Key Boardroom Conversations for Supply Chain in 2018

Key Boardroom Conversations of the Chief Supply Chain Officer in 2018

It’s 2018; in mature companies, the board of directors includes a Chief Supply Chain Officer (CSCO). He – in spite of gender diversity efforts, the CSCO is still a man in most cases – reports directly to the company’s CEO, underlining the importance of the supply chain function as a crucial part of the business.

In the boardroom, the CSCO hears other executives’ opinions on all kinds of topics. These are some of the boardroom conversations the CSCO should be having with his colleagues this year:

Chief Executive Officer (CEO): “We need to start a business transformation for our company this year, because of all the disruptive forces attacking us.”
CSCO: “Yes, I agree. But we have to preserve our efficient core processes, in addition to new agility. Remember, we must be efficient wherever we can and agile where necessary.”

Chief Financial Officer (CFO): “In this era of dramatic changes, business continuity is of the utmost importance for our company for us to be able to predict the next quarterly earnings.”
CSCO: “Of course! Integrated Business Planning will help us to work with a long-term horizon and take smart and timely measures to close any gaps in our financial budget.”

HR Director: “There is a war for talent going on, so we have to make our company more visible and appealing to attract and retain bright new employees.”
CSCO: “Let’s not forget to actively improve the gender diversity in our company to tap into the pool of female talent and achieve better and more balanced decision-making.”

Chief Procurement Officer (CPO): “Our company is facing more supply risks because of a growing number of natural disasters globally and the extensive outsourcing by us and our suppliers.”
CSCO: “Yes, I know. Besides managing supply chain risks, we should also apply open innovation and listen to our suppliers more closely to spot innovative technology at an early stage.”

Chief Information Officer (CIO): “We must address cybersecurity because of the increasing number of data breaches, while still digitalizing processes and implementing the Internet of Things.”
CSCO: “That’s absolutely true. And we should clean up our master data, so we don’t drown in an ever-cloudier pool of data, before applying advanced analytics.”

Chief Commercial Officer (CCO): “In the omni-channel world of growing competitiveness, we need to deliver customer excellence to ensure business growth.”
CSCO: “Clever customer segmentation and optimization of our product and service portfolio will ensure that our company achieves profitable growth.”

Besides holding these boardroom conversations, the CSCO needs to listen to and respond to the challenges and the opinions of his colleagues in Planning, Operations, Logistics, Sales and Marketing. But most of all, the CSCO should communicate his own agenda for realizing sustainable and transparent end-to-end supply chains.

Supply Chain Media wishes all CSCOs and other supply chain professionals many fruitful conversations in 2018!

Martijn Lofvers, CEO & Chief Trendwatcher