I did a blog post a few weeks ago on the topic of excellent supply chains. In the post, I laid out a theme of using alphabets to list the virtues of excellent supply chains. I stopped at D, partly to keep the blog short, but also to ask for input from colleagues. It turns out that many folks commented on different forums, and I have compiled the list here to carry the conversation forward. Here are the next few entries on the list, courtesy of our esteemed colleagues. As they see it, an excellent supply chain:

Is Coordinated:

An excellent supply chain is in control of processes needed to manage the products.

– Joao O.F.

Is Evolving:

A supply chain, like a business, is alive only as long as it is constantly changing as conditions change. Today’s “perfect” supply chain won’t be perfect for long unless it is evolving as the business needs evolve.

– Jane L.

Is Efficient & Effective:

Not only excellent supply chains need to deliver the right product, they need to do things in timely and cost effective manner. Do the right things and do the things right.

– Shriyak D.

Is (Super) Engaged:

What makes an excellent Supply Chain for me, is having a clearly understood route to market, having folk who are clear on their roles and responsibilities in delivering what needs to be delivered, all underpinned by excellent relationships on wanting to work hard and deliver for each other.

– Frank M.

Is Focused on Forecast Accuracy:

Understanding your customers’ needs (as mentioned, the right product to the right place at the right time, for the right cost) is critical when developing an accurate forecast. A forecast is ALWAYS wrong (not necessarily, but keeping that in mind keeps you on your toes). A forecast needs to be CONSTANTLY adapting and changing based on the most recent inputs. It is by far one of the most difficult things to manage in a supply chain and is almost always being blamed for the supply chain’s problems.

– John M.

Is Global:

With a global economy and business conducting operations on a global scale, the supply chain should consider geography as much as anything else. The supply chain should be constructed around key customer regions all while considering landed cost and logistics. Although Low Cost Sourcing might look attractive when looking at it through a purchased price perspective, often Best Cost Sourcing consider the value of added logistics, quality, and on time delivery costs.

– John M.

Has Solid Foundation:

Has a good handle on the master data and the processes.

– James M.

Is Resistant to Risk:

Resilient- Stable and Agile at the same time.

– Miguel V.A.

My thanks to all those who contributed to this post. I hope this will encourage others to contribute as well. I will continue to add to this post as other ideas come in.

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