Great Supply Chains are Aligned Supply Chains!

May 22, 2019

As a featured blogger for Logistics Management, I enjoy sharing some thoughts and observations about things we are seeing in the transportation marketplace. In this week's blog post I discussed attributes of companies that have great supply chains and how they have used these supply chains to achieve a sustained competitive advantage.

First, they understand that great supply chains don’t happen by accident—they are the bi-product of hard work, well designed strategies, and a commitment to solid execution. Second, they understand that great supply chains are aligned supply chains.

When it comes to managing your supply chain, it starts at the top with a committed CEO/president who models the fact that the company will be intentional in pursuing a shared vision about what it takes to have a great supply chain. This will result in people throughout the organization being on the same page instead of living in silos and protecting their turf.

For example, during a recent conference for CEOs and presidents, I moderated a panel discussion with senior executives from Home Depot and Walmart and learned what happened when Home Depot's former CEO, Frank Blake, made fixing their supply chain one of his top priorities. As Mark Holifield, Home Depot's current EVP of Supply Chain & Product Development, explained in a video clip:

“On Frank’s white board in his office, the thing he put at the top left was 'Fix Supply Chain.' What Frank knew was that the company was horrible at in-stock, had poor inventory productivity, had high logistics costs and couldn’t be relied upon to have a good supply chain.”

He stayed true to his commitment throughout his tenure and made improvements happen. It proves that when the CEO makes fixing the supply chain their top priority and backs it up with resources, great things can happen.

That is the message I have been conveying in my blogs and talks: Gaining alignment begins at the top and then spreads throughout the rest of the organization.

Some of you may be thinking, "We'd love to have a supply chain that is aligned and gives us a competitive advantage—where do we begin?" A great first step is to give us a call and ask about how our Rapid Assessment can help your company get a better picture of your current state, define your ideal future state, and create a road map for getting there.


We provide all of this because we’re on your team, here to help, and passionate about seeing you find success though alignment.