After nine months of writing, four months of editing and three years of research, the book Supply Chain Metrics That Matter sits on my shelf. It is designed to be used by a team looking to define supply chain excellence. The book is a story. The main character in the book is a well-intending supply chain leader named Joe. He does not want to be an ‘average Joe’; instead, he is driven to create excellence in his newly formed supply chain team. However, he works as part of a dysfunctional organization that lacks an understanding of supply chain management. To drive change, Joe must build a guiding coalition and help the leadership team to understand that managing the supply chain as a system requires a different type of thinking. It requires attention to detail. They must define the supply chain metrics that matter.
The journey is easier said than done. Joe has a challenge. Each person on Joe’s leadership team thinks they know what supply chain excellence is… Frank, his sales person, worked at Procter & Gamble and is convinced that if Joe just did it the P&G way that all would be solved. Lou, the CFO, worked at General Electric, and is convinced GE had the answer to drive supply chain excellence; while Filipe, Joe’s boss is convinced that all Joe needs to do is to read and implement the concepts from the Toyota Way. Filipe is a Lean bigot through and through. Meanwhile, Joe is missing orders and facing scathing reviews for escalating costs.
The team is unaware they’re each structurally encased in philosophies which are not supportive and do not fit the company’s needs. Their paradigms must be broken. Over the course of a year, the team examines how other companies have driven change and improved financial results. They also learn that while other companies have defined supply chain excellence in very different ways, they need to define what works the best for them. Through this analysis, the leadership team forges their own path, and builds their own metrics that matter, supported by a new operating strategy. By analyzing the rate of change of others in each industry, they are able to better set achievable targets.
We find that many supply chain management books are hard to read. It is a heady topic and the books have an academic slant. Our goal was to make this one different, to help companies achieve higher potential. Why? We believe that supply chain is the heart of business. It is our belief that supply chain management can build economies, improve balance sheet results, and drive better corporate sustainability.
This book is written for a leadership team trying to define excellence. It is written to challenge functional thinking and help supply chain leaders to better understand how the choices they make affect the balance sheet. Conversely, it is designed to help non-supply chain leaders to understand how the choices that they make impact the non-linear complex system of this thing called supply chain. For success, there must be balance and alignment. The choice on metrics must follow clarity in operating strategy; but too few companies know how to bring a leadership team together to drive action. The book is written with this goal in mind.
We would love to hear from you. Let us know your thoughts!