Supply chain plays an important role in today’s global economy- from manufacturing goods to timely delivery to customers of the right products and services they need. The end-to-end supply chain has now become a core component of companies and businesses, and the ones leading them are none other than the supply chain leaders: Chief Operating Officers (COOs), Chief Supply Chain Officers (CSCOs), and Vice Presidents (VPs) of the organization. In the book published by Radu Palamariu and Knut Alicke, they interviewed some of today's most successful and respected supply chain leaders to share their success stories and journey in the industry.
A Collection of Supply Chain Success Stories
‘From Source to Sold’, featuring some of the most successful supply chain leaders around the globe, contains a collection of leadership stories focused on navigating the supply chain industry during disruptions, career journeys, strategies, and techniques to help the organization and the teams.
The book intends to shed light on the important work that global supply chain leaders do. It shows the leadership style and approach the leaders use to make the day-to-day operations of their supply chains as smooth as possible. The various insights of the leaders help the readers understand better how different supply chain functions work, from large multinational companies to small innovative companies and startups. The book's contributors shared their journey- how they pushed new ideas, solved challenging situations, and built their teams.
Now that the world has seen a new kind of normal, the book is a great tool for answering key questions in navigating the supply chain world, such as: What makes a great supply chain leader? What qualities do leaders need to possess? And how do we make it to the CEO and board level, coming from the supply chain?
“Organizations that long maintained the very traditional view of their supply chain as merely an execution arm or just a cost-productivity engine learned firsthand through the pandemic that there are severe consequences for not steadily investing in a supply chain strategy rooted in agility and resilience,” - Ernest Nicolas, Chief Supply Chain Officer, HP
Supply Chain Leadership and the CHAIN Model
The diverse perspectives of leaders in the book highlight the complexity of supply chain management and the need for innovative thinking to drive resilience and performance. The insights from the book can benefit anyone in the supply chain field, from students to seasoned professionals, thus making it valuable to leaders worldwide to share with their teams.
One of the key takeaways from the book is the importance of leadership development in driving supply chain performance. Derived from the book's pages, the CHAIN Leadership Model offers a comprehensive approach to training leaders in the supply chain field. This model focuses on developing a holistic approach to leadership that can help navigate difficult situations, communicate effectively, and inspire and motivate others through storytelling.
“Where we need to do better is in explaining how the supply chain works to colleagues in the organization. With better understanding, we will have increased collaboration across the value chain, helping maximize output. For example, you see this reflected in our sales and operations planning process, which we are bringing to a next level. Knowing the short- and mid-term forecast, the lead times on materials and logistical challenges means that together we can determine how different scenarios play out and decide [what to do].” - Ivanka Janssen, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Swarovski
The CHAIN, which stands for Collaborative, Holistic, Adaptable, Influential, and Narrative, defines the five key skills required to become a supply chain leader. Collaboration simply means communicating not only with the team but with all the stakeholders and different departments within the organization to devise an approach that will work within one function and for the entire business. Holistic is looking at the whole supply chain end to end, understanding how each function and process works to meet the customer’s standards. Being Adaptable focuses on how flexible a leader is during disruptions and how they adapt to solve unforeseen challenges. Influential and Narrative go hand in hand with each other- they answer the question: How does a leader influence their teams and stakeholders to collaborate? How well does a leader tell the narrative and mission of the supply chain to the organization?
“Ultimately, the supply chain is a people’s business, no matter what you’re building. It’s about getting the best from individuals and building strong, cross-functional teams.” – Jim Rowan, President and CEO of Volvo
The CHAIN Model is a valuable tool for leaders to follow to bring a competitive edge and value to businesses- which is needed for good supply chain management. Leaders who possess these skills can lead their organizations to success.
"From Source to Sold" is a valuable resource for anyone interested in supply chain management and leadership.
External complexities, as well as the internal significant work that transformations bring with shifts in processes, culture, and the discomfort of learning how to do work using new tools, are a reality supply chain professionals face at all levels of their careers; the contributors to ‘From Source to Sold’ book are no exceptions, and that’s why their success stories struck a sensitive chord with the supply chain professionals.
The book's insights can help professionals build stronger teams, attract new talent, and drive resilience and performance in the supply chain. The authors' passion for the subject shines through in their discussions with these successful supply chain leaders. As we navigate a rapidly changing world, it is essential to have strong leaders who can build resilient and sustainable supply chains.