Supply Chain

Lesson for Leaders: Supply Chains for the Future

It happened really at a faster pace, before we can even imagine. As China has shuttered their businesses in January due to the Coronavirus outbreak. The pace is slow and the vital parts of the world chains stopped or slowed. The disruption unexpectedly is known to send shock waves to the world once the pandemic starts to spread around.

The supply chain leader role is known to be quite important as its impact is driving the success for the organization. The supply chain leaders are at the verge to oversee all aspects of the organization from internal capabilities and capacities to the external supply chain operations and also understanding the new evolving business models.

Here the important thing is we should develop the right supply chain leaders towards the future, who ought to deal with the high level of complexity and understand the market situation in emerging and developing countries. They can work effectively and efficiently across multiple nationalities and cultures. Below are the key skills and the experiences that are desired by the future supply chain leaders:

Ability to know the end-to-end supply chain:

It is important that leaders should know the complete chain for supply. As it refers to many activities from starting till the end. It is not possible for a single organization to control and acquire a complete “end-to-end” process, rather it should always be a collaboration of few key partners that understands the value offering and also can align the objective and purpose. The supply chain leaders for the future tend to recognize the reality and know their own capabilities, objectives and needs for every supply chain partner so that the operation can be realized effectively.

Nowadays companies are looking for broader capabilities and lateral experiences.

Tend to seek experience of every process of end-to end chain:

It is highly appreciable that the role and value of every part of the chain is realized. Because it is important for the leaders to know about the knowledge and experience of every part of the chain. For example a supply chain leader likes to spend their career in the purchase section of any retail section and is known to have direct experience in various other key areas. Leaders in the future will spend their career in logistics, retail, manufacturing and distribution. This kind of broad level exposure and experience will allow them to be better qualified and know about the potential risk, complete chain process and can address various issues as they start arising. Nowadays companies are not just looking for leaders who owe experience in a single process but are acquainted about the other major section of the supply chain. In other words the lesson can be derived for leaders as the companies are looking for more broader capabilities and lateral experience.

Future leaders should foresee market changes and be ready to adapt to new and feasible market models as per the current scenario:

Once you are looking ahead for considering how the organizations and markets have changed over a decade the result is expanding reach of the internet and various other technological developments. It is quite important that future leaders can oversee the circumstances for at least 10 to 20 years ahead. It is  a common practice in many cultures and the core idea is that the organization one should have enough visibility to know how to spot them or adapt and react quickly. There are many companies who have stabilized their plants in other host countries and are doing quite great and manufacturing their components and sending them to different geographies.

Experience working and living in multiple cultures and regions in emerging and developed markets:

The impact of the emerging economies on organizations and industries is quite visible and is clear that the future will bring more challenges for the supply chain process in different geographies possessing different socio-economic backgrounds. The leaders who are effective in any developed and sophisticated economies will struggle to get settled in emerging markets, which will allow them to consider the basics like communications and infrastructure which are at very much underdeveloped stage and the leaders will find it difficult here to achieve their goals.

This is a crucial factor about the pace at which we can see countries like Brazil and India getting engaged with the global supply chains. In case if you are concerned about the consumers for these markets it will really have a huge impact on the supply chains going forward. Here, it is clear that the future leaders should understand the markets and know about the cultures and habits of the population.

The leaders in the future should know and understand that they tend to operate in a future world with an appetite for continual and speed change. Also, they need to experience and understand all aspects for any end-to-end for the supply chain management and to do so across the varied boundaries. They seek to travel continuously and interact with people of different geographies and know about their choices to deal with them at work and synchronize the supply chain process at the core.

Undoubtedly the future is challenging as the current situation has seemed to teach many lessons to future leaders. And will surely allow them to learn about the various sections of the supply chain and have their hold in every process. The supply chain process is an essential process to know about and start looking forward to growing and ensure everything is at its place.

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