give a yes or a no to all the points. Then you’ll know you’ve really got your executive finger on the pulse of your company’s supply chain.


Contact Rob O'Byrne
Best Regards,
Rob O’Byrne
Phone: +61 417 417 307


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