Turbulent times make B2B and Supply Managers more important in organizations

var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." : "http://www.");
document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='" + gaJsHost + "google-analytics.com/ga.js' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E"));

try {
var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-857684-6");
} catch(err) {}

Think about it – if things are going smoothly in the environment like the economy is humming along, there is general peace where you conduct business and the weather is predictable you have steady demand for your products and services. On the supply side you can put together long term contracts, try Just in Time (JIT) and suppliers can drive down costs and bring steady improvements to quality. Generally, the sales forecast is working well and the sales people are making good commissions. Your internal operations are your only concern when you craft strategy.

But in turbulent times,such as these, both boundaries of the firm face uncertainties. On the supply side long term contracts are a "no-no" and on the demand side uncertainty in quantities and payment has your marketing severely challenged. You find that your boundary spanning managers (Supply chain managers and Marketing managers)  are the only ones who have been looking up (the supply managers) and down (your marketing and sales managers) your value chain. Suddenly, managers at both ends of your firm become much more important.

This was brought to sharp focus at the Keynote Session  of the 94th ISM conference,with ISM Chair Shelley Stewart where Christina De Luca   started off with a call to action by all supply managers as their work was "not good enough" for the times. Her somber example of the oil industry was powerful because while price dropped to half demand also dropped significantly, putting all calculations in jeopardy. The other panelists, including Lisa Martin  offered valuable tips to deal with this huge turbulence. The bottom line was that Supply Chain Managers suddenly find themselves center stage in their organizations and its a great time to step up.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: